Thursday, July 19, 2007

Three Square Meals -- Spiritually Speaking

"Part of the problem in our modern society is an absence of personal responsibility. We are all aware of the person who sued a fast food restaurant because the coffee was too hot.

And we have also all heard how restaurants and junk food producers are to blame for obesity in America. As if they are forcing us to eat, or overeat.

Or how about the crying over high gas prices, all while we drive “mileage-challenged” trucks, vans, and SUV’s?

But has that same lack of personal responsibility crept into the church?

From Destination God, my elder son's personal ministry website, comes this timely and extremely pertinent discourse on life in these United States (and the world at large!).

"Many times people will leave churches because they claim they are not “being fed”. That there is not enough “meat” in the sermons.

Some people leave a church because the Bible studies and small groups are not “deep enough”. Again, not enough meat. They are not being fed."

Can that be said of our sermons, of your sermons? Is there enough substance of the Savior in Sunday's homilies to whet the appetite of a seeker...and are not we all seekers? Are any of us justified, are any righteous?

I was told once, by a bishop who shall remain unnamed, that I was too 'pentecostal' to ever be able to minister in the Episcopal Church. I actually take that as a positive comment, because I have heard him 'preach' on several occasions, and there was no life in it.

To flip the coin, I was also told by a leader in the Church of God in Tampa, where I ministered for four years, that I was still too much of an Episcopalian to preach in the Church of God. Well, I took that as a compliment also.

Perhaps now that I am an Anglican priest, and an 'evangelical Anglo-catholic' at that, neither of these comments can apply, since I am neither one or the other; but, my preaching has not changed in over thirty years of ministry! I still and did always, preach Christ and Him crucified for us, to save us from the effects of our sins.

Yes, I know, it should be 'from our sins', but the effect upon us of a sinful and unrepentant lifestyle has only one end...eternal separation from the presence and peace of God...known for centuries as hell until the 'new theological revolution' took control in TEC and other mainline churches in the mid twentieth century!

And, yes, today there are many liturgical clergy and leaders who deny the existence of hell (and heaven), that they are merely allegories to reinforce a point of 'living good', being 'inclusive', since
"God really is not going to make anybody go to THAT PLACE, is He?"
Scripture has only one admonition for you, if you find yourself being 'fed' such (or feeding such), "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you..." II Cor 6.17,18.

Read all of Tim's piece, and apply it to your exhortations and congregations, and see if your efforts measure up. And if you appreciate his web page, let him know it.

Amen, kyrie eleison.

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