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Showing posts from November, 2006

Two Sermons -- Nov. 12 & 19

I was lazy and forgetful last week -- so here are two sermons at once -- a two-part series from the Book of Esther. Your feedback is usually appreciated.

When God is Silent
Esther 1:9-2:18
November 12, 2006

I hear the same questions in my office all the time. “Where was God?” “How could any God let this happen?” I look into eyes that are overflowing with pain and confusion and grief and rage - and they demand an answer. Why a holocaust, God? Why cancer? Why do few get fed while many more go hungry? Why do you allow people to suffer, God? Why September 11? Why were thousands of innocent men, women, and children were destroyed in senseless acts of violence. And for everyone who died in that attack, why do dozens more die throughout the world because of the terrorist whims of evil people?

Then there are the events that hit us in the gut–the personal events that cause us to questions God. People come to me and want to know WHY God didn’t protect them from the assaultive father, the molesting u…

Sermon for November 5, 2006

Whose Side is God On?
Luke 4:16-21

“If you’re a rock worshiper and a tree-hugger and an animal-rights activist and an anti-war draft dodger, you might want to stay home and tune in to NPR on the radio because you ain’t going to have a good time [here this morning] you ain’t a flag-waving, Bible-waving American.”

Can I get an "Amen"? Anybody?

Those remarks come from the Rev. Jeff Fugate, a southern Baptist minister from Kentucky who has trying to get his congregation psyched up about an upcoming religious rally. Fugate’s “I Love America” sermon lived up to his billing. At the July 2 event -- which cost his church more than $50,000 to stage -- Fugate criticized liberals, homosexuals, cross-dressers, HBO, Hollywood stars, rock musicians and the U.S. Supreme Court, as thousands applauded. He told non-Christian immigrants to “leave your religions, your Bibles, all the other things back where you came from.” How did it become possible to say that to be a follower of Jesus is to be a f…

Sermon for October 29, 2006 -- Reformation Sunday

Unforgivable Sin
Genesis 45:1-28

Is there a sin that’s so bad that it’s unforgivable? Is there be a betrayal so treacherous that God would refuse to pardon it? Murder? Suicide? Adultery? Will God forgive the perpetrators? Has any one ever done something to you that was unforgivable? Has anyone ever shown such deep disloyalty to you that the very thought of that person makes you sick?

If anyone could have felt that way, it could have been Martin Luther King Jr. One night, his home was burned down by a group of white men who hated his message about racial equality and the black voter initiative in the south. Under the leadership of Dr. King, African-Americans grew more confident of themselves, less willing to be oppressed and neglected by society. And they were angry -- angry about their treatment by white society. They were particularly angry on the night that their leader’s home was destroyed. A crowd of Dr. King’s friends and supporters gathered. Some talked about getting guns. Others t…