Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

When the Stock Market crashes and major financial institutions fail and gas prices rise and real estate investments plummet, what's a guy to do?

Take the family to Disneyland!!!

Yes, I realize it makes very little sense, but this trip, to welcome home our daughter from two and a half years in the Peace Corps, is for what we have planned and saved, and so this weekend off we go to the Happiest Place on Earth. Thus, I will not be preaching this week, and thus, I have little to write here, except to say check back next week.

As I look forward to the weeks ahead, I am studying and planning for a series of sermons on understanding worldviews and how our worldview, formed as followers of Jesus Christ, interacts, and often confronts other worldviews around us.

I would love to interact with your thoughts on worldview, so feel free to chime-in, even before I get rolling. In fact, your thoughts and questions can help me ascertain the directions this series might take.

In the meantime, let's just all hum together, "It's a Small World After-all." Sorry, I just couldn't resist getting that little diddy in your head!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pastor Randy...
Thanks a LOT...now I'll be singing that song ALL day! HA!
Have a great time!
With regard to your upcoming sermon subject matter....
I for one hate seeing you veer off your superior expository approach to Bible teaching...and getting into "topical" sermonizing.
Every other church in the county offers "topical" sermons....very FEW preach the Word....and certainly not as skillfully and faithfully as you have done these past 11 yrs. in Felton. I know topical sermons are easier than expository preaching...are you REALLY being led on this "side road"...or are you just burned out on the expository approach?
Worldviews sounds like a great Sunday School class subject....but the Sunday morning worship? We need the MEAT of the WORD.
You asked for opinions...that is mine. Respectfully, Ruthie

Pastor Randy said...

First,

Who said I was moving to topical preaching and away from expository? I believe that you can preach expositionaly, while at the same time dealing with critical topics facing the church today.

Second, I would disagree with you that it is easier to preach topical sermons than expository. I feel that is it much easier to just preach through the text. I don't have to "make anything up," or "make it fit a system."

Actually, the great difficulty which is laying before me, is to preach the Word of God, while at the same time working to communicate truth about the various worldviews that affect our biblical worldview. And for this reason a deeply covet the prayers of God's people, for I always to be one who rightly handles the Word of truth.

Thanks for your kind words and your continued prayers! I truly appreciate both.

Peace to you!
Pastor Randy

Anonymous said...

Hello Pastor Randy,

Hope all went well for you and your family as you visited Disneyland for a few days. A change of pace can be refreshing…and/or tiring...maybe some of both. I visited there once about 30 years ago with a church group from San Jose. We had a good time, I recall.

Maybe you might suggest as “worldview” the typical happenings in the Days of Noah – eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. This was the world view in those days. Sounds fairly typical of a part of normal happenings for today too. It doesn’t sound evil.

But engaging in normal activities did seem to preoccupy the people’s minds away from desiring to help Noah in building the lifesaving Arc, as Christians today are urged to help Christ in building his Church. Yet many of the world’s animals were listening and heard God’s silent urging, and came willingly to get on board the Arc at the proper time.

Maybe the exhortation from Romans 12:1-2 could be considered as a general theme in your upcoming series. It reads: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

I love the word “perfect” when it applies to God’s always perfect good Will. I think of the verse from Isaiah 26:3 where it reads, “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusts in thee.” And then there is the verse from 1 John 4:18 where it says, “But perfect love casts out fear.” I take the latter to be referring to man having perfect love (or confident trust in) the workings of his Creator God. This love for God that may reach way beyond our immediate understanding does have power to “cast out fear.” Gary

Anonymous said...

Worldview? What a great word. Not really sure what it means, but I sure am impressed with it.

People's perspective and opinions of the world is incredibly varied. Democrats v. Republicans. Liberals v. Conservatives. East Coast v. West Coast. America v. Russia. People living next door to each other can have HUGE differences in their worldviews.

Then there's the wildly different views within the body of Christ. Catholics v. Pentecostals. Lutherans v. Calvary Chapel types. Man, don't even bring up end times worldviews. The opinions on that can change from pew to pew, and members of the family.

The church has, over the years, really become, in some ways, very polarized in different worldviews. One church sees missions as the focus whereas another will see the poor and destitute. Another will see the primary need of the world is to be educated in the various doctrines.

What is the primary worldview of the church? Hoo boy, that's a loaded question. Lock ten different theologians into a room with that question for an hour and you will get twenty different answers.

Me? I think the main worldview of the church is, and should be, the same as Christ's.

Summed up, "Wow, you need some serious love. I know where you can find it."

New Testament, paraphrased.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to sign that one...

Blessings on ya,

Dan-o

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I even know what expository means so since I'm no theologian, I can't comment on that.

I would think that it would be impossible to preach the unwatered down word of God without mentioning some of the critical topics that face the world today. We need to take the stories and lessons of the bible and live it in our lives.

I am proud of the church for fighting the abortion issue and the bride of Christ certainly mananaged to encounter a lot of negative press while educating people as well as being misrepresented by some who resorted to violence (bombing abortion clinics).

But the fact is, progress was made because the church is the salt of the earth and the statistics showing how many abortions are performed have gone down considerably and are continuing to decline.

The laws haven't been changed, but the church (of all denominations)was instrumental in educating people and I consider that an even greater victory than getting government to pass laws because the church is here to change hearts not laws.

Simply put even though abortion is still legal, people are of their own free will choosing more and more not to abort.

Well, that's one example I thought I would mention if I am even on the right topic cuz y'all are using some pretty big words I'm not sure I understand.

But, I'm glad to hear your daughter is back safe and sound. I remember you were "freaking out" just a little when she first went to Africa.

Glad to hear Earl is doing fine after heart problem too.

gentedove

Anonymous said...

G'dove,

Expository teaching is going through the Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. This really allows the Word to say what it has to say. By teaching in this manner, topics and subjects are addressed as they come up in the text. Really hard to mess up when one teaches like this.

Topical teaching is a little more fluid in that instead of allowing the Bible to dictate the subject matter, the subject matter is chosen first and supported by Scripture. This is a little more tricky as some take subjects and try to support them with sections or events in the Bible that are out of context. Many questionable teachings can be done in this fashion. It takes a well studied teacher, like Randy, to conduct a topical teaching.

There's nothing wrong with topical teachings, as a rule. Sometimes topical teachings are necessary for the moment. But, and this is just my opinion, in order to have a strong grasp on the "whole counsel of God", one must have a steady diet of expository teaching.

Again, just my opinion.

Hope that helps.

Dan-o

Pastor Randy said...

Well said Dan-o.

Glad to have you writing. I thought you fell off the planet. :o)

Pray all is well.

As for world-view. I am studying lots and trying to get my thoughts together. One thing has come clear I am feeling led to preach through John's Gospel as a basis for understanding our world view and God's.

Just a short note, but the Living Word came to a world He created, but recognized Him not, partly because of their "world-view." In many ways Jesus, the Word of God, came to change our way of seeing. To change our world-view.

It should be an interesting journey, that's for sure!

Peace to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan-o. I looked the words “topical” and “expository” up in the dictionary before I posted that and still had no idea what they meant in relation to bible teachings. Pastor Randy is right, you really should pop in more often! Your posts are always helpful.

I always appreciate your help and the fact that I can respectfully ask you questions, even hard questions, and you don’t get all miffed, but always try to help me understand.

So my answer now that I have a better idea what I am talking about is that I honestly believe that it is not the “method” that matters so much, but the spirit that matters. The Pharisees and Sadducees knew their scriptures and even satan has a good expository grasp of the word.

Even during expositiory teachings, the teacher/preacher often pauses and explains the “moral” of the story and if the teacher/preacher is being led by the flesh rather than the spirit, they can still mess up big time.

One topic that comes to mind for me is the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention at one time in 1948 kicked one congregation out for allowing blacks to sit in the front rows at church - right along with whites. Imagine that? (sarc). I used to attend a Southern Baptist church and they did use the expository method, but they surely didn’t rightly divide the word when they used it to justify prejudice in 1948. What they were really doing is trying to please the people in their congregation (ear tickling?) rather than God because the south as we know was notoriously prejudiced.

I’m not trying to pick on the Southern Baptists, but that is the first example that comes to mind for me that makes me wonder if it is not so much, the spirit, rather than the letter of the law that is usually at the root of incorrect biblical teachings – be they expository or topical.

I personally would not worry if I attended UFC because I think pastor Randall has the holy spirit living inside him and does try to follow the Holy Spirit rather than the flesh. So if I lived in Felton and attended that church, I wouldn’t worry -- unless and until I heard him say something that I thought was wrong in which case, I would go to him quietly and try to nudge him back onto the straight and narrow path.

I can see Ruthie’s hesitation and we certainly need people like Ruthie in the body of Christ as watchmen (women) since if someone is not rightly dividing the word, it can actually be used to make wrong seem right. God knows people like Charles Manson and Andrea Yates took some passages out of context and some horrible murders resulted. Extreme examples, true, but anytime the word is misused, sin results and sin always hurts people.

So my position is that topical teaching is fine as long as passages are not taken out of context to support erroneous teachings -- which is why it is important to have elders who are led by the Holy Spirit -- and who also know the word very well -- to keep watch.

gentledove

Anonymous said...

The Gospel of John, huh? Sweet. That was the first book I ever taught through from beginning to end.

Not counting Philemon, which is one of the Bible's Post-It notes.

So, are you going to keep us appraised of your studies through this book?

Dan-o