Monday, October 12, 2009

Sermon Snippets

Back in 1998 after I graduated from college, I went to live near Inverness for a while - in a little town called Fortrose, I lived with my younger brother and his wife, and we lived above a fish and chip shop. While there I attended the Inverness Christian Fellowship, and one Sunday was asked to preach.

The sermon that I preached was one of the bits of paper I found lying about the other day, I thought I would share a few snippets from that sermon with you, and also my reaction to it in the present. I always preferred an exegetical approach to preaching, rather than themes or character studies, my text for that sermon was Philippians 2:5-8, which reads:

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!"
Some thoughts then from that sermon:
"Christian 'holiness' doesn't consist of a set of exterior rules, or the shade of doctrine one ascribes to. The Calvinist is no better than the Arminian; the Pentecostal preacher no closer to God than the Orthodox priest. True Christian holiness is born in the heart, in having a Christ-like mindset"
This is some that that I still believe to this day, simply we are all equal before God - not one of us is any closer to him than any other. Our theologies are our intellectual constructions in an attempt to understand what the ancients wrote about God. I don't believe it is possible to systemise the Bible, as such we have to accept that our interpretations are simply that, interpretations and not divine truth in and of themselves, thus we have to be humble in our dealings with Christians with other interpretations, and accept that they have things to teach us.
"As Christians we do not have a Bill of Rights, we are under a convenant of grace - everything we have comes to us out of God's grace."
I really have a problem with Christians who bang on about their "rights in Christ", seriously, who are they kidding? Clearly themselves and the gulliable. Grace is the key and the heart of the Christian religion, there is nothing we can do or claim on the basis of our faith which in any way shape or form can influence God. As my old pastor used to say "dead men don't have rights".
"As Christians we should expect no thanks, no reward and even no pay for the work we do in the Kingdom, because the Kingdom itself is our reward."
I am sure this will go down like a lead balloon, but I have a major problem with what I term "professional Christians" - a term I don't apply generally to pastors and missionaries, but most certainly do to the superstar worship leaders (given that worship is a lifestyle not a sing song, perhaps that is a term that really needs to be considered fully elsewhere). I also find it interesting that nowhere in the gospels does Jesus call people to leadership, he calls them to followship (no that isn't a typo) and service.
Just some thoughts, feel free to bring in the Inquisition if necessary!

1 comment:

Cristi said...

Missed you great 'ramblings'...liking it