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A Good Example of Preaching on a Tough Subject

My friend and seminary classmate Pastor Richard J. Lee gave a sermon entitled “FAQ: Is Homosexuality a Sin” at his church this past week.  Richard is a great guy, talented pastor… and more conservative on this issue than I am.  Richard holds a pretty traditionalist position on homosexuality and argues for that position in this sermon.  I disagree with his exegesis, but totally understand and respect where he is coming from.

Given that I disagree with him on the topic, you may be wondering why I am posting it here and why I am recommending it?  It is because I think this is a great example of how traditionalists can preach on this topic with grace, respect and without falling into many of the “anti-gay” traps that are so common (e.g. Louie Giglio’s sermon from 20 years ago that got him uninvited to the Presidential Inauguration) or the more extreme bigotry of people like Lou Engle or Bryan Fischer.  In other words, Richard gets the tone right: pastoral, graceful, but pulls no punches on what he believes.  He addresses the tensions and gives people space to disagree, explore, etc.  As a gay Christian who disagrees with him, I felt totally respected and would be comfortable going to his church, worshiping there, etc. — which means he got it right.

If you are a traditionalist pastor or church-goer, this is a great example of how to tackle this issue in your church.  If you are a progressive on this issue — or a gay seeker or gay believer — I hope you listen to it… and then let me know, while disagreeing with him, did you feel respected?  How would you have felt sitting in the pews listening to this?  Any other thoughts?

Here is the link… check it out:

http://www.bethanywell.com/2013/06/06-23-2013-is-homosexuality-a-sin/

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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@Table w/Jesus #2, Lessons in Grace: Banquet

Here is part #2 of the series I am currently preaching at Riverfront Family Church.  We are exploring the topic of GRACE: what is it, what difference does it make, and what does it reveal about our Heavenly Father?

This message comes out of Luke 14.

After listening, I would love to hear your thoughts.

This Sunday I will be continuing the series with a message called “Block Party” out of Luke 15.

During the summers, Riverfront Family Church meets for worship at Wickham Park in Manchester, CT at 10:30 AM.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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@Table w/Jesus, #1: Fishing

Here is the audio from my sermon last week at Riverfront Family Church.  Tomorrow, is part #2 of the series.  During the summer, the church meets at Wickham Park in Manchester, CT at 10:30 AM.  (info here).

In case you are curious, you can read about how I wrote this sermon here.

After you listen, I would love your feedback…

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Summer Speaking Schedule

I will be preaching four times during the month of July, all at Riverfront Family Church.  During the summer, RFC actually meets at Wickham Park in Manchester for its services (10:30 AM).

Here are the dates and topics, if you are interested:

JULY 3 – “Integrating Faith & Politics: A Roundtable Discussion” 

JULY 17 – @Table with Jesus: Lessons in Grace, #1: Banquet (Lk 14:15-24)

JULY 24 – @Table with Jesus: Lessons in Grace, #2: Block Party (Lk 15:11-31)

JULY 31 – @Table with Jesus: Lessons in Grace, #3: Brunch (Jn 21:15-19)

For the July 3rd message, I will be interviewing both Evelyn Mantilla and Bill Cortese. Both are part of the RFC community and are very involved with politics. Evelyn served as a CT State Representative for ten years and Bill works as a political consultant, including on the recent Tom Foley gubernatorial campaign here in Connecticut.  I am going to be asking them about how faith and politics are integrated for them, what some of the dangers/pitfalls might be, etc.  I think this will be a really interesting and hopefully helpful conversation/message for people.

I’m also really excited about the @Table series… hope to see some of you there.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A First For Me

Sunday morning was a first for me…

I was preaching at a local church in Hartford.  My sermon was titled “Joy, Joy, When There Is No Joy” — in other words, how do you “rejoice in all things” (as the Apostle Paul says) when you don’t feel joyful?

For me, this was a very personal sermon because the past 18 months have been among the hardest (and least joy-filled) of my life.  

I felt that it was important to share that context with folks as I spoke on this topic.  This is the first time I have spoken publicly about what happened during a sermon or in front of a crowd (blogging feels different).

It was also the first time in a sermon that I have ever acknowledged that I am gay.  Even as I said it in the message, I was haunted by old feelings and lies of “can I really say that? Is it okay to be honest about it?”

Of course, the answer is YES!

And it felt good.  It felt right.  And I had some great and encouraging conversations with folks after the service.  

The challenge for me was to find the right balance of sharing ENOUGH without sharing TOO MUCH.  This is the balance that every pastor/preacher wrestles with when sharing personal stuff.  I feel good about the balance I found for this message.

I will post the sermon here as soon as it is posted online… and then feel free to let me know what you think.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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