March 31, 2006
Commenting to the Christian Ear, David from Canada brought up the issue of churches accepting homosexual ministers. Although my flash response is ‘Scripture speaks clearly on homosexually’, I’ve since given the issue more thought. The Bible says the sexually immoral (practicing homosexuals, adulterers ...) will not enter the kingdom of heaven. How then, can a sexually immoral minister guide us toward salvation and heaven when he himself cannot enter the kingdom of heaven? The Biblical requirements for church elders, teachers, preachers and leaders cannot be overlooked. Trying to be politically correct, a church’s decision to bend Scripture does not release us from individual responsibility to be obedient to the Word of God. I wouldn’t knowingly sit under the tutor of a practicing homosexual for spiritual training any more that I’d take spiritual instruction from a murder or a thief. I'll post again on Monday, have a good weekend. Gail
March 30, 2006
More and more of our seasoned ministers are purchasing sermons online and using them as their Sunday message. From a teaching and writing perspective I sympathize with the struggle to come up with a new lesson each week. However, I question whether a sermon written for a California metro audience translates well to a rural Colorado audience. The Apostle Paul wrote letters to churches that had very different personalities and needs. The Lord’s letters to the churches in Revelation show that the churches did not have the same spiritual problems, nor were they given the same admonishments or encouragements. I can’t help but think that the Holy Spirit is restricted when a preacher uses a prepackaged sermon. I know preaching the sermon is only one part of a minister’s job, but if the script is already written anyone can do the presentation.
March 29, 2006
I’ve attended events where certain areas were blocked off in order to manage crowds. However, nothing prepared me for walking into my church auditorium to find large sections of pews roped off. Obviously restrict the seating area was more for the speakers comfort than for the comfort of those in the pew. Every Sunday fenced off pews remained empty while 200 people were herded into coziness. Let me confess my rebellious side wanted to untie the ropes, take a seat in the forbidden area and dare anyone to ask me to move. We should be able to select a seat based on our needs and preferences, not on the speaker’s desire to connect with his audience. Jesus’ method of crowd control was telling people to just sit down. Can you just imagine Jesus roping off areas of the mountainside for His Sermon on the Mount? I think not.
March 28, 2006
To accommodate growth our church recently began a third morning worship service. As I visited with my friend Sam about the new schedule he said, “I don’t like it when people say, ‘I go to the early service so I can get it over with.’ It makes me wonder just what it is that they want to be done with.” Sam’s comment was like a swift kick. Although I might phrase it a little differently, I’m guilty of the same attitude. I’d never considered how my comments might affect others; much less how God must feel each Sunday as I quickly packed up the worship service so I could get on with my day. I appreciate Sam’s profound observation.
March 27, 2006
I’ve heard ministers say, “If I get an unsigned letter of complaint or concern it goes unread into the circular file (trash can).” I’m sure there is frustration with receiving an unsigned complaint, but I don’t think being unsigned should be grounds for dismissing a complaint. If I were a leader I think I’d look beyond the writer’s anonymity to ask, “Why is the writer anonymous? Is he afraid of reprisal? Does he feel inferior or bullied? Is the writer concerned he might be labeled a trouble maker?” Speaking from personal experience, once you’ve been on the receiving end of a harsh rebuff from leaders, anonymity looks really appealing. What’s your experience? Are your elders and leaders approachable or intimidating? In expressing your opinion, if you wish to remain anonymous it is perfectly acceptable! Have a good day… Gail