Posts Tagged 'Grace Church'

Friends,

I’ll apologize at the outset for the offensive title to this blog post, but it is really the only way to say what I am thinking after reading Ingrid’s latest drive by display of ignorance. I am angry though about her most recent outburst against the Body of Christ. She was so willing to make a hit against someone that I don’t believe for a minute that she even listened to the sermon she criticizes. I am simply astounded that she has criticized this sermon delivered at the Grace Church. Here’s part of what Ingrid wrote:

Please take just ten minutes to watch the video. After watching it, you can vote on the website as to whether Christ was glorified or something else. You can forward past the out of tune guitar and singer, and just listen to what the pastor has to say.

We have been so far removed from Christ-centered worship, most evangelicals wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it. Worse still, because of a lack of biblical knowledge, the Scriptural metaphors and references within this hymn wouldn’t have any meaning to most reared at a circus church. We are generations deep now in biblical illiteracy, and that’s why the church and professing believers are in the condition they are.

See also the comments at Truth Matters where even more ignorance is on display. Here’s what the author there says:

When you have a spare 10 minutes, please go to the video link below. Before you get to the senior pastor’s introduction you will have to listen to the music director sing and then an associate pastor speak for about 2 minutes, then watch the Pastor’s introduction. The whole thing is very painful to watch. [You can also vote in their ridiculous poll which, predictably, favors a negative reaction. In fact, I had the only positive vote out of 33 or so.]

I suspect the reason why neither Ingrid nor the author of Truth Matters got it, and why they found the whole thing ‘painful’ is because they only watched 10 minutes of it, if they watched it at all.Well, just so you know, I watched the entire clip and I can say without reservation that this sermon was profoundly biblical in every aspect. I’ll only add a few caveats. First, he did look ridiculous in the Superman costume. But I suspect that he was playing the doppleganger by dressing in such an ironic way. Second, his outline was a bit difficult to follow, but he evidently provided outlines for the congregation. Third, he dealt with the Scripture from front to back. Fourth, aggghhh…he had people stand when he read the Word of God in order to, are you ready for this, ‘honor the Word of God.’ What a heretic!!!* (*Sarcastic)

Please someone tell me: What was painful about what he said? What was unbiblical about it? What did not glorify God? Mrs Schlueter, with all due respect here, did you even listen to what he preached? I am simply floored that they are bent about this message. The main part of the message, the overarching point was this: We are useless to God if we don’t forgive. How is that unbiblical? How is that painful? I’ll conclude by noting the main outline which follows this question: How can we be Biblical Supermen and Superwomen. Then I’ll note just a few bullet points that I picked up.

How can We be Biblical Supermen?

  • The Biblical Superman puts his faith in the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Put your faith in Jesus.
  • The Biblical Superman is committed to the local church in prayer, worship, teaching, fellowship, and accountability (and a few others)
  • The Biblical Superman is active in serving Christ, using his gifts and talents.
  • The Biblical Superman is always looking for divine appointments (This was really a brilliant point)
  • The Biblical Superman is bold enough to share Jesus with others.
  • The Biblical Superman takes responsibility for his actions.
  • The Biblical Superman chooses to forgive.

Can someone point out to me, because after 13 years of preaching I guess I have missed the point, but can someone point out to me at what point this outline fails to honor God? Can someone point out to me how this is ‘painful’? This is one of the most biblically derived, expository outlines I have seen in a long, long time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this outline or the delivery or his exegesis or his orthodoxy. He argues for Pauline authorship, he tells us the historical circumstances that prompted the writing, he argues, first, that it is faith in the Work of Christ that makes the letter to Philemon possible in the first place.

I’m offering a challenge right now to the author of Truth Matters and the author of Slice: Point out one aspect of that sermon that was unorthodox or unbiblical. He dealt with the text from front to back. Offer one example of his failure and I will stop writing here. You cannot do it.

Now some bullet points in conclusion (these are a few things I picked up and wrote down, there was much more!):

  • If you are harboring bitterness, God cannot use you.
  • God sets up divine appointments.
  • Philemon=loving
  • Onesimus=useful
  • Real biblical supermen choose to forgive.
  • The grace of God makes us brand new
  • Repent.
  • Put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Man is never more like God than when he chooses to forgive.
  • The news of the Gospel is that God forgives sins no matter how ugly they are.
  • We are NOT supermen.
  • Paul is asking Philemon to forgive Onesimus
  • Sometimes when people hurt us it is part of God’s plan for spiritual renewal (ie. salvation)
  • Forgiveness always refreshes the body of Christ.

The church sang. They prayed. The stood when the Word was read–and to be sure, they only read, for the purposes of the sermon, three verses! (Even though he read nearly half the book in the context of the message.) They talked of forgiveness and grace and repentance and Scripture and love. I counted the word ‘grace’ at least six times on the website where I watched the video. Just so you know, I am writing this defense of the preacher who preached that sermon because I know he wouldn’t do so himself. What I fear is that some lost person will happen along Slice or TM and be turned off to the sermon without giving it a chance. But I’ll say this: If I was lost and heard that sermon I would be convicted that Jesus is Lord. I am not lost and I am convicted of the Lordship of Christ after hearing that sermon. What a blessing.

Ingrid: Give the sermon more than ten minutes. TM: Give the sermon more than ten minutes. Get through the pain of being confronted with the command from Scripture to forgive and listen to what the preacher has to say. You have both missed it entirely! Oh my God, it is so sad, so pathetic that these two blogs have run down this preacher, Christ’s body, this sermon for no reason whatsoever. Oh My God! I am convinced, and becoming more so with every blog post I read at SOL, that there is something seriously, seriously wrong with their point of view.

Ingrid wrote:

We have been so far removed from Christ-centered worship, most evangelicals wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it. Worse still, because of a lack of biblical knowledge, the Scriptural metaphors and references within this hymn wouldn’t have any meaning to most reared at a circus church. We are generations deep now in biblical illiteracy, and that’s why the church and professing believers are in the condition they are.

The preacher spent nearly a third of the sermon (at least a third, maybe more) explaining and re-explaining the history and background and text of the book to Philemon. He did his part to eliminate biblical illiteracy and he is criticized and it is said that the sermon and worship ‘did not honor God’?!?!?!?!?!? My guess is that the people at Grace Church are not among the biblically illiterate. I suspect this is a church that is very good condition–especially if their preacher preaches like this every single week.

Wow. I think it is time to put SOL and TM into the heap of irrelevance. They ought to be ashamed for attacking that message, that preacher, that church in such a way. Shame on you, SOL!! And shame on you, TM!! You have no ground to stand on in your criticism of this man or his message. And I think I know of what I speak since I too preach every single week. I won’t dress like superman, but who cares if I did? The point is that this man delivered an orthodox, theologically sound, expository sermon. I don’t care what he was dressed like on the outside. He was wearing Christ on the inside!!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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