Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thoughts on Orlando

Below is a couple of points from my sermon this coming Sunday.  I needed to acknowledge how the teaching of Jesus in John 15 and 16 fit with tragedy that occurred last Sunday.

"The tragedy in Orlando last week is clear evidence as to why the world hates Christians for as Christians we can condemn the mass killing of people by the actions of a lone gunman or a group of terrorists and we can also condemn sodomy while our culture tells us to that to do so is to side with the terrorists.  But our culture is folding in on itself when it tries to embrace Islam as a peaceful religion and embrace the homosexual lifestyle as normal for the reality is that the former has already condemned the latter and that will not change.  And the Christian faith stands back away from it all and says that all need to repent and come to cross and find forgiveness.  The culture hates that because it wants all sexual behavior to be normalized and it wants all religions, except Christianity, to get along.  And when these things do not happen the devil convinces the culture that the Christian faith and thus the Christian Church is at fault.  Such was the case when the Roman culture began to crumble and such is the case today as the American culture crumbles."

"Although the teaching of Jesus in John 15 and 16 had immediate and specific application to the Apostles, the same principles apply to Christians of all cultures and all eras.  In our culture and era we experience temptations toward fear as acts of terror occur more frequently and heinously and the media intensifies its coverage of said acts from every possible angle of blame they can come up with.  These two ingredients can make it seem as though the world is crumbling around us.   Thus we are tempted to shut our doors and windows and stay home hoping that the world does not come into our lives.  But that is not what the Apostles did.  They went out and they spoke up.  And that is what Jesus has told all of his followers to do.  Did you notice that in the descriptions I gave of the Apostle’s who were martyred that many of them were martyred outside of Jerusalem having traveled as far East as India and as far West as Europe.  They did so knowing these words Jesus spoke to them.  The world would hate them, persecute them and kill them.  Beloved we should not need the guilt of Jesus walking past us out of our homes into the world why we are going into our homes to shut our doors and windows so that the dangers in the world cannot reach us."

"Yes, the world can be a dangerous and scary place because there are evil people who have made themselves tools of the devil.  Yes, when we speak the truth of the gospel in that same world we make ourselves a target of evil people.  But St. Paul’s words “To die is gain and to live is Christ” are to ring true to us if we call ourselves 'Christian.'"