Thank you so much for your active interest during the LONG sermon this past Sunday as we closed our discussion of Romans 14:1-15:7. I appreciate your encouragement to me personally, your desire to study the Bible and its message for us today, and your willingness to be challenged by God’s Word. Some may be interested in looking at the whole article from which I quoted some excerpts during this sermon. Here is a link to “A Brief History of the One-Cup and Non-Sunday School Movement” by Dallas R. Burdette.
Last week we mentioned our college students that are going away from us for awhile. This week I want to say a healthy and happy hello to those who are back with us for the school year!! And of course also a happy hello again to all our own members who are with us on a more consistent basis once the local schools are back in session.
Interestingly enough, our elders, deacons, and other ministry leaders do not plan our budget on a 40-week year, excluding those Sundays that happen to fall on the weeks that a lot of us are on vacation. We are glad to see our members enjoying time together as a family, or simply time away for recreation and renewal. But please, make up your contribution for those Sundays that you missed. Our church does so much good, in so many ways. Thank you so much for being a part of that.
In the sermon Sunday I quoted from Randy Harris’ book, God Work. Here’s another excerpt:
Doctrine must not be separated from our story and our lives…The operative passage is Deuteronomy 6…So when someone asks you, “What is the meaning of the statutes of the Lord?” tell them the story. In thinking about how doctrinal commitments are connected to our story, consider a doctrine very dear to us: baptism. Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins is one of our better understandings. The only people who haven’t thought that baptism was essential have been Evangelicals on American soil…We went wrong with our doctrine of baptism when we disconnected it from our broader story of who we are as people of God. Baptism is so wonderful because you not only hear the gospel, you see and experience the gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than nice language, it is a story being played out in front of us. Keep returning to the story. This is particularly important with young people who do not think linearly, but are quite taken by stories. Just because they don’t think in the same sequential argumentative way that we do doesn’t mean doctrine is out the door. It just means that we must reconnect doctrine to the story. They’ll hear it.