In this sermon, Pastor Neil speaks on “A House Divided”– our nation– and how the church should be a picture of what the Kingdom of God looks like. Here are some excerpts:

America– A House Divided

America is a house divided– deeply divided. More deeply divided than ever, it may seem. We find ourselves embroiled in a very uncivil war, at times pitting Republicans against Democrats, cultural conservatives against liberals, blacks against whites, women against men, immigrants against“native” Americans (meaning, persons born in America or to parent(s) holding U. S. citizenship), the 1 percent against the 99 percent, and the religious against the non-religious (or anti-religious).

An Example: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

The most recent evidence of this divide, of course, is the ugly spectacle of the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Judge – now Justice – Brett Kavanaugh…

There are times when we must make judgments about people and situations and accusations, but we must always make our judgments with charity in our hearts, on the basis of the facts,not on the basis of emotion or as part of a strategy for political gain. You don’t have to believe Dr. Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh in order to have compassion for her. You don’t have to believe this accusation in order to believe that she has been the victim of sexual assault at some point in her life. Nor does questioning her allegation against Judge Kavanaugh mean you do not take the evil of sexual assault seriously. It should be our goal to see Dr. Ford – and Judge Kavanaugh – through the eyes of Jesus…

The Church: A Picture of the Kingdom of God

The church is meant to give the world a picture of what the kingdom of God looks like. To paraphrase Eugene Peterson from his memoir, The Pastor, the church is “a colony of heaven” in a world of estrangement, of moral and spiritual darkness. “Church,” he says, “is a core element in the strategy of the Holy Spirit for providing human witness and physical presence to the Jesus-inaugurated kingdom of God in this world” (The Pastor, 110). Our mission is to give the world a picture, a taste of what life is like in the kingdom of God, and to invite others– whosoever will – to join us as citizens of this kingdom.

The Confirmation Process vs. The Church: Two Different Pictures

The confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh has given us a picture of our government at its worst. The church, on the other hand, is to present a very different picture – a picture of grace, a picture of love, a picture of humility, a picture of repentance and forgiveness, a picture of truth unchanging, a picture of compassion and respect for every person, a picture of unity in faith, a picture of mutual reliance on the saving grace and redeeming love of Jesus Christ that produces love for and harmony with one another…

October 7, 2018

Luke 11:14-20

Dr. Neil Smith

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