Friday, July 02, 2004

New sermons 

The last two sermons are posted. They are on the ministry of the deacon Philip. The first, "Another Kind of Opposition", talks about the opposition the church has faced from within, the opposition of the opportunist and infiltrator. An excerpt:
A smart man recognizes opportunity when he sees it, and there is much opportunity in Christianity. There always has been. The Apostles had attained a great deal of power over the lives, attitudes and property of a great many people in a very short period of time, and the potential for abuse was immense. The average person within the church is vulnerable to this kind of abuse to a certain degree, although knowledge of true doctrine and practice will be a defense against this. But there are many within the church willing to be fooled by appealing-sounding doctrines and enticing words, and there are always men ready to take advantage of such people. We might wish to dismiss such people to their fate, but the challenge for the whole church is that true Christianity can thus become difficult to distinguish from false, especially to the uneducated and those on the outside, and the name of Christ is brought into disrepute and the enemies of God are given cause to mock the church.
Christians must be humble and loving in all things. We must always remember that. We must be loving and humble even when confronting heresy. But we do have the knowledge to recognize false teaching and false teachers, and we have the authority to keep it out of our churches. We cannot allow false notions of Christian charity or non-judgmentalism to prevent us from standing up for truth and attacking heresy, even if it costs us financially, as it did the Apostles here, or even if it costs us far more. We must fear the one that can cast both body and soul into hell, and that one has tasked us with guarding the purity of the church, as much as our great limitations will allow. And this is not just a job for the leadership of the church, but for every member of the body.

The second sermon is on the subject of Philip's encounter with the Ethiopian Eunich and addresses the topic of evangelism. I discuss what the difference between evangelism and apologetics is, and when one or the other is appropriate. I also talk about what the example of Philip tells us about what the goals of the evangelist are, and how he accomplishes them.

The "Sermons" link is on the sidebar.

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