Archive for July, 2015

An Ordination Sermon For Hunter Jordan

Posted: July 23, 2015 by boydmonster in Uncategorized

Preached on Monday June 15, 2015

It is a tremendous blessing to be asked to preach today Hunter. I want to say that I am so impressed with who you are. I wish that in some way I could take credit for the work your are going to do in ministry, but you have zealously pursued Christ and have become the man you are completely independent of any influence of mine. I am so excited about what God is going to do in your ministry that I do not feel worthy to preach to you today. But I do have some concerns and they’re not just about the length of your shorts.

As we were getting ready to process into Jason Hamshaw’s ordination service, Jason looked a little nervous. So, I tried to encourage him and I told him “Jason, just read the words in the book and it’s really hard to screw this up.” Then I thought for a moment and added to that., “everything after today, though, is very easy to screw up.” Now in today’s reading, Paul gives us a number of requirements for those entering into ordained ministry and as I’ve reflected on these I’ve added to that thought. “Ministry is really easy to screw up, but it can be hard to get kicked out of.” I mean, you really have to blow it to get kicked out of ministry even if you are totally screwing it up.

Paul’s words here not only tell us the parameters of who can be called into ministry, but they remind us of the deep burden of responsibility that ministry is. In fact, I would have to say that ministry has constituted the deepest trial of my whole life. This may sound weird or wrong, but I can remember as my dad was dying in the hospital thinking to myself “This is hard, but it’s not as hard as being in ministry.” That might sound weird, so to help us understand the difficulty of ministry, I turn to John Chrysostom. (more…)

David, Goliath, and Mother Emmanuel

Posted: July 9, 2015 by boydmonster in Uncategorized

I preached this sermon on Sunday June 21st after Dylann Roof entered into Mother Emmanuel AME church and opened fire killing nine innocent African-American men and women. Although I did address this tragedy directly in my Sunday sermon, I have typed up this manuscript paying special attention to the issue of racism in our society today.

             As we move through our series on David, we come this morning to a story that almost needs no introduction; the story of David and Goliath. It would be easy this Father’s Day to address the story of David and Goliath like this: “Goliath was a giant. We all face giants. As dads, we face giants of time management, changing culture, and media saturation. David faced his giants, and if you follow these principles, you can face your giants too.” We could do this with any number of giants in our lives, addictions, disease, racism, political divisions, etc. etc. The problem is, however, that facing your giants is not the point of this story. In order to get at exactly what this story is about, let’s do some background.

As our story begins, Saul has lined up the armies of Israel against the philistine army. The Philistines were not, as modern parlance would indicate, an uncivilized and unadvanced people group. Quite the opposite is actually true. Contemporary historical accounts speak of a people group identified as “The Sea People,” or Peleset, from which we likely get the name “Philistine.” The peleset were a fierce warrior people with highly advanced weaponry and military capabilities. Ancient Egyptian records speak of them attacking Egypt under Ramses III, effectively neutralizing the powerful empire of Egypt. Many historians believe the peleset were the people responsible for overthrowing the dominant empire in the Western Mediterranean, the Hittite Empire. Not only that, but it is likely the Peleset that swept across Mycenaen Greece, destroying their civilization across the time of a 100 or so years and plunging Greek civilization into a 300 year long “dark age.” In other words, these people had toppled or neutralized the most powerful kingdoms and empires of the day. (more…)

After the Glorious Revolution for one reason or another, the British royalty began to view the church not as an instrument of spiritual vitality for the nation, but stability. Perhaps they’d seen the tumult caused by both the civil war and William’s ascendancy and they didn’t want any more of that religious squabbling. Whatever the reason, the broad church principles of Latitudinarianism became the raison de etre of the church during the Hanoverian dynasties. Thus, the church of the 1700’s was a church that was governed mainly by two pieces of scripture “Everything decent and in good order”(1 Cor 14:40) and “do not be overly zealous.”(Romans 10:2) During this time, the authorities in and over the church viewed with apprehension those who held passionately to the core doctrines of the Reformation, including the need for individuals to respond to the gospel with faith and repentance and be, in the words of Jesus, “born again.” One of the most damning accusations you could make against a churchman or priest in this age was to accuse him of “Enthusiasm”.

Many of those accused of “enthusiasm” would fit well into what we have described as “Reformation Anglicans”(with some serious differences we’ll discuss later). Men like Charles Simeon, John Newton, and Augustus Toplady led great revivals and sought not only to bring British people to Christ, but to bring the Gospel to bear in the Church of England. They were rarely greeted with open arms in the Church of England though. Simeon’s own congregation hated him and the wardens even locked up the church so no one could come and hear him preach! John Newton sought ordination in the Church of England for seven years before a wealthy benefactor, Lord Dartmouth, finally procured an appointment for him and persuaded a bishop to ordain him. Regardless of the fact that Newton turned down dozens of offers to serve in dissenter churches, almost every bishop he spoke to questioned his loyalty to the Church of England. Ever since the restoration of the monarchy in the 1600’s, the theological descendants of the Reformation have lived in the Church of England mostly on the margins. (more…)