Sunday was one of the smoother Sundays for us, since we started the re-opening. There was a great spirit at church and many remarked about how great it was to be back in the building. We agree. As Dave Quilla has said often…those of us doing the services each Sunday get to see 75 people each week. It’s been awesome.
One of the list of sins:
I said this throughout the day on Sunday, but when we read 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, our eyes get stuck on the sexual immorality sins. But we have to keep in mind that all of these sins are immoral. Now, the reason why I said that so often on Sunday is because for the normal Christian, the homosexual sins are the ones that we “bang” on. But if we’re not careful, we will minimize the fact that homosexuality is just as dangerous to the soul as greed. Yet, because greed is culturally accepted, we don’t see it as a big deal. This will help you, when you are ministering to an adulterer or homosexual. Often these folks feel ostracized by the Church or condemned by our attempts to witness to them. While we want them to see their sin as sinful, we also want to make it clear: we as humans sin, because we are sinful…this means their homosexuality does not make them more sinful…they’re a homosexual because they’re sinful. And this is true for every sin listed. I was unrighteously controlled by anger as a young man because I was sinful…when I got angry, it just revealed that truth.
Such were some of you:
Notice the word “some” here. This God’s way of saying to us that there are “others” besides the “some” in the church who claim Christ, but are not in Christ. This is a serious point of emphasis that we need to take to heart. Friend, listen, there are way too many verses in God’s word for us to ignore. We cannot willful, rebelliously, and habitually give ourselves to sin and still claim Jesus as our Savior and King. The Holy Spirit would be all over us about this and God’s loving discipline would take us to task. This is different than being “caught” in sin or “tripping up” in sin. For instance, one can have a momentary lapse of moral judgment, feel bad about it, turn to Jesus for help, and still be in Christ. But, if that same person has the same moral lapse…continually…without any piercing from the Holy Spirit, they should check themselves to see if they are in the faith. Now, if you find yourself trapped in sin or you keep seeing the same sin popping up in your life, please reach out for help. It’s too important to ignore.
You were washed, sanctified, and justified:
These were the hopeful gospel words to us in this text. And they are powerful. These words indicate a past work of Christ in us, that helps us presently, and guarantees His help in the future. But these words also show us that God worked, is working, and will work to empower us to change. We can obey God by the power of God. This is not based on sheer willpower or mental fortitude…this is based on the promise of the gospel.
By now, many of you have seen the video of George Floyd being arrested and you’ve seen the subsequent riots that have happened because of his death during his arrest. I didn’t say much about this on Sunday, because I want to be intentional about what I write. So, here are few thoughts:
- First, let me say this at the outset. I know a lot of really good police officers. The ones who are the most disgusted by bad officers, are good officers. I’m saddened that the good that these people do, everyday, gets overlooked by something like this. And they are forced to be on the front lines of dealing with people who blame them for such things. It’s not right. These people deserve our respect, our prayers, and our protection.
- Second, from what I saw on the video (and only what I saw), this was a despicable act by a bad officer. Again, I don’t know all the details, but this was an awful act that deserves outrage and justice. I’m glad that the officer was fired and taken into custody and charged with murder and manslaughter. And we should feel this way if it was a black officer doing this to a Hispanic or a white officer doing this to a white person. This should not be tolerated.
- Third, the rioting that is happening, deserves justice as well. It’s one thing to call for change, protest at the precinct, family of Mr. Floyd pressing charges, and calling for all manners of government to come down on this…it’s an entirely different thing to burn a police precinct, business, and city buildings; tear up local shops and businesses; and steal from others, in the name of Mr. Floyd. In fact, this would dishonor his name.
- Fourth, I’ve tried to read and study others in this area, whom I might disagree with. But one thing that does stick out to me from those I really respect. Growing up as a white male, I never one time feared being harassed by a police officer. I had a close friend, who was white, who was harassed by an officer and It made him cringe at times when he saw the police. But many of the books I’ve read have spoken of this issue for our black friends. Many spoke of how they were worried every time they were pulled over for routine traffic stops. While it’s not a situation that I can empathize with, I’m praying that the Lord would make me feel the appropriate empathy where needed. And let me add to this: there is such a thing as reverse racism that very rarely gets discussed. I realize that and I’ve experienced that, more than the other. Racial reconciliation will not come from elevating one race above the other. It will come when we see each as made in the image of God and respect each other because of it.
- Fifth, the Church of Jesus needs to be a place where racial divides come down through the power of Jesus. But here’s a concern I’ve had…when we “focus” on one issue, we have a tendency to miss a whole slew of other issues. Wouldn’t Christ call us to “love one another”, not merely deal with racial divides? Loving one another because we’re made in the image of God is a higher calling than merely working towards racial reconciliation. Racial reconciliation is a byproduct of Christian love on full display.
- Finally, if Jesus can reconcile us to Himself (even though we were vile enemies), and He can reconcile Jews and Gentiles into one new family…isn’t the racial divide we see in our world something that Jesus can change? It’s not nearly as nasty as our war with God.
From the Cheap Seats:
- June 17, the English Premier League is back in action.
- I’m really hoping that MLB and their players can come to an agreement. From all indications, as always, it’s about money. I get it. But man I want to see my Rangers open their new ballpark. This was an awesome video about that stadium: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpbIdl1jl3g&t=0s
- Still holding out hope for summer baseball.
- Finally, we’re hoping this coming Sunday, we can open church services to more than 25 people. We will know more on Thursday. We will send out a link to open registration, as soon as we hear anything. We’re making plans by understanding our “max capacity”; prepping the registration links; and working through the potential guidelines. Hope to see you all soon.