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Freedom Of Religion

Sermon Text – 01.21.2018
 
[Luke 19:1-10 and John 8:1-11]
 

          This is a book called “Jesus Freaks, Volume 2” put together by a group called Voice Of the Martyrs alongside a band named DC Talk. They were a big deal in the 90’s. It’s a collection of stories of people who were killed for their faith. I wanted to read part of a story. The story is true, but they change the names to protect the families. It comes out of North Korea in 2001, about a young man named “Kim.”

    
      [read p20] – that young boy gave his life to Jesus that night, and his brothers did the same. He grew up and became a smuggler – bringing bibles illegally into North Korea – that’s how his story got told. You ever read a story, and just weep because you’re so thankful you live in America? We got problems, yeah – but not like this. The Constitution of the United States of America reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assembly, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Simply put – America has freedom of religion. Praise God. But it’s not all good news is it? Freedom of Religion is a VERY tricky concept.
   
       Today is part two of our sermon series State of the Union. For the month of January we have been looking at the State of Our Union – and honestly? It’s kind of disappointing. The world continues to let us down. We’ve talked about political parties, but today I want to talk about freedom of religion. The struggles of our country and how Jesus would respond. Today, I want to talk about tolerance.

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Democrats VS Republicans

Democrats VS. Republicans – 01.13.2019
 
[Ezra 3:9-13 and John 1: 9-18]
 

          There was once an elderly gentleman who was sitting on a park bench, basking in the sun, when another elderly fellow sat down beside him. They looked at each other for a moment, but did not speak. Both men sat there for a short time, just staring straight ahead. After a little while, one of them heaved a big, heartfelt sigh. The other man jumped immediately and said, “Look, if you’re going to talk politics, I’m leaving.” Is there anything more uncomfortable than talking politics with someone you don’t know?  

Today we start a brand new sermon series called State of the Union. For the next few weeks we are going to take a close look at politics and piety – how do faith and politics come together in our lives? We’re going to look at the limits of tolerance, morality vs legality and we’ll close by talking about compromise. But to get us started, I wanted to talk about Democrats VS. Republicans. In this room, there are die hard right wing straight ticket republicans with a little tattoo on their shoulder that says “I heart Trump.” In this room, there are radical left wing straight ticket Democrats with bumper stickers that say, “Feel the Bern.” And then there’s a third group in the room this morning. A big chunk of us in the middle who feel sort of politically homeless – we don’t really like either party, and so we’re not sure what to do with politics. Before we get into all the pieces – we need to talk about our identity.

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VIP – The Sick. The Criminal.

VIP – The Sick. The Criminal.  – 12.24.2018
 
[Luke 2:8-20 and Matthew 25:31-33, 41-46]
 
          My favorite part about Christmas Eve has got to be the candle-light vigil. We’ll get to that in a little bit, but think about it – it’s just a beautiful moment of light slowly spreading while the music rises. But what I really like about sharing the flame is that to spread my fire costs me nothing. When you light your candle on mine, my flame is not diminished. My flame is not smaller, but now you have light too. The same goes for love. To spread my love costs me nothing. When I give my love to you, my love is not diminished, my love is not smaller – but now you have love too. If my love comes in a roaring bonfire, or in a flickering spark – it can still ignite your heart all the same. Today is the final sermon in the series ACCESS – where we look at the story of Christmas and ask the question – Who is worthy? Who does God want at the birth of Jesus?  And through this whole month, all the pieces come together in the strangest puzzle for just one night to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Tonight we will tell that story.

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Audio Sermon Archive

Scroll through to see our archive of audio files from sermons long ago (2015 and before)
 
 

March 2015

Prayer of Healing

Luke 10:1-9, 16




Prayer Taught 2

Luke 11:1-13




February 2015

Prayer Taught 1

Matthew 6:5-15




Think Long

Daniel 10:7-14




Praying Hard

Luke 18:1-8




Dream Big

Numbers 11:18-23, 31-33




January 2015

The Legend of the Circle Maker

Joshua 6:1-16




God Calling

1 Samuel 3:1-10




Kintsukuroi Christianity

Acts 19:1-7




Freed to Be

Ephesians 3:1-14