Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday Morning Gaffs and Blunders

Those folks who know me personally also know how seriously I take the delivery of God's word on Sunday mornings. I typically spend about 20 hours of hard study and writing preparing for the sermon. The actual total time spent is far greater because, if you've ever had the opportunity to preach, you know how you carry the passage and material around with you all week long, meditating on it and rolling it over in your mind and your heart until you are reasonably sure you have a handle on what God intends to say to us on Sunday.

All in all, it is a very humbling experience as you swiftly arrive at the conclusion that speaking for God is a daunting task and cannot be accomplished without His leading and His presence. Needless to say, prayer is an integral and necessary part of the whole process. Every step of the way must be bathed in prayer, mine and the prayers of those who intercede for Kelly and me as well.

All that being said, times still arise when I fumble the ball or step out of line. Last Sunday was one of those times.

I was developing a point about our sin nature, speaking out of Genesis 1 and said that "God never proclaims man to be good. He proclaims everything good up until the creation of man (Gen 1:1-26)." My statements were wrong. In fact, God does proclaim all of creation to be "very good" in Gen 1:31. This proclamation obviously would include Adam and Eve.

Furthermore, as I was attempting to make the same point, I said that "...we will always sin, that we will always decide wrongly." I definitely could have found a less confusing and more clear way to say, "We all will invariably sin." That was the gist of what I was trying to get at.

I pray that no one was distracted from the main message Sunday morning, that we are all sinners unable to rescue ourselves and in need of a Savior.

It's embarrassing when we make mistakes. I don't like being embarrassed but I'd much rather embarrass myself that impugn the Word of God or cause someone to stumble. I ask for forgiveness if that has occurred in any way. One of the things I am passionate about is bringing clarity and accuracy to the Scriptures. In these two points, I had neither.

There are some other areas of doctrine that I covered Sunday that not everyone will agree on. This is inevitable when we begin talking about original sin and the fallen nature of man. I respect the opinion of others and enjoy the dialogue when we disagree on matters that have been debated for hundreds if not thousands of years without firm resolution. I pray that we all can come to the point that we have the same type of consideration for each other's opinions on certain issues the Scriptures are less clear about (the debate over election comes to mind as does the ongoing discusssion over how sin originated). One of the slogans of the Evangelical Free church has been, "Unity on the essentials and charity on the non-essentials"; a great philosophy to follow.

God has been moving mightily among us. The teaching we have gained from 1 Corinthians has been impacting our church, the lives of our members and my life as well. I praise God for that and I thank Him for leading us through all this. I pray that He will be honored in all we do together and in the ministry that flows from WBF.

1 comment:

  1. John - I truly appreciate your passion for dealing truthfully with the word; and your humility - both of which are demonstrated in this posting. Most of all, I appreciate the fact that God left us with a body of truth: 'true truth' as Francis Schaeffer called it. That is an inestimable gift. So much the more in our Post-Modern world, where there supposedly is no such thing.

    Wayne Y.