Well, Sunday with 90/service went off without a hitch. Amazing Sunday! I’m very grateful for the way you have navigated through this season. CLF, you continue to amaze me with your gratitude, generosity, and eagerness. Thank you.
Here are several things from Sunday’s sermon that I didn’t cover:
Christian Freedoms with food/drink:
One of the issues in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 that we didn’t cover was how does this text address food/drink or gluttony/drunkenness? So here are a few thoughts about this.
First, we’re going to see this play out a bit more in 1 Corinthians 8-10. The Corinthians were fighting over whether it was right for a Christian to eat meat that was sacrificed to idols. In those chapters, Paul is going to speak of the importance of Christian freedom being governed by Christian love.
Second, when we think about glorifying God in our eating/drinking, this would obviously mean that we obey His commands by not being controlled by food/drink. But also, this would mean, using food/drink for the benefit of others. So, how does that look practically? Well, one way that we’ve tried to do this through the years is by initiating the conversation with others who are coming to our house for dinner. We ask: do you have any allergies or personal convictions about food/drink that would be good for us to know so we don’t serve you something you’re uncomfortable with? For instance, we might ask: do you have any concerns with eating pork (everyone knows I love bacon!)? Or we’ll ask, do you drink alcohol? And if they say, ‘no’, we ask, if others (if we’re having a party) had a beer or glass of wine, would this concern you? If they say ‘yes’, then we ask our other friends who are coming to not bring alcohol, if they were planning on it. Our goal is to serve…not to indulge.
Third, these things are to be seen as gifts to be enjoyed & are tools in the hands of God for serving others. We should never allow our freedom to enjoy these things enslave us, cause others to sin by our over-indulgence, or cause offense to others if we flaunt our freedoms. Gifts to be enjoyed, not idols to be worshipped. Therefore, we should speak openly with one another about this stuff.
What does Paul’s Theology of the Body say about the Gender debate:
Just like we did with abortion, police brutality, and protesting, let’s take this to the heart a cultural issue surrounding us: the gender debate. There are some who will tell us that if you want to change your gender, you should! But what does Paul’s theology of the body say to us, as Christians. Well, it says that God gave you the gender He gave you. You glorify God by obeying God for the God-given gender He’s given you. The gender He gave you is a gift for you to enjoy, not a prison to be enslaved in, nor a mechanic shop to tinker with. It’s a gift from God to enjoy & to serve others. This means men, enjoying and using their masculinity to serve, protect, care for, and honor women. This means women, enjoying and using their femininity to serve, respond to, encourage, and to respect men. Our gender is God-designed and for the Christian, this is incredibly important.
Sexual Immorality & 1 Corinthians 6
I found John MacArthur’s sermon on this text, very helpful. Here’s a link to that: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/1827/christian-liberty-and-sexual-freedom. In particular, please notice all the place in Proverbs that Dr. MacArthur speaks about. It is very helpful.
On this note: due to the fact that we have more children in our services than ever before (because we’re not having children’s ministry), I have tried to be very discreet about the sexual immorality that our world and the Corinthian world was living in. One of the statements on the fact that we belong to God and we are at Temple of the Holy Spirit that I found really true, yet very direct was this: “Shall I take the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit to a brothel? May it never be?” Friends, let that sink in deep. Our bodies are a Temple of the Holy Spirit…we belong to God…we are members of Christ…so, the reason we’d ever do something so decadent like this is if we lose sight of the beauty, wonder, glory, and power of Christ in our lives. But I took this further in my heart: why would I drag the beauty of Jesus, into my impatience? into my selfish ambition? Or put your “pet sins” in there…see, how convicting this is?
To be cremated…
Well, many of you have asked about this so I think it deserves an answer. Does Paul’s Theology of the Body say anything about cremation or being buried? It’s a great question. And one that I had written in my notes but put on the “cutting room floor” because it would just take too much time to develop in the Sunday context. So let me offer some thoughts on this.
Our church has no official stance on this. As an elder board, we have varying opinions on it. So, the points I’ll share derive out of our discussions.
On the last day, when our bodies are resurrected, the Lord has the power to raise up bodies that are crushed, disintegrated, dissolved in water, or cremated. There is zero limit to God’s ability to raise us up from the dead. That’s one reason why some have discussed for cremation.
Others have said that cremation, because of its foundation in ancient ritual religions, doesn’t fit with Paul’s theology of the body. One main reason for this is that our bodies are a Temple of the Holy Spirit therefore, we should treat our bodies with respect and dignity. This is where John Piper lands and here’s a podcast about that.
Now, it’s probably obvious from this, where I land. I’m a burial guy. It’s interesting that before I moved to Oregon, I never did a funeral for a cremated body. When I came to Oregon, it was the norm. I think (personal opinion) is because the Bible Belt that I grew up in, saw burial as the biblical norm. I’ve been challenged (in a good way) since moving to Oregon to think through how I see this. I’ve got great friends (like our elders), who disagree with me on this. But it is a good and a hard question.
From the Cheap Seats:
- Please MLB and MLBPA, come up with a plan to get baseball going.
- Roseburg summer baseball at Legion Field (One Champion) is coming back! There will be limited seating, but the young men are going to be able to play!
- Also, we’re doing a very interesting thing for summer baseball. All local high schools will field a team and we’ll play a “league” at Legion Field (One Champion)…we hope to begin on June 22nd.
- And this is hot off the press…we are confirmed for Church Services at Legion Field for June 28th! Get your game face on:)! We’re looking at 2 services with up to 250 people/service at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. We’ll keep you posted!