The story of God, the world, and you!
I usally like to place the text of the Scripture that was the basis of my Sunday Message. However with the length of this reading I decided not to do that. Below is a link for an audio version of it if you wish to listen. https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Luke.23
Here is the audio of the message I gave at Blades UMC on Palm/Passion Sunday 2019.
Scritpure for Pastor Kevin’s Message 4/07/19
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 1and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Audio of Pastor Kevin’s Message “Are We There Yet?”
Another good article gleaned from the Wesleyan Covenant Association Blog.
This really sums up my feelings, beliefs, and thoughts on this dividing issue.
Thank you Keith Boyette and the leaders of the WCA.
Here is a summary of the article the link will follow.
So again, it is very disheartening to hear bishops and leading clergy unfairly characterize the work of the special General Conference as undermining the UM Church’s firm belief in the sacred worth of LGBTQ+ people. They know, or should know, that is simply not true.
For its part, the WCA welcomes LGBTQ+ people, their families and allies to participate in the life of the church. Many LGBTQ+ people regularly worship right beside us every weekend, and we hope and pray they will continue to do so. We implore them to reject the false narrative that a serious disagreement over our sexual ethics and teachings on marriage must necessarily imply our rejection of them. We do not accept that narrative; we will continue to welcome and reach out to LGBTQ+ people despite our differences. We will continue to work for a church that offers radical hospitality and genuine community to all persons. And we will strive to be a place of refuge for all who experience brokenness.
2 Corinthians 5:15-21 (NIV)
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Click to hear Pastor Kevin’s Message from 3/31/19
A Wesleyan Convenant Association Post by Walter Fenton.
The Rev. Walter Fenton is a retired clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and vice-president for strategic engagement at the Wesleyan Covenant Association. http://wesleyancovenant.org/2019/04/01/4086/
Sin is Sin, right? If we call sin, sin, does that make us hateful? No! I believe those who do not call out sinful practices as sin are the ones being hateful by not delcaring the truth of God’s Word!
As a church leader, a pastor it is my duty to read, study, teach, and preach God’s Word given to us. If I as a leader do not declare a sinful practice a sin, then who will? Homosexuality is a sin according to God’s Word! Yet I have never heard, read or seen anyone who opposes the Traditional Plan make that statement. That would be hurtful and mean they declare. God is about Love not hate. That is only partially true, God is a God of Love. Yet God also is an unchanging God of Truth.
Clearly the words God inspired Paul to write almost 2,000 years ago ring true in our world today! https://bit.ly/1yd20cp
If we the leaders of the church do not call sin, sin, who will?
Homosexuality is a sin! Yet it is no greater or lessor a sin than my own sins. That is all I want to hear from those against the Traditional Plan. Call sin a sin. Because of Jesus Christ and his selfless sacrfice on the cross all our sins can be forgiven. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God loves everyone. That does not mean God does not call us to repentance of our sin. If there is no need for repentance, then why did Jesus go to the cross? “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Cheap grace isn’t God’s grace
Why do we read, study and give authority to #Bible
I was recently invited to participate in a dialogue on the authority of Scripture at United Theological Seminary with friend, Rev. Dr. Mike Slaughter. We were each given fifteen minutes to talk about how we conceive of Scripture’s authority. The following is the basic text of my presentation. I’ve edited it a bit to make it more appropriate for reading, rather than hearing. The ideas here, however, are entirely the same as those I presented. A segment of this talk is taken (with some modification) from my book, Scripture and the Life of God (Seedbed, 2017).
The Christian faith stands or falls upon claims of divine revelation.
The central revelation of our faith is the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ. And that central revelation is disclosed to us through two additional sources of revelation: first Scripture and second tradition.
Apart from Scripture and tradition…
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My Message Given 2/17/19 @ Blades UMC
1 Corinthians 15: 12-22