With the winds of change blowing so fast, we have to address the challenges to the Scriptural mandates as they appear on the present scene. Before the latest turn-around by the Boy Scouts who now receive openly gay leaders, the California Supreme Court had issued an edict barring all judges in the state system from being Boy Scout volunteers. However, in that decision, it was stated that “there is one final exception recognized by the court in terms of judges in the California system who belong to a discriminatory organization: ‘Religious organizations,’ which means church.” Within two years the Boy Scouts went from totally closed to totally open to homosexuals. Such was the pressure that was applied. Yes, the pressure is great. Can the church really expect not to be challenged? Consider the following.
From the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLI), we find they are engaged in many cases representing Christians in court. “One state college rejected a Christian student saying the medical ‘field is not the place for religion,’ and saying the student’s reliance on ‘God’ and ‘religious beliefs’ for wanting to serve others is not a ‘concrete reason.’” In another case a student was denied admission because he “brought up religion.” One university student was expelled for her faith, another was told to defile the name of Jesus, and another was failed for refusing to agree that Christianity is false.” These are from the ACL. These are real court cases.
Christian organizations are not exempt either. The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship groups have been dismissed from all the campuses of the California State University system. Why? “Because it holds to a radical proposal: That is, the student leaders of the Christian ministry ought to be Christian.” The idea that Christians should lead a Christian ministry….so appalling, the nerve!
Folks, this is not where we are headed. This is where we are. Can you imagine the pressure to come upon churches that hold that there is only one way to heaven and that is through faith in Jesus Christ alone? The true church will never give up this fact. So, Christian, strap yourself in the Holy Spirit and hold on. The ride of faith promises to be exciting. — Ben
Saturday, August 8th from 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Aldersgate UMC (Celanese Road across from the Mayflower Restaurant)
All Children who are scheduled to attend school in the fall, PK – 6th grade (ages 4-12)
Dinner, games, crafts, music, stories, blessing of our backpacks, and a movie
Please help spread the word and invite the children in your neighborhood.
Registration and/or questions: Kay Runyans, email@example.com
Sermon: Loving Our Neighbor
Dr. Bill CLick
Anthem: Forever And A Day
AUMC Chancel Choir
Violin: Faith Nyberg
We rejoice in God and thank Him for the freedoms we have as a nation. As such, we are free to be and do as we wish within the ability of ourselves to provide the means. However, monetary limitations are not the only limitations that need to be firmly in place as a guard against our freedom destroying us. But some would argue that freedom with limits is not freedom at all. To the contrary, freedom without limits is self-destructive. The question is from where these limitations should come and there still be freedom.
Some would say that is the place of government. Officials freely elected by a free citizenry can be trusted to impose restrictions as they deem necessary to insure our safety in our freedom; in other words, to protect us from ourselves. I imagine the divine rights of kings might have been inculcated upon Christendom by just such a philosophy. In any case, it proved to be very oppressive. “Power corrupts….”
Our founding fathers truly believed that in the words of Christ were found a basis upon which a people, with minimal outward restrictions, could exercise awesome freedoms without falling into the self-destruction of moral licentiousness. “If you abide in My word you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,” Jesus said. Free, yes; but we are not cut loose from godly instruction. Free, but limited by that which is within us, not that which is imposed upon us by human devises. A dependence upon God to be the Limiter of our freedoms by His Holy Spirit within us and His word to guide us, is that which enables freedom without self-destruction. Our forefathers, whether Christian, deist, theist, or agnostic, all looked to the Bible as the source of good, moral instruction for society, in spite of their own personal shortcomings.
Freedom’s great responsibility is that a truly free people, as a whole, practice self-control in all areas of life, and not give themselves to every whim of desire. They take as a standard, not the changing mores of sinful man, but the loving instruction of Christ whose word sets them free indeed. Enjoy your freedom. It is God’s good gift to those who follow Him. — Ben
Sermon: How Do We Fare?
Rev. Ben Herlong
Sermon: Family Rewards
Rev. Ben Herlong