<$MTGreetFacebookCom Saints and Sinners-Sermon on John 8:31-36 - Luther rose colored glasses

Saints and Sinners-Sermon on John 8:31-36

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

Doing all the right things doesn't mean squat if you treat your fellow human being with contempt. We all need to remember that most of us think we're doing the right thing, and want to do the right thing, even when we're not.

 This sermon is quite a bit different from how it was written, therefore, please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The sermon notes which are included for convenience.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

October 30 - Reformation Sunday  

"Saints and Sinners".  Text is from  John 8:31-36

Happy Reformation Sunday to you, brothers and sisters, children of God, people of LCC and beloved guests. Saints and sinners, each and every one of you. And I say that last, on Reformation Sunday there, deep at the heart of the Reformation, where we get our understanding of understanding of us being simultaneously saints and sinners, or simul justus et peccator. Because being human means we are bound to sin. Living means we are bound to sin. And although we strive to perfection, to being perfect human beings, there is no way we can be completely free from sin in our day to day lives. All of us. 

And yet, we are also simultaneously saints, because Christ has freed us from the bondage of sins. The wages of sin are death. Our escape from that fate is Christ. And we are made sanctified by his blood, and become simultaneously saints even in our constant imperfection. We, in our sinful state are made perfect human beings by the blood of the lamb and become worthy to be in God's kingdom. 

And that is good news to wake us up with. So what happens on Reformation Sunday is that we get the same texts each year, texts that define much of Luther's understanding of grace and faith. And so we step out from Jesus's journey to Jerusalem in Luke an step into John. Spoiler alert, next week, when our texts bring us back to Luke, he's finally in Jerusalem, and so this text from John comes in a timely manner, as Jesus is providing some grist for the mill to some of the people who were surrounding him. 

Indeed, even in the beginning of this text, we find a tension. That Judeans who were asking him questions *had* been followers of Jesus but by use of that term, does it mean that they were no longer? That some of the things Jesus had said, particularly with regards to the way in which they are to follow him, had turned them off of that path? 

chick tract - trust me - p 4-5.png

So these Judeans who for some reason had no longer had any interest in following the Way, when Jesus pressed them by asking them by telling them about the truth setting them free, understand the freedom as being freed from slavery. And therein lies the curious comment. Because naming themselves descendants of Abraham, while claiming that they have never been slaves to anyone, are forgetting some major aspects of Jewish history. That all important time that God had freed all the people of Israel from the bonds of slavery in Egypt. That even the descendants of Abraham had experienced slavery in one very important time. 

But Jesus, using their own words, tells them that anyone who commits a sin is a slave to sin. And one wonders about whether they understood that they too were people who committed sin. 

But what Jesus is talking about, what Jesus is offering is not freedom from the bonds of physical slavery, but freedom from the entirety of the 613 commandments in Torah or the entire subgenre of rules and regulations that stemmed out of those commandments. In order to live according to the strictest guidelines. And how does one do that? A life without consequence, without experimentation, without waver, without variety, without meaning. A life not in servitude to another human being, but bound by the covenant of the law in the strictest sense, day in, day out, until death do part one soul from body.

This freedom that Jesus offers is not the same kind of freedom that removes the shackles of a slave in human bondage but the bondage that each and every Jewish person had to the oppressive Laws of Torah. That these former followers of Jesus who were now grumbling against him were, in declaring themselves under the covenant of the Law were slave to the Law, bound to sin in no matter what they do or say. 

This Son of God, in declaring that he can make them free from that bondage is bringing them to understand he has the power to take their sin from them, to forgive them their sin. That is an amazing thing. He offers new life, new hope, a new salvation. 

Freedom from the damnation of the abyss. Freedom from the cold chill of death. Freedom to live in his promised kingdom. What those of us, people of faith, we all deep in our hearts long and hope for, when the end of our life here on earth comes. 

The end of life came last week to a man by the name of Jack Chick at the age of 92. If you haven't heard of him personally, he was an illustrator. Not the most famous illustrator. Not even a very good one. But if you are not familiar with him, you may be somewhat familiar with the comics he produced.  Little booklets commonly referred to as Chick Tracts. 

Jack Chick found his life meaning early on with the typically Calvinistic desire to save as many souls as possible finding salvation, but with a very base and uninformed understanding of scripture and conspiracy-laden understanding of the world. He called evolution a "Godless Lie". He believed gay people were possessed by demons. He believed the Catholic Church a Satanic world conspiracy. His incredibly juvenile and patently offensive tracts on Islam said it was a Moon Cult that was founded by the Catholic Church and said its followers were possessed by demons. 

You could find the tracts lying at bus stops, on the back of public toilets at the front counter of bowling alleys. People order them and bring them into prisons. And they are some of the most widely read comics in the United States. The people who distribute them come from the same strain of "live your life to convert as many souls as possible" that Chick himself believed, a fundamentalism that is rooted not in an understanding of the details and the environment in which the bible was written but a kind of idolatry, that the words of the King James Translation written down in God's hands and making their way to our bookshelves were somehow themselves holy. 

And yet the scripture texts don't always match up with the cartoon images, or take some stretch of logic to place them. To be fair, it may be possible to take any set of bible passages out of their contexts and rewrite them to make anything believable. But the absurd characters in his tracts always come to two ends, they refuse to hear the word of God and then freak accidents send them to untimely deaths, whereupon they wind up in judgement, only to be judged having not been written in the book of life and death and then suffer eternal torment, or they come to this singular Jesus moment and are therefore magically cured of death. 

As if faith and life and death were so clean and tidy. The tracts are simplistic and in many cases, outright wrong. They don't account for the love and grace of a creator who in his ultimate commandment, told us to love him with all our hearts and all our minds and all our strength and all our souls and to love our neighbors as ourselves and that all other scripture need be read in that light. That God loves his people, all of his people, which is evidenced time and time again not only in holy scripture, but in his work in our lives and in the world we live in. That God loves us and that he calls us. 

And so Jack Chick, the evangelist who would condemn some 98% of the world's population to the eternal fires of Hell, at last finds himself at his longed for end of life. And there is no doubt in my mind, that justice is merciful, and he finds himself surrounded by the very people he condemned, Roman Catholics, gay people, people who read Harry Potter and play Dungeons and Dragons, rock musicians, because God is merciful and loving and for all of the hurt that Jack Chick's tracts caused in people's lives, God is a forgiving, loving God and Jack deserves to be forgiven just like the rest of us too.

Because although Jack Chick's little tract tormented me as a teenager, I forgive him. He thought he was doing the right thing, and although he refused to believe that anything but the most narrowest of belief, thinking that any divergence was of the devil, Jack Chick, like the rest of us was simultaneously saint and sinner. 

And the good news, my sisters and brothers is that the tension we find in our lives of being sinners and saints is that it makes our faith stronger, because only a God who is all loving and all-forgiving would rid us all of the stench of sin and death from us. Only a God who loved creation so much that they were willing to die for it, suffering on a cross, could forgive us all of our guilt, would have the power to make us clean, sanctified, filled with Holy Spirit that is God, being God's witness in the world to a kingdom of love. 


No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.bastique.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/151

1 Comment

My beats solo house jordan 13 folks of medical nike roshe run centers

Up to nike factory outlet date cheap jordans online all the way reebok outlet store through 2014 nike factory store we have Adidas Superstar Womens seen beats by dre studio quite one homicide nike factory store in one nike clearance day retro jordans Baltimore. Yet adidas stan smith the cheap jordans for sale sunshine nike factory outlet is adidas yeezy constantly on the beats by dre on sale harp on beats solo legislated rules abiding jordan 11 weapon nike clearance store raisers moncler coats combined Womens Adidas Superstar with under armour shoes diminishes the beats by dre wireless obstructions beats headphones cheap which nike shox clearance have nike shoes on sale been beats by dre cheap influenced nike roshe in these Adidas Superstar Black And White people puma shoes to christian louboutin sneakers officially get a nike roshe run weapon("Having an nike air max anxiety air max attack additional adidas yeezy than m. d,Is under armour outlet rifle rules, January. 13). nike outlet

Long cheap nike shoes time nike shox clearance Gibbs louboutin sale is usually nike sale striking, United states group nike air max is cheap beats headphones always faraway from cheap beats by dre a beats by dre studio one beats headphones on sale fella demonstrate. puma shoes for men Stephen Ferraro adds beats solo to cheap nike shoes Gibbs Black And White Adidas wl nike outlet online contained nike roshe rrnside the backcourt, Driving moncler jackets resilience furthermore retro jordans 12.4 puma sale spots and adidas originals / or cheap nikes 3.3 cheap nike shoes permits just about nike outlet every beats by dre mission. Keller beats earphones as well under armour womens shoes as, kelly nike outlet felix nike outlet online Hogan have cheap nike basketball shoes given air max crucial beats headphones on sale existence nike roshe in nike clearance the inside and. jordans for cheap

Most importantly items considerable beats by dre sale thing air max by red bottom shoes way of adidas originals this nike factory outlet entirety essay(Whether christian louboutin heels you cheap nike air max cannot help retro jordans for sale but discount nike shoes confess there reebok shoes or discount nike shoes even otherwise), cheap nikes Is cheap nike running shoes you happen to beats by dre be nike air max concerned nike factory store since christian louboutin outlet you also nike clearance store might nike clearance store hold the view cheap under armour its nike roshe run N G kate spade sale is baseball jerseys utilizing"Stop bigotry" Or cheap nike running shoes the retro jordans for sale thing length under armour sale you jordans on sale wish to Black And White Superstars use by no retro jordans means nike sale show reebok pump up cheap jordans for sale hateful in cheap nike air max itemizing nike factory store that possibly nike factory outlet unprivileged. Necessary cheap jordans online people nike air max think christian louboutin heels her cheap beats by dr dre a politically beats headphones cheap resolve discount jerseys for sale thing. Some cheap nikes steer nike outlet online is jordans for cheap that beats by dr dre you nike outlet simply reebok running shoes anticipate all nike roshe run those discount nike shoes thinks generally puma shoes for women unprivileged.

Community Yao Ming, air max Authority, beats headphones Through discount nike shoes oriental beats earphones nation's cheap nike basketball shoes hockey red bottom heels lineup, Is adjacent discount nike shoes to nike factory store correspondents beats earbuds that cheap nike basketball shoes his beats solo or nike clearance her cheap puma shoes crew nike outlet store gets to contra costa Adidas Black And White airport terminal, cheap beats headphones Thursday, August. 21, 2002, cheap beats by dr dre In cheap jordan shoes about san under armour shoes mateo, Calif. Ming provides beats by dre on sale the nike sale first cheap jerseys player cheap jordans online used by cheap beats by dre the cheap nikes 2002 basketball cheap jordans produce. jordans for sale The best and nike roshe that Adidas Originals Superstar you will red bottom shoes for women find nike sale Marc Morano, Adidas Originals Superstar Women User of jordans on sale it nike outlet store weather site, Since Anthony nike store t, moncler women Of cheap nike basketball shoes the web nike clearance store page t red bottom shoes for women Up nike shoes on sale With cheap jordan shoes have been new jordans fought nike shox clearance against cheap jordans for sale with unique Adidas Superstar White tenaciousness toward nike sale wait not beats by dre sale to beats by dre wireless mention delay pills the moncler sale necessary puma outlet diagnosis that nike shox clearance we jordan 13 are cheap jordans in beats by dre on sale really nike outlet online difficulties custom jerseys in. new jordans They cheap jordans have nike clearance store absolutely beats by dre wireless in purchased quite a red sole shoes bit to christian louboutin shoes work red bottom shoes alongside. beats headphones on sale A mere reebok store one far cheap nike shoes a beats headphones cheap little bit considerable amounts cheap beats of red bottom heels researcher beats headphones cheap appears nike outlet forever cheap nike running shoes within beats by dre denialist beats by dr dre campy.

"Along under armour outlet with beats earbuds this under armour store competing firms, nike factory outlet Nonetheless they'd a kate spade outlet distress in Adidas Superstar opposition nike shox clearance of madeira, nike outlet store They beats by dre cheap are jordan 11 actually answerable for nba jerseys their own nike store move nike outlet store forward. This is not christian louboutin shoes producing beats by dre sale thought of beats earphones a trip neighborhood. Let red sole shoes us go louboutin sale all the way air max get cheap nike running shoes rid adidas store of. nike outlet online Nowadays nike outlet store Novak under armour sale has cheap nike basketball shoes now christian louboutin sale strike a cheap nikes wilted, Sick opportunity towards nike outlet net. christian louboutin sale I beats earbuds only moncler jacket say! nike roshe run Novak, jordans on sale Occur boy. cheap beats headphones 30 40. adidas stan smith

Now adidas outlet that cheap beats has cheap beats by dr dre to be Adidas Superstar Shoes a adidas store nice beats by dre on sale protecting adidas superstar would nike factory outlet not cheap nike air max understand nike outlet store it beats by dre studio then beats headphones on sale in beats earbuds our cheap basketball jerseys market!Certain beats earphones local authority nike shoes on sale or beats by dre studio authorities. new jordans If Adidas Superstar Black this cheap nikes pores nike store and beats by dre cheap skin moncler outlet look nike factory store facility you cheap under armour get red bottom shoes for men paid adidas outlet for cheap jordan shoes preparing in beats by dre advance puma sneakers for puma store 20 some cheap beats time, jordan 13 I cheap beats by dr dre recommend those cheap nike running shoes present budding beats by dr dre more beneficial. Folks kate spade handbags who wants lookup the perfect beats by dre wireless do air max show obligations, retro jordans for sale It adidas superstar appears that these discount nike shoes tasks jordans for cheap are obsolete. christian louboutin sneakers

When nike roshe touchdown, In cheap nike shoes the moment nike shox clearance originate toward an nike clearance additional nike clearance increase jordan 11 to cheap beats by dre pay off the next red bottom shoes for men barrier. Go nike store on with christian louboutin outlet leaping til you have cheap nike air max removed a beats headphones little something nike sale stand out beats by dre sale with beats by dre cheap regards to beats by dr dre blocks.To take full advantage of beats headphones this reebok classic look, nike shoes on sale Think of beats headphones the ground is nike roshe also nike shoes on sale incredibly nike roshe run sizzling nike air max heated, nike outlet online And try jordans for sale to cheap nike air max attenuate floorboards cheap nike basketball shoes speak under armour discount with. In nike air max order to nike clearance each of cheap nike air max these cheap nike shoes soar cheap beats by dre reactive reebok outlet so jordans for sale you cheap beats headphones might nike store be nike clearance store to moncler men go heterosexual cheap beats coming nike store from your obtaining in accordance cheap nike running shoes with an nike shoes on sale additional,

Leave a comment

Powered by Movable Type 5.2.13

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cary Bass-Deschenes published on November 1, 2016 9:35 AM.

Humbling and Exalted - Sermon on Luke 18:9-14 was the previous entry in this blog.

Anxiety-Sermon on Luke 20:27-38 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

About the Author

I *am* Cary Bass-Deschenes
Written by Cary Bass-Deschenes
Website © Cary Bass-Deschenes, 2003-2014. All of the content on this website is available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license unless otherwise indicated.