Saturday, April 30, 2005

On birthdays and such

Today is the last day I am 27. It's been a great year, in fact, one of the best years of my life.
I am extremely blessed to be where I am at and who I'm with in life.
There is just too much goodness in my life that I don't deserve and I am so thankful for everything.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Surely, I'm not post-modern!

Below is a reflection I wrote after reading Introducing Postmodernism, a non-Christian work which describes the origins, infuence and implications of postmodernity.


Introducing Postmodernism was an extremely helpful book, which enabled me to reflect upon many areas of my life currently, as well as in the future as well. I will focus on three key areas in which I was challenged: how I view parts of life through postmodern lenses, how I imbibe postmodern forms of entertainment, and how I need to tailor my ministry to reach to postmodern thinking.
I have never really viewed myself as being influenced by postmodern thinking. Part of that is because I do not recall hearing this term until 2000, and subsequently finding out a rudimentary definition of the word, but still I never truly view my thinking as being postmodern in any sort. I primarily think it is because I believe in objective truth and kept postmodern thinking as that alone. As I have been recently challenged, I see that postmodernity has influenced my thinking. I can be skeptical when confronted with ideas whether I agree with the ideas or not. I take bits and pieces of history and incorporate them into my life whether it be the ancient Roman coins I use as ornaments in my living room, or the vintage looking record player I own, which plays Compact Discs.
With regards to my imbibing of postmodern entertainment, I believe it stems from an innate desire to regard entertainment as a way of escaping reality. This can be evidenced by my affinity for the “mockumentaries” of Christopher Guest, as well as my supposed need of a good laugh from The Simpsons, or playing any of my Playstation 2 games, from Star Wars: Battlefront to Deer Hunter. I also enjoy some remakes of so-called classic songs, and am fascinated by the technology of sampling because it feeds my enjoyment of today’s style of music with a healthy dose of nostalgia, as well. I have a tendency to be a consumer of entertainment, and use it as a way of entering into another dimension in order to escape the realities of Greek, Hebrew, my job, or homework.
As I incorporate the realities of postmodern thinking into my ministry, I believe I am now better equipped to minister to people who are influenced by postmodern thought. One idea which comes to mind, is that of facing cynicism. Many today are cynical about trained ministers, and can be skeptical of the historicity of interpretation or doctrine. Many today are consumers of time, entertainment, work, and activities. They fill their days with activities, reality TV, or shopping, in order to escape reality, or just make time go by more quickly. These types of people fill pews on Sundays, and need a real Gospel message with content that can speak to their everyday lives and point them to Christ. I need to be able to build a bridge with my preaching in order to communicate timeless truth to them in such a way that they are able to formulate a comprehensive, Christian worldview, which does not base itself in moral or spiritual relativism, but is grounded in the truth of God’s Word.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wiper blade theology

Catchy title eh?

This afternoon I was driving along I170 in St. Louis and my windshield was dirty with grime, dead bugs and whatnot. So I twisted the "washer" handle and immediately cleaner was dispersed on my windshield and my wipers cleaned it thoroughly. I had a better vision of what was in front of me.

Many times in life, we go along our paths with a clouded vision of things which are right in front of us. As we are on the move to our goal, we become distracted by the fallen-ness in our lives, or the world around us. We need something to clear our vision. That's the beauty of grace and forgiveness. Grace is that cleansing agent we so desperately need in our lives to overpower our sin. We all need grace in order to be forgiven of our sin and failure. And just like that forgiveness comes like the wiper blade to wipe our "windshield", if you will, and give us a clearer vision for our lives and what we can do to glorify God.

May we continue to go forth in the grace and forgiveness of our Lord.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ministering to seniors...not the high school or college kind

I was talking with the other intern at the retirement center where I intern about how hard it is to get others to come and help us.
Here's the deal. We are students at a large seminary, which has 500 plus full time students and a total enrollment of over one thousand, so you think it would be easy to get another chaplain intern to come once a week or so.
Well, it's not and I told Brian why I thought this. I said, "It's not sexy like youth or college ministry." He agreed.
Now, I am not saying youth or college ministry are lesser than what I do, but they have lots of help, at least in St. Louis.
Some of the reasons I think are barriers to people wanting to enter senior ministry are as follows:

Dealing with sickness. This is tough because in my area, most of the people I counsel and visit are sick and will be sick for the rest of their lives. And it is hard "to have the right words", but they are not looking for that. They are looking for someone to just give a little.

Dealing with death. I know a few people who have died in just three months I have been there, and by the end of the year there will be more people whom I learn to love and know who will die. Death is painful to deal with and, again, is hard to confront, but there are those times where someone who is dying ends up blessing you more than you blessed them.

Dealing with bridges. It is hard to build bridges and relationships with people who are 50-70 years older than you. But there is a reward when you learn to listen, and speak loud enough for them to hear you. You get the wonderful opportunity to enter a world that you have never been to and are able to learn and find ways to share with one another.

I know it sounds lame, but I really think that younger folks like myself should at least make an attempt to reach out to the older generations, while they are still here. It may not be as hip and sexy as ministering to post-moderns and all their oddities, but it might make a difference in someone's life too.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Missions

This past Sunday and next Sunday are the annual missions conference Sundays for our church. It's been interesting this year to watch how giving is emphasized, but one thing really struck me this year over and beyond last year. As I was listening to the sermon, which obviously is designed to emphasize involvement in missional activities through giving, the preacher did not only hone in on the idea of giving money, but several other things as well.

I think this is a good, convicting way of dealing with missions. I must confess that I have been one of those people who think that writing a check will take care of it on my end. To be honest, I have no desire to be a foreign missionary and I don't feel bad about it because I do not believe I am called to that task in life. However, in my support of missionaries, I must admit that I have been dismal at best. Sure, I made a point that our family pledged a certain amount of money for missions 2004-2005, and we met the pledge, but I don't think I thought about it beyond that, and maybe a simple prayer every now and then.

To be honest, that's pathetic of me since I am in seminary (supposed to be "holier", right??), I have missionary friends (I do pray for you guys!!), but I don't think about missions much beyond that.

Yesterday seemed to change things for me, I think. This year, I am going to make a point of doing more than writing checks. Thankfully, I have a good wife who can keep me honest!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Solo Scriptura.....yes, I know it's typically "sola"

I heard a man on the radio this morning talking about a problem within American Evangelicalism, and I think it bears repeating.

The problem he was talking about, he termed "solo scriptura", which obviously is a word play on "sola scriptura" (scripture alone), by making the point that many believe all they need is their Bible and their brain in order to formulate doctrine, etc.

While, I am a person who wholeheartedly affirms the teaching of the priesthood of all believers, I will also affirm the notion that no one is an island unto himself.

What do I mean by that?
I mean that I cannot possibly expect myself to be engaged, alone, with just my Bible and when I am done studying my butt off, I suddenly have complete mastery and understanding of everything the Bible teaches. Some of you may be snickering because you see how ridiculous it is to think that, but there are many who practice this in a less forceful manner. We think that we do not need to read what others say about passages in order to interpret them, we think that we do not need to have an understanding of ANY tradition at all. We tear down others because we believe that our ideas are our own, and because we derrived them from our personal interpretation, then it does not matter what others say.

This is something that can cause isolation for a couple of reasons.
1: If you do this and derrive a contra-Biblical understanding of any teaching, it can lead you down the road of teaching and believing error to an extent where no one else is worthy of your fellowship.
2: It can cause an isolation from others whom we see go down a contra-Biblcal path. By that I mean, we think that because we "have no say" on what others may believe, we allow them to continue in their ideas and beliefs without showing them, in a loving fashion, their error.

We must always be open to the idea that there are some areas where we can be wrong in our thinking.
We must not dismiss those who have gone on before us, and we must not dismiss those who give their lives over to the study of Scripture.
That does not mean that we will come to a complete 100% correct view in all areas, but it can build unity, even with those whom we may have a disagreement because we have a willing, teachable spirit.

Here is an interesting article from Christian History Magazine on the shape of "sola" scriptura.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Denominationalism

Yesterday, I witnessed some benefits of denominationalism. Yes, I know that structure and, dare I say, authority, can be a viewed as a bad thing because people have an eglitarian notion of ecclesiology, but I do think there are benefits to denominationalism.
I will list a few.

1. Accountability: There is a sense of accountability in matters of practice and doctrine. If I, as a denominational pastor, begin preaching things which are contrary to the denomination I belong to, I can be held accountable to that. For me, being a member of the Presbyterian Church In America, I would first be accountable to the congregation, then the elders, then presbytery. If there is ever the issue of a heresy, or unorthodox teaching rising, it can be dealt with, and by more than just one church. This is a good thing because there is indication in Acts that when faced with important decisions, leaders from the churches came together, not just one church.

2. Structure: There is a definite way of getting things done in a macro-sense, as well as a micro-sense. Churches are able to band together in order to plant other churches, or have a network for pulpit filling, as well as a network of pastors and leaders with whom they have a commonality. (I am not suggesting only "hanging out" with likeminded people)

3. Identity: Of course there will be various flavors of "church" within any denomination, running from a contemporary feel to more traditional feel of worship, to the styles of ministry and so on. However, being in a denomination does tend to add to the identity of a local congregation. One can look at a phone book, select the denominational heading of a church and have a fairly reasonable idea of the teachings to expect.

4. Resources: Missionaries can be taken care of better with a larger support base. (that is not to say that a local church would not have specific missionaries they support) There is the opportunity to band together for large causes in the face of disaster, or in the outworking of a missional strategy, domestic and international. Also, denominations can provide a good way for pastors and others who work within the church to share a retirement fund or plan, and have it managed professionally, and in a group fashion. And there is the benefit of being able to develop Sunday School and other teaching materials for publication and usage by the churches within the denomination, which will enable in training and knowledge.

Needless to say, nothing is perfect, and maybe I can post some downsides to denominationalism like politics and so forth, but I really believe that it is an effecient, Biblical way of operating.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Remembering Oklahoma City 4-19-95

As a proud Oklahoman, who was only a few miles away from the Murrah Building, sitting in a high school assembly that fateful day ten years ago, I will post something in memory of that time, which impacted my life greatly, as well as the lives of countless others.




Remember those who died:

Lucio Aleman Jr
Teresa Alexander
Richard Allen
Ted Allen
Baylee Almon
Diane E. Althouse
Rebecca Anderson
Pamela Cleveland Argo
Saundra G. Avery
Peter Avillanoza
Calvin Battle
Peola Battle
Danielle Bell
Oleta Biddy
Shelly Bland
Andrea Y. Blanton
Olen Bloomer
Lola Bolden
James E. Boles
Mark A. Bolte
Cassandra Kay Booker
Carol Bowers
Peachlyn Bradley
Woodrow Clifford Brady
Cynthia Brown
Paul Broxterman
Gabreon Bruce
Kimberly Ruth Burgess
David Neil Burkett
Donald Earl Burns, Sr.
Karen Gist Carr
Michael Carrillo
Rona Linn Kuehner-Chafey
Zackary Chavez
Robert N. Chipman
Kimberly Kay Clark
Dr. Margaret Louise "Peggy" Clark
Antonio Ansara Cooper Jr.
Dana Cooper
Anthony Christopher Cooper II
Harley Richard Cottingham
Kim R. Cousins
Aaron and Elijah Coverdale
Jaci Rae Coyne
Katherine Louise "Kathy" Cregan
Richard Leroy Cummins
Steven Douglas Curry
Brenda Faye Daniels
Benjamin L. Davis
Diana Lynn Day
Peter L DeMaster
Castine Brooks Hearn Deveroux
Sheila R. Gigger Driver and baby
Tylor Eaves
Ashley Meagan Eckles
Susan Jane Ferrell
Carrol June "Chip" Fields
Katherine Ann Finley
Judy Fisher
Linda Louise Florence
Donald Lee and Mary Anne Fritzler
Tevin Garrett
Laura Washington Garrison
Jamie Lee Genzer
Margaret Betterton Goodson
Kevin Lee Gottshall II
Ethel Griffin
Colleen Guiles
Randy Guzman
Cheryl Bradley Hammon
Ronald Vernon Harding, Sr.
Thomas Lynn Hawthorne, Sr.
Doris Adele Higginbottom
Anita Hightower
Gene Hodges, Jr.
Peggy Louise Holland
Linda Coleen Housley
George Michael Howard
Wanda Lee Howell
Robbin Ann Huff and baby
Dr. Charles and Anna Jean Hurlburt
Paul Douglas Ice
Christi Jenkins
Norma Jean Johnson
Raymond Johnson
Larry J. Jones
Alvin Justes
Blake Ryan Kennedy
Carole Khalil
Valerie Koelsch
Carolyn Ann Kreymborg
Teresa Lea Lauderdale
Catherine Mary "Kathy" Leinen
Carrie Ann Lenz and baby
Donald Ray Leonard
LaKesha R. Levy
Dominique London
Rheta Ione (Bender) Long
Michael Loudenslager
Aurelia Donna and Robert L. Luster Jr.
Mickey Maroney
James Martin
Rev. Gilbert Martinez
James A. McCarthy
Kenneth Glenn McCullough
Betsy Janice McGonnell
Linda Gail McKinney
Cartney Jean McRaven
Claude Medearis
Claudette Meek
Frankie Ann Merrell
Derwin Miller
Eula Leigh Mitchell
John C. Moss III
Ronota Ann Newberry-Woodbridge
Patricia Nix
Jerry Lee Parker
Jill Diane Randolph
Michelle Reeder
Terry S. Rees
Mary L. Rentie
Antonio "Tony" Reyes
Kathryn Elizabeth Ridley
Trudy Rigney
Claudine Ritter
Christine Nicole Rosas
Sonja Lynn Sanders
Lanny L. Scroggins
Kathy Lynn Seidl
Leora Lee Sells
Karan Shepherd
Colton Wade Smith and Chase Dalton Smith
Victoria Lee Sohn
John T. Stewart
Dolores M. Stratton
Emilio Rangel Tapia
Victoria J. Texter
Charlotte Andrea Lewis Thomas
Michael George Thompson
Virginia Thompson
Kayla Titsworth
Rick L. Tomlin
LaRue and Luther Treanor
Larry L. Turner
Jules Valdez
John K. Van Ess
Johnny Allen Wade
David Jack Walker
Robert Walker Jr.
Wanda Watkins
Michael Don Weaver
Julie Marie Welch
Robert Westberry
Alan G. Whicher
Jo Ann Whittenberg
Frances Williams
Scott Williams
William Stephen Williams
Clarence Eugene Wilson
Sharon Louis Wood-Chestnut
Tresia Worton
John A. Youngblood

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Approaching the complexities of an individual

I am writing a research essay on Jonathan Edwards and his reversal of the communion practices begun by his grandfather decades before he became pastor at Northampton. My main thesis in the essay is that Edwards reversed this practice, (which was anyone could be a communicant member, to communion had to be taken on the basis of a credible profession of faith) even after agreeing to it for several years, because of the sensitivity of his pastoral heart as his theology developed and he put his beliefs into practice.

Most of the research I have conducted seems to focus on this being a theological issue, but as I read Edwards' essay explaining his reasons, I see P A S T O R written all over it.

I think when it comes to Church History, we often forget to add the human element into what we're reading, probably because we're so far removed from the situation. But it seems to me, that a healthy injection of humanity and thinking about what it would be like for us in that situation, may give us better perspective.

When people read Edwards, for instance, they mainly read his essays, but neglect the fact that he was preaching several times a week. And when you read Edwards sermons, especially the ones related to ministry, you see a man who is more than just a theologian, but a shepherd who tenderly desires that those he preaches to have experienced "divine and supernatural light" that changes lives and creates joy and happiness in this present life and the life to come in the presence of Christ.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Well, what is it?? Faith or belief?

If you ever have time, ponder this.
Once I was in a conversation with some people who were discussing the differences between faith and belief. This, of course, is within the context of God and whether or not faith comes before belief and so on. At the time, I was early in my seminary career, so I really did not feel comfortable in answering the question, "So what is it? Belief or faith? Which comes first?" It felt like a chicken and egg type question, so I muttered that I would answer it when I studied it and "figured it all out."

Silly me, I should have known that we English speaking folks have it all confused.
Why do I say that? Well, in studying Scripture in the original language, the word we translate faith, is the same as the word we translate believe, or belief.

Now, I thoroughly understand that "pistis" (the greek for faith or belief) is used in varying degrees with nuance in the New Testament. But nevertheless, in my mind, there really is no distinction between faith and belief. We've just made it that way.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation

For a class, I had to write a personal creed about "what I believe about God" without using any "christianese" type terms. It's a non-graded assignment which is designed to give us a framework for communicating the Gospel to someone who may not understand "our terms".

This is a rough draft.

I believe in a personal, real, knowable being, I call God. He is without beginning and without end. He is absolutely good and perfect in character, complete and exhaustive in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding with absolute power, governing the universe he created. I believe God permits good and evil and because of this the humankind, who are created with eternal souls, experienced a separation from him because of evil and moral imperfection. God in his goodness created a way to bridge this separation through a personal relationship with him, brought about by the graciousness of his character. This is possible because God entered the world as a human long ago, suffered on behalf of humanity and overpowered the reality of death. When a human enters a real, ontological relationship with God, his spirit enters the person, producing a real, dispositional change in the life, moral character, and outlook of individual. This change is part of the relationship between the human and the person of God. The result is a never ending, loving relationship that exists beyond death because the person lives with him forever. Those who do not have this relationship still live forever, but apart from the presence and reality of God, thereby existing in a place apart from goodness, love, and perfection; and in evil, suffering, and hate.

No book of the day for now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Christian Karma

I was walking across a large indoor area at work where UPS package cars and trams cross and I noticed someone driving by and I thought to myself, "Hey, I should smile and nod at him, because that's a nice thing to do and maybe it'd keep me from getting hit by one of those tram drivers in the future."

Then it hit me that what I thought was no different than the Buddhist concept of karma. Here's a definition of karma if you are not familiar with the concept: for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.

As I ponered this while walking it occurred to me that more Christians than just myself sometimes think this way. We often get the idea in our heads that if we do something nice to someone, then God will make something "nice" happen to us. On the other side of this, we think that if we do something like, say, run over a puppy, frown at someone in the grocery store, or not help someone on the side of the road, then God will punsih us with a similar bad occurrence.

When we think along those lines what are we really doing? Is that possibly anything that the Word teaches? I really do not think so. I think that we are just fooling ourselves with Christian Karma. We make God into an image of something he is not. Sure, it's because we view him through our lenses that are tainted by our culture and life experience, but we should realize that God does not sit up in heaven checking off lists of good and bad things we do and making sure we recieve equal amounts of good and bad things in our lives.

We need to move beyond culturalizing God, and get back to understanding him through his word.

Book of the day The Doctrine of God by Gerald Bray

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Watch it....


Now, I realize that the Greek word for tithe does not really mean 25%, but this cartoon shows something that I think a lot of us have been exposed to-the overuse, or perhaps the abuse of the Greek or Hebrew language in sermons. (mostly Greek)

As someone who studies Greek, and is somewhat able to exegete passages using grammatical arguments, or flow of thought arguments, I find that the more I know, the more I want to mask. What does that mean? Well, it's like this. Right now, when I preach once a month, I have three audiences which total around 100 people. What do they want to hear? They want to hear the Word explained to them in a simple fashion that speaks to where they are at. There are some passages where I could spend time expounding on the fact that a certain word is a participle, or not a "simple aorist", but it really would be nothing more to them than a show of my knowledge.

I think that those who know, must use their knowledge wisely. Yes, I acknowledge there are times when something needs to be explained because there is the aspect of nuance, and if a person has a particular point of view that, say, is a minority view, it may require defense from Greek or Hebrew. What I am getting at, in particular, is for those of us who use Greek and Hebrew, to use it with respect, dignity, and prudence, so that those who hear us teach or preach do not walk away with the sense of how capable, or smart we are, but with a sense of understanding God's word in a way that makes them feel like they can read their Bible at home and learn something.

I really believe that if someone who is not competant in Biblical languages is exposed to someone spouting off the English meaning from Greek over and over, it can create a sense of frustration on their part. They can be made to feel like they do not know the secret code that is needed to intrepret the Bible. When this sets in, the question comes to mind, "why should I even study anyway, I cannot possibly understand it that well?"

Now another area to consider is that of the abuse of the original languages from the teacher or preacher. I specifically will go with what I know, and that is Greek. Too often there are people with a rudimentary understanding of the language via Elementary Greek in Bible College, or they have just looked at their Strong's Concordance and they believe they have an understanding on par with someone who has spent time, effort and money into learning the language. This creates an allusion of knowledge because the person is quick to point out "this is an aorist which always means ......" (not true), or "this is agape, which is different from phileo" (again, not true), and on and on and on we could go.

I realize that I may sound like I am compaining, and to an extent I am. But moreso, I hope that people read this come away with what I am really trying to emphasize and that is for prudence.

Book of the day, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics by Daniel Wallace

Monday, April 11, 2005

We've got winners, we've got losers...

You know how the song goes. It's from a popular country and western song by Toby Keith. Right now, I've been pretty obsessed with it, which is odd coming from a self-pronounced spokesman against "newer" country music.
But the song strikes a chord with me for this reason. In the song, I Love This Bar, the lyrics talk about all the different types of people who frequent Keith's favorite establishment. The striking thing to me is that it takes all those different types of people to make the establishment "click". All the bikers, yuppies, veterans, etc., all coming to this one place give it the singular character and charm which Toby Keith finds so appealing.

Now, the bridge......
Take your mind out of this ficticious bar and apply it to life, let's say, in your local church. I'm sure there are many different types of people who frequent the pews, or are members. By this I mean, people of different backgrounds, personalities and so on. This diversity is great because it adds to the character, or "feel" of a particular local church.
We should not be striving for homogeneity in our members, but encourage people to be who they are in Christ. If that means we have truckers and yuppies (to borrow from the song) worshipping together, then so be it; and it is that much better for life of the church anyway.

Why is it better for the life of the church?
People from various backgrounds and social identities all bring different perspectives to the table of life, and this is how we learn, and grow from one another. This is also how we see the way the image of God in each human being, plays out in life. We see how God has gifted people differently, and how he has equipped people differently, all so one body of people come together for a singular purpose.

Book of the day, Created In God's Image by Anthony Hoekema

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Christ Is King!

This past Sunday, I was priveleged to lead worship and preach for the retirement center where I intern. My responsibilities included basically everything with relation to the service from the order of worship to the choosing of the hymns.
It was such an awesome experience.

As a way of sharing this, I thought I would post the service w/sermon outline.

April 3, 2005

PRELUDE

CALL TO WORSHIP Psalm 29:1-4;10-11 in Unison

PS 29:1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters
The God of glory thunders,
The LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful
The voice of the LORD is majestic.
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
The LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
The LORD blesses his people with peace.

*HYMN OF WORSHIP #10 O, Worship the King

*INVOCATION

CALL TO CONFESSION

Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.

SILENT CONFESSION OF SIN

ASSURANCE OF PARDON 1 John 2:1-2

1JN 2:1 “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

CONFESSION OF FAITH The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead and buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints
the forgiveness of sins
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Amen.

HYMN #97 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

“Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.”




SERMON TEXT Luke 8:26-39

SERMON “Christ, King Over Evil”
Chaplain Intern Bobby Griffith


Evil exists and can cause us to worry, but if we serve Christ, we serve the one who is King over evil.
I. Christ’s Kingship over evil.
A. Evil is afraid of Christ’s authority v. 28
—The response of the man v. 28-29
—The response of the demons v. 30-33
B. Evil has no power over Christ’s authority v. 30-33
—The demons admitted this v. 32
—Christ demonstrated this v. 32-33
II. The people’s rejection of Christ’s Kingship.
A. People will rebel against Christ’s Kingship
—Because of anger v. 34-35
—Because of fear v. 35 & 37
B. Rebellion is manifested in rejection
—Some people do not want anything to do with Christ v. 37
—Rejecting Christ does not mean He has given up v. 39
III. Service to the King.
A. Christ’s kingdom is filled with people who want to serve Him
—Salvation brings joy
—Joy causes action v. 38
B. Serving Christ can happen anywhere
—There is willingness v. 38
—There is a message v. 39
How can we apply this message to our lives?
1. We understand that evil is real
—We can take comfort in knowing Christ’s authority over evil
—No one is out of the redemptive reach of Christ
2. We understand that people will reject Christ’s authority
—Many of us once rejected Christ’s authority
—Christ still leaves his servants in the midst of rejection
3. We understand that we can serve where we are
—Not all engage in so-called “important” service, but all service is important
—We tell people what Christ has done for us, our story can be a gospel story

*HYMN #623 Gloria Patri


*BENEDICTION Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.


*POSTLUDE

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