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Showing posts from September, 2008

The Church, Truth, and Relevance

“The church, if she is to remain the church, must remain out of step with common culture and its morality…A church that alters the Christian message in order to attract people soon blends in with her surroundings and is no longer distinguishable from the world.”—Dr. David Scaer

A pressing question that faces the church of every generation since Christ is how to reach people around us with the Gospel, in an ever-changing world. While at different points in history the morality of culture has been either closer to or further from the Bible, the church can never really be “in step” with the culture around us. In other words, our morals cannot conform to the world, or else we would become indistinguishable from the world. Jesus declares the distinctiveness of the church in His prayer for believers: “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you kee…

Sermon on Matthew 21:28-32 for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, "Which one did the Father's will?"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is the Gospel reading, from Matthew 21. Today Jesus tells a simple parable to show who it is that does the will of His Father, and who doesn’t. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

In this parable of two sons, one says “I will not!”, and the other says “I will, Lord!” to their father’s will. Yet the unwilling son later regretted it, and went back to do his father’s will. The second son, who politely agreed to do his father’s will, never ended up doing it. Both started by saying one thing, and ended up doing the opposite. Their first intentions didn’t match with their final actions. Which son will you prove to be?

Jesus’ parable aimed to upset the comfortable complacency of the religious people of His day. They were like the son that said “I will!”, but never did the father’s will. The Pharisees, the priests, scribes, teachers…