T.C Robinson calls for our preachers to preach against racism, in his latest post called, In Your Pulpits, Where are all the Sermons against Racism?.
One of my favorite themes in Scripture is “In Christ, there is no racial, social, gender or age distinction” – all are equally sinful, all are equally forgiven – are adopted as sons through his blood. There is no hierarchy of believers based on nationality, social class, gender or age. It’s my belief that if any believer practices and or preaches a form of segregation or racism within the church – they drink judgement on themselves whenever they take communion. When the early church partook in communion, slaves would sit down at the table and eat with their masters as equals. The poor would sit down with the rich and eat together as equals. Women, children and men, would sit and eat together as equals, celebrating the goodness of Christ.
I meet regularly with a group of diverse men where we sit around a fire, have a meal together and discuss life and faith together. We have a mix of guys who have a Indigenous, Indian, Fijian, Middle East and European background, all of us come from different social class experiences. But together as fellowship around the fire – deeper friendships are made and we make time for each other during the week. The church we fellowship with, likewise is a multicultural church, which practices communion on a weekly basis. (note – the men’s group and the church we fellowship with, are two distinct ministries and not related to each other.)
T.C says, , I continue to hear from the pulpit sermons against this sin and that sin, in our society. But you do not preach against racial discrimination and racial injustice toward blacks and other minorities.
Personally I don’t like preaching against sin. I don’t think its productive. I don’t think its Godly. Instead, I prefer to preach about Christ, who is the forgiver of our sins. I prefer to preach about what it means to be Kingdom people. What does it mean when all become equal and accepted in Christ. And while preaching about Christ – I expect the Holy Spirit who is extremely effective in his work of convincing and comforting – will do his work of pointing us to Christ, convincing us of our sin, and comforting us through changing our hearts and minds with the truth of what the Gospel means for us. Lets celebrate the communion of Christ. Let all nations, gender, social class and ages break bread and drink the cup together, proclaiming Christ – for this is what communion celebrates. Lets proclaim Christ, not only in mere words – lets proclaim him through truth and love in action – because if we don’t – it very well could be that we drink and eat judgement on ourselves.
- Traditionally the church has never been involved in the marrying business. It amazes me that so many who are anti Popish rules from Rome – don’t know that it was in the 15th century when the pope decreed for a marriage to be valid, the priest had to perform the ceremony. Till then, if people wanted to be blessed by a priest, they stood at the bottom of the church steps and the priest would bless the couple. Luther, during the reformation, forbade his priests from marrying anyone, saying it was a personal decision between the couple, state and God..insisting it had nothing to do with the church. Fast forward to the 17th century in London. There was mass corruption in the docks, where prisoners had conjugal rights. and prostitution was rampant. The authorities decreed that for a marriage to be valid, a priest had to witness it.
- I cant find any record of any priest in the OT performing a marriage ceremony.
- I can’t find any record of any apostle or church leader in the NT performing a marriage ceremony.
- It appears to me through reading Scripture and early church history, that marriage was very similar to what we call a defacto relationship in our modern era.
- I can’t find any precedent in the NT where the early church tried to change state laws and make rules for society – instead, its my own understanding that the church was to teach its people how to live within the framework of societal rule.
- You cannot legislate salvation and Kingdom living.
- You cannot legislate morality.
- Seems to me that the church in all its protesting and trying to make societal rules and laws – have lost the power of what it means to be Kingdom people.
- Polygamy was reasonable common and legal in the NT era. Yet the Apostle Paul, said he would only ordain elders if they had one wife. He never told the church to kick out those who had multiple wives from the church.
- I would treat any homosexual couple who wanted to learn more about Jesus and give their lives to him, in the same way I would any other person doing so.
- I would be happy to have them come to my church – but, I would not ordain them to eldership.
- I once took a gay man through grief counselling when his partner of 28 years had died. – His pain was real. His loss was real. His tears and heart ache was real. We need to remember we are talking about real people, with real feelings, real emotions and real heartache.
- It seems to me that when the NT lists a heap of sins, its normally to ensure that we all know we have no right to judge another for their sin, as we have our own to deal with.
- I have learnt that sexuality is not black and white – for instance, I know of people who were born with both genitals or boys who had micro penis’s Often the medical establishment would snip the little penis off, and make the boy into a girl. Sometimes they got it right – often they got it wrong. Here is the rub – the church would be happy to see that boy made a girl (legally) be married to another boy…. when in fact they are endorsing same sex marriage.
- Do I believe practicing homosexuality is a sin – yes I do. But, then again, I also believe that God isn’t into a whole heap of other relationships when heterosexual people get married. Just because someone utters some words and some vows are made – doesn’t mean God is blessing that relationship.. Don’t believe me.. read the book of Ezra chapters 9 and 10.
I think the church would be more fruitful and effective if it went out and ate with sinners. Seems to me those Jesus spoke the most harsh about, were those who criticized him the most for eating, drinking and doing life with sinners. And its within those ongoing relationships – just perhaps the Spirit of God may move powerfully bringing many to repentance – because, they saw the love of Christ in action.
If the Devil is liar, thief, murderer and outright nassicist psychotic lunatic – why do we continue to believe the world is under his control; just because he says it is?
Where do you meet with God? Bill Hybels asks, Where is your chair?
I have started to read A Quest For More by Paul Tripp and I have to share this snippet from the preface.
God has given you the gift of his son, not to make your little kingdom successful, but to welcome you to a much better kingdom. Now what in the world does that mean? Paul David Tripp.
Indeed what do we mean when we throw Kingdom of Heaven terminology around? I think I am going to enjoy this book.