Is Jesus a Conservative or a Liberal?

Today’s sermon will surely generate discussion for some time to come.  Calling attention to our need to reexamine our “oral tradition” concerning instrumental music and restrictions on women is no small matter.  It is as though there has been a large elephant in the room that everyone is aware of, but nobody wants to talk about.  Some will surely become very excited thinking that the church is about to change dramatically.  Many will be optimistic about this and many others depressed or even angry. However, calling attention to the elephant in the middle of the room is NOT advocating doing anything about it necessarily, except acknowledging its presence. Then we are in a position to talk about it and decide if the Lord desires us to make any changes, or to leave things as they are.  But for the sake of our teens and young adults especially, we must address the subjects!

Unfortunately, I fear that in the midst of highlighting these two areas in need of discussion we run the danger of missing the heart of Jesus’ message; which is the heart!  There is no way we can preserve the unity of the Spirit if evil is coming out of our hearts.  The track record of churches talking about sensitive subjects is not good.  Because of this churches are reluctant to honestly examine controversial issues.  The problem is not in talking about difficult topics but in the arrogance and slanderous manner in which church folks conduct themselves.  If we will all repent of the evil that lives within our hearts we will surely be able to talk about any subject, no matter how controversial, and together discern the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.  True followers of Christ would not have it any other way.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

6 Responses to “Is Jesus a Conservative or a Liberal?”

  1. I agree that we need to acknowledge that these two topics (instruments and women) are out there and are effecting (and are going to effect) our congregation. I also think we need to acknowledge that our own practice and theology are inconsistent where these two topics are involved.

    That being said, I don't think now is the time to address them. I think as a congregation we are still in a restructuring phase, the next big phase being the Sunday Bible classes. I think we need a little more time to let things settle down. Then I would like to see these topics taught in a Sunday morning bible class where we could carefully work through each issue.

    Difficult topics are difficult because people feel strongly about them. Yes, people do behave poorly at times, but not all disagreement and passion about a topic is due to evil and arrogance. We are not all going to agree, and good people with good hearts can disagree stongly, sometimes so strongly that they cannot worship together. I do agree that we should be able to go about a discussion without name calling, slander, or insults, but that doesn't mean the discussion won't be heated.

    Finally, on a personal note, I would just like to see some greater consistency between our practice and our teaching. I don't really have any “skin” in this game. I am not musical at all and don't really care about the whole instruments issue. Being a male, the whole women's role issue hardly effects me. What I want is to be able to explain our possition to a visitor and have it match our practice, whatever it is.

  2. avatar Byron says:

    Well said WatermellonGirl.

  3. avatar cllapp says:

    Byron,
    I think I would have loved to have heard this sermon…..is it on DVD somewhere?

    Cindy

  4. avatar Byron says:

    Cindy,
    I can send you a CD (sorry, we don't normally make DVD's) or you can listen to it on line at http://www.clearlakechurch.com, click on the sermons & resources tab.

  5. avatar tom w says:

    I thought I would chime in echoing the apparent inconsistency in our position on women. I think we have smudged the line when it comes to women before the church. There really is no line as far as women serving, despite the fact we dont have female “deacons” we have several female ministry positions, so I think we need to come up with a statement of belief that coincides with our practices.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

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