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Disagreeing with Grace

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I’m writing this on Memorial Day.  Like many of you, we will enjoy the day of rest, eat good food, and have family over for a BBQ.  It’s the official start of summer, and outdoor weather is here.  But today, my mind is drawn to another year of great freedoms in our great country.  I thank God for those who served in the military and your friends who gave their lives for our freedoms. Those freedoms should never be taken lightly; we should be grateful for them and the sacrifices paid to earn them.  God has been kind to us, and one of the great gifts He’s given us is the nation in which we live.  

Recap of the last Two Weeks

I have been away from church for two weeks for different reasons.  

The weekend of May 17-19, Jill and I were in Hastings, Nebraska, to serve our sister church, Grace Life Church.  Chad Haygood leads GLC, and he has a wonderful wife, Meredith, and four great kids. It was our first time in Hastings, and we had a blast.  Hastings is much like Roseburg—a county seat of around 25,000 people, with farming and ranching as their primary industries.  We felt right at home.  We visited with people who were 4th and 5th-generation Hastings-ites who love their church and their town.  The marriage seminar was on Saturday morning, and the GLC people were eager to learn and apply God’s word.  Jill and I enjoyed getting to know many young families.  Sunday morning was a sweet fellowship and service.  It was like being home at CLF.  

Two things about GLC built my faith.  A couple of years ago, they purchased an 84,000 sq. ft building from the local YMCA.  They got an incredible deal on that place and have been meeting in a portion of that building for Sunday services since Christmas Eve, 2023.  This gave me fresh faith in what the Lord is doing among us at CLF and our need/desire for a new building.  Watching Chad and his young leaders serve their church was the other thing that built my faith.  These brothers love the Lord, their families, and GLC.  They have a joyful heart for their community and long to see Jesus glorified.  I was deeply affected by what we saw there.  

This past Sunday was a completely different “ministry” opportunity.  As most of you know, I coach varsity baseball at Umpqua Valley Christian School.  I’m in my 25th year of coaching at UVC.  One of the benefits of being a tenured head coach is the opportunity to represent our league at the State level.  On Sunday (every year on Memorial Day Sunday), the State’s All-State meeting is held in Mt. Angel, Oregon.  I go there to serve our league by representing them at this meeting.  I’m in a meeting from 10:00-2:00, where we evaluate players for All-State recognition.  It’s a fantastic thing to do for the baseball nut in me. I’m grateful that our league has trusted me to do this for many years, and I’m thankful that my elders see this as a part of my gifts and interests.  

Learning to Disagree with Grace

One of the lost arts in our culture is the ability to disagree and treat each other with respect.  This is a necessary trait to consider in an election year.  You will watch debates and read online strife, and you’ll see the opposite of this.  

Recently (maybe you’ve heard), Harrison Butker, the kicker from the Kansas City Chiefs, gave a commencement address at a Catholic University.  Harrison is a strong Catholic and a devoted husband and father.  He commented about a woman’s role and joy that the media captured and obliterated him for.  You can read or watch his commencement speech here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JS7RIKSaCc.  He encouraged female graduates to find joy in being wives, homemakers, and moms, not just in pursuing a career.  There are things in his speech that I would agree with and some I might not line up with.  But that’s not the point.  The media had a field day with this speech.  

Then, the media did what they did.  They sought out division and tried to divide him from his teammates.  Now, I want to be clear that when the media does this, they are being a tool of Satan because Satan wants to divide and destroy people.   However, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, the two most prominent members of the Chiefs, did something different.  Rather than dividing with Butker, they said that while they might disagree with some of his comments, they knew the character of the man that Harrison is.  They would not bite on the temptation to castigate him.  You can read or watch Mahomes comments here:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBhjMbJbcA and Kelce’s comments here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9G_CjGhW5c.  

Christians need to learn this trait.  We should know how to disagree with people with grace.  Of all the people who believe that the truth wins the day, we can speak the truth without being angry, unkind, or vindictive.  I think this is why Paul told pastors in 1-2 Timothy and Titus to be peaceable, gentle, and able to treat people who disagree with respect.  I think this is why Peter said that we should treat others with gentleness and respect.  

Looking Ahead

This coming Sunday, we will study 1 Peter 1:3-9 and learn about being guarded by God and tested by trials.  I’m looking forward to being in the pulpit this week. Don’t forget that our church service is at One Champion Field this coming Sunday at 10:00.  Lord willing, it will be a nice day!             

From the Cheap Seats

To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.

Have a great week! Christ is King!

In Christ, 

Dave York

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