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Re: Preaching Thread


quote:

Yeah, maybe "Witnessing Thread" would be better, but most would call it preaching, and for those who are opposed to being preached at, I just thought I'd go ahead and warn them up front.


I like, and agree with, that reasoning. emoticon

quote:

Order ofMelchizedek wrote:
quote:

I guess my dad was a little like God?

You know, I'm really sorry to hear that your dad was like that.


I know you didn't mean it the way that sounded, Mel, but I had to laugh at that. emoticon

quote:

Richard Dawkins wrote:

...a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser , a misogynistic, homophobic racist, an infanticidal, genocidal, phillicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.


MO, ignoring your 100% scores is tame in comparison.

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Re: Preaching Thread


I guess.
My dad wasn't that awful Mel, he just didn't get me I think. But he had a great sense of humor so I forgave him for not understanding that I don't have good fine motor co-ordination, he would not've understood what that meant anyway. He was a basic ordinary salt-of-the-earth patriarchal type who thought that women should be sweet, obedient, subservient supporters of their husbands... he really didn't get me!
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Re: Preaching Thread



' "If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven."

Wow! What a wonderful promise! Jesus gives his instructions to the Twelve and gives them and us through them, this wonderful promise that is the very heart of the Christian faith. That really is all we have to do, just declare ourselves to be openly in favour of Christ and his Gospel of love. It doesn't seem much, does it? And yet if we look at it in another way it is everything. We declare ourselves openly for Christ and of course we then have to start living accordingly. If we do not, but go back to our old ways we are giving counter-witness and will have disowned him; this will mean that he will disown us, as he says in the second part of his saying.

The plain truth is that if countless numbers of people down the generations had not openly declared themselves for Christ and suffered the consequences of doing so, and quite often this meant torture and death; then we would not be here today. There would be no Church building; there would be no community of Christians. The Church of today is built on the foundations of those who openly declared themselves for Christ in the past.

A famous man was once asked if he was a Christian. His answer was, "Yes, but not offensively so." He meant that he did not allow his Christianity to interfere with the company he kept or the life of pleasure. It is a bit like the Spaniard who when asked by a Priest if he was a Catholic said of course he was. The Priest then asked him if he went to Sunday Mass. He said, "I'm a Catholic, not a fanatic."

There are three principal ways we can deny Christ. We can deny him by our words, by our silence and by our actions.

I think each of us has had moments like Peter when the cock crows. Moments when we are deeply shamed by our open denial of Christ. We are put on the spot and we brazenly deny him. There are other times when we fail to speak up. We see we are out-numbered and so we say nothing, a grave injustice is done, the name of Christ is mocked or an opportunity missed. We deny him by our actions, by living the sort of life that is unworthy of a Christian. We do this in many ways: by basing our life on lies; by manipulating others; by cruelty; by a life of ease; by pressing down the poor.

We have all heard of the famous book Tom Brown's Schooldays. Tom Brown was very popular at his Private School; he lived with about a dozen other boys in one of the school's dormitories. He was very influential and was the undisputed leader of his gang of friends. One day a new boy came to the school. When it came to bedtime the new boy innocently knelt down by his bed to say his prayers. Some of the other boys began to snigger, a few others began to laugh and joke, one even threw a shoe at the kneeling boy. That night Tom didn't go to sleep straight away. He lay awake thinking about what had happened to the new boy. He also began to think about his mother and the prayers she had taught him to say each night before going to bed, prayers he had not said since he came to school. The next night several of the boys were looking forward to poking fun at the new boy. But that night something totally unexpected happened. When the new boy knelt down to say his prayers, Tom knelt down also. The whole atmosphere of the dormitory changed.

Jesus tells us that he will declare himself for those who declare themselves for him. One of the reasons Jesus made this statement is because bearing witness to him or not bearing witness to him can have a profound effect on those around us. Perhaps the most important area in which this happens is in the home. The deciding factor for Tom Brown was the influence of his mother's example. Because he was so impressed with her faith he in turn gave witness to others and influenced them profoundly.

It has been said that every Christian occupies some kind of pulpit and preaches some kind of sermon every day. This is never more true than of parents in the home. A friend I know had a banner in his room which says: You are the only Gospel some people will ever read.

I have had the privilege of talking to young people about their faith and their prayer life. I have been very impressed with the answers and even more so by the depth of their prayer-lives. Mostly they pray because they were taught to do so as young children. But I have been equally saddened by the fact the most of them have told me that prayer is practically a taboo subject in the home.

I am talking here about practising Christian families, families at Church every Sunday and yet to say that you prayed for something or that during prayer something had occurred to you would be greeted with waves of embarrassment. It is easy and it is truly wonderful to talk to young children about prayer; they pray for everything – for Mummy, for the dog, for anything! It is difficult but I think even more rewarding to talk to teenagers and young adults about prayer – they so often say to me, “My prayer life isn’t great, but I know it can get better and I want it to get better!” And one of the things that needs to be talked about in every family is how to make that transition from childhood forms of prayer to ones that are more suitable for adult life. Let us not forget the old saying, “The family that prays together, stays together." '

Any comments?


Last edited by Petal Alderin, 9/25/2009, 1:27 am


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9/25/2009, 1:25 am Link to this post Send e-mail to   Send PM to Blog
 
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Re: Preaching Thread


Wow, Petal, welcome to the preaching thread! I never suspected that I would find you over here preaching. Did you come up with all of that, or was it some sort of devotional or something? Overall, I liked it.
I had never heard of "Tom Brown's Schooldays", but what an awesome story of what a small action can do, and our influence on others.

My family prays together at dinner every night, and we usually rotate nights so the kids can have their opportunity to pray as well.

The only thing I thought could be a problem, is this part. I'd like to discuss this further, as it could be taken different ways.
quote:

A famous man was once asked if he was a Christian. His answer was, "Yes, but not offensively so." He meant that he did not allow his Christianity to interfere with the company he kept or the life of pleasure. It is a bit like the Spaniard who when asked by a Priest if he was a Catholic said of course he was. The Priest then asked him if he went to Sunday Mass. He said, "I'm a Catholic, not a fanatic."


"not offensively so" - But the message of the cross is offensive. If we don't lose all our self-righteousness and realize our hopeless condition, the Gospel will never make sense. We won't recognize our need of a Savior. The message of the Bible flies in the face of today's "self-esteem" teaching.

"did not allow his Christianity to interfere" - I find this piece problematic as well. If Christ isn't everything to us, then we do not fully understand. Christianity cannot be mixed with anything else, it stands alone. If we are not changed into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), then we might want to consider if we've really been saved or not. Jesus said, "why do you call Me Lord and not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46 )
It also reminds me of a couple of other verses.

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."


Heb 10:26-27
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.


"I'm a Catholic, not a fanatic." - Leaving the Catholic debate aside, Scripture does tell us not to forsake meeting together.

Hebrews 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


What do you think? Am I reading too much into it?



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Do you not know? Have you not heard? He gives strength to the weary. To those who hope in Him, they will soar like eagles. -RSJ

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Re: Preaching Thread


I'm glad you liked it Mel.
Unfortunately I can't take credit for it ... this is the transcript of the main part of a sermon given by one of the wisest, most caring, wonderful priests I have ever met, and I apologise for not acknowledging his words - thank you to DB, who was Dean of our Cathedral until earlier this year, when he was ordained as Bishop of the Diocese here.
I posted it to give you an example of the kind of sermon, or preaching, that makes sense to me. He has a wonderful sense of humour and seems to "hit the spot" with a minimum of words and a great deal of sincerity.
He talks love and caring, and has so much warmth. And his sermons are remembered and the message taken on board long after the Sunday service is over.
I can't say whether you're reading too much into it or not Mel - I think that's up to you, and I feel that everyone takes out of wise words what they need to know without consciously thinking about it half the time! DB's messages always hit the spot for everyone in the congregation in different ways I'm sure because each individual will interpret the words according to their own life experiences. As you know, we're all very different, and some of us personalize things more than others do.
The other passage you quoted from his sermon which you said you didn't entirely agree with, was actually a tongue-in-cheek humorous remark, but DB meant us all to realise exactly the opposite - that is, that we definitely should enjoy our Christianity to be part of our daily lives, but not make people feel uncomfortable about it in our quest to bring the message to others. As you said, it can be taken in different ways.
Do you agree with me that DB's way of preaching is very different from the fundamentalist way? I ask this because the church we belong to is one of the old traditional ones.
As you know, I've been dithering about my feelings towards religion (as a whole) for a very long time, and I'm still sitting on the fence as it were. My head tells me one thing and my heart (for want of a better description) tells me another, but the feeling that I should tend more towards the scientific beliefs is tainted by the guilt I then feel, having believed that I was a Christian for over fifty years. It was a way of life that I accepted and didn't question for a very long time.
DB is right when he says we lead by example.




Last edited by Petal Alderin, 9/26/2009, 2:53 am


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9/26/2009, 2:50 am Link to this post Send e-mail to   Send PM to Blog
 
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Re: Preaching Thread


Many folks here believe that I have denied that Christ ever lived. But they are wrong!

I believe that Christ did live and he was a very good person.

What I have problems with are mainly the stories that are told to the less knowedgable folk of that era, and even the same stories that are told today!

I do not enjoy listening to someone who is screaming their brains out trying to intimidate and scare the hell out of other folks with their version of what is to come or what took place hundreds of billions of years ago.

Like I said, "I HAVE MADE MY PEACE WITH THE POWERS THAT BE!"
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Re: Preaching Thread


quote:

The other passage you quoted from his sermon which you said you didn't entirely agree with, was actually a tongue-in-cheek humorous remark, but DB meant us all to realise exactly the opposite - that is, that we definitely should enjoy our Christianity to be part of our daily lives, but not make people feel uncomfortable about it in our quest to bring the message to others.

I did catch the humor there, I just wasn't sure which way he was going with it. The sad thing is that there are many people here in the States with just such views. And many churches here teaching a watered down message, or they're "seeker-sensative" or the prosperity gospel - there's so much garbage these days, and it's hard to distinguish on the surface. You've got to really dig in to find what they really believe.
quote:

My head tells me one thing and my heart (for want of a better description) tells me another, but the feeling that I should tend more towards the scientific beliefs is tainted by the guilt I then feel, having believed that I was a Christian for over fifty years.

Can't you find some reconciliation between the two? There are Christian scientists, and just as all who call themselves "Christian" are not truly Christian, I believe that not everthing that claims to be science actually is.
quote:

It was a way of life that I accepted and didn't question for a very long time.

Questions are good. Question the "science " in the same way.
quote:

DB is right when he says we lead by example.

Amen! We should live our lives like we really believe it, if we do indeed believe.


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Do you not know? Have you not heard? He gives strength to the weary. To those who hope in Him, they will soar like eagles. -RSJ

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Re: Preaching Thread


 Ah, Bummee. You see, I was going to leave you alone. You said you didn’t want to talk about this subject, and that’s the only subject I talk about, so I came over here to the Christian section and started a thread called “Preaching” and here you are!

You came over here and posted of your own free will, so no whining about it when I press you on your beliefs.
“Made your peace with the powers that be” – exactly what does that mean? What peace, what powers? Do you consider yourself a Christian? Do you believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God? Do you think you should be scared of hell?

quote:

I believe that Christ did live and he was a very good person.

Anything more than that? He claimed to be God, so if He's not, then He couldn't really be a good person.
Liar, Lunatic or Lord - which one do you think He is?

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Do you not know? Have you not heard? He gives strength to the weary. To those who hope in Him, they will soar like eagles. -RSJ

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Re: Preaching Thread


quote:


Can't you find some reconciliation between the two? There are Christian scientists, and just as all who call themselves "Christian" are not truly Christian, I believe that not everthing that claims to be science actually is.



Perish the thought Mel! No ways is Christian Science for me! Never liked Tom Cruise to start with and if he's now any indication of what a Christian Scientist is like, no thank you! Giggle!

No "reborn" or fundamentalist religion will ever sit well with me I'm afraid ... I'm too much of a traditionalist.



quote:

Questions are good. Question the "science " in the same way.



I do question science Mel - I question most things around me tbh. Science is easier to prove though - hard facts are not as easily disputed.

Right now I'm content to drift and sit on the fence, and I thoroughly enjoy reading all the discussion and viewpoints from both sides of the coin while in my own comfort zone.

Thank you for discussing this with me and giving your input.

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Re: Preaching Thread


Oh, no, no, no, not Christian Science! That's not what I meant at all! And not Scientology, either - bad stuff there!
No, I only meant that there are scientists who are Christian, and there are scientists, both Christian and not, who do not hold to the theory of evolution.
As for hard facts, look into them, take nothing for granted. Often, you can get two different views on these hard facts, and they may not be as solid as one side or the other makes them out to be.


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Do you not know? Have you not heard? He gives strength to the weary. To those who hope in Him, they will soar like eagles. -RSJ

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