Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sun. Sep. 11, 2011 (J. Evan Kreider)

Evan Kreider spoke on the Romans 14 text about those “weak in the faith,” noting that all religious groups have someone who fits this category. Paul uses the example of not eating meat to discuss Christian behaviour and sin. The key point is not to judge: we are servants of God and of one another; it is God who will do the judging. Paul stresses thinking things through carefully and respecting others: debate the idea, don’t judge the person. As the new student community is being formed at MSC, there will be differing points of view on issues like money, sexuality, etc. It is important to listen to other points of view, and sometimes to agree to disagree. Issues (like gender orientation) tear churches and conferences apart; in Paul’s day it was the meat-eating issue. Eating non-kosher meat was elevated to the realm of sin. The meat/circumcision issues were brought to the Jerusalem council – both sides thought they were right – and there was no middle ground. They agreed to disagree and to not divide the church. Evan noted that our understanding of human behaviour has changed - 200 years ago slavery was accepted by many churches. Church leaders do not have good record when judging others. The body of Christ is a living organism that demands diversity, love and unity. Strong believers are those open to discussion, willing to discuss differing points of view, and to keep the discussion going. Fundamentalists are convinced there is nothing to discuss. We need to practice listening to other points of view and to take off our judge’s robes and leave them at the cross. (HN)

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, September 11th, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



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