Monday, February 16, 2015

10 Words For Today: Life and Death Matters

As part of a series on the 10 Commandments, I posted this sermon dealing with the 6th Commandment: you shall not murder.

Turpin United Methodist Church Sermon, Life and Death Matters

I want to offer up a couple of comments if you decide to watch:
1. There are some potentially offensive comments in this sermon. They are not offensive to persons directly. They are, however, potentially offensive to political opinions, choices that have been made in the past, and lifestyle choices. This sermon was not directed at anyone in particular. It was not meant to attack anyone's past or present choices. But I realize that it was hurtful to some. And it may be hurtful to still more who choose to listen to it.

2. If you don't like "shouting" style sermons, then pass this one up. When I am passionate about something, I raise my voice. I was not angry at any point of this sermon. My passion about the subject matter is great. I realize that some think that shouting preachers are a cliche or old fashioned and have no place in modern, civilized churches. I don't apologize for my style. I won't feel embarrassed for my passion for the gospel or the Lord I claim.

3. There is a point where a comment was made by a member of the congregation. It was a lighthearted comment that was intended in good spirit. The person who made the comment is someone very precious to me. I was not angry or disappointed or offended with her. She and I have the type of relationship where the comment would have been very appropriate if the tone of the sermon were different. I have approached the person and we are good.

4. This is a sermon about an ideal. It is not a sermon that expects the reality to develop today. It is what the kingdom of God looks like, in my opinion. It is also a reflection upon where the church was in the beginning. There are plenty of revisionist histories of Christianity that want to claim that followers of Christ have been militaristic, violent, and destructive from the beginning. That is not the case. The New Testament and the first 250 years of the church experience shows considerable evidence that violence in any form was never appropriate for Christians.

5. You are free to disagree with me. You are free to challenge me on something you feel may be in error. But I ask that any disagreement or challenge be handled in a respectful way. I will not delete any comments, even if they do not show respect to myself, my professional opinion, or others. But I ask you to think about your comment before hitting "Comment".