Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sept. 14, 2008 (Ken Friesen)

We welcomed students to the Menno Simons Centre for the new school year. Ken Friesen, Chair of the Pacific Centre for Discipleship, spoke about living in Christian community. In Romans 14 St. Paul focuses on the weak and the strong in the early church. Ken noted that the church of Paul’s day was new and too young to have many established traditions. Today, as in Biblical times it’s easy for issues, even seemingly (to us) trivial issues, like sports on Sundays, can divide a church. Ken used an example from his law practice of a dispute within a local church that seems irresolvable and reflects a problem within the worldwide Ethiopian Orthodox church regarding which patriarch to follow. Despite reconciliation efforts the matter is not resolved and affects many churches. Ken noted that as judgmental behaviour develops hatred is fostered and outsiders wonder why anyone would want to be involved with the church. Ken focused on the dangers of judging based on human desire to define God, to place God in a box - and we think we know what the box should look like. God will judge and will do so by God’s standards, not by ours. Christians can be more effective as peacemakers than as judges; if we judge, we better be right, because we’ll be judged by the same standards. (HN) Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday Sept. 14th, 2008 using your browser's preferred media player.



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