24 Jul 2012

Eating My Words

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Blog | Pastor Duane

They call it humble pie. Like having to eat the dish of chopped up liver, lungs and kindney (“umble pie”) so it is when you are forced to apologize for obviously being in error.

It is not infrequently that God makes me eat the words of my sermon. This last week I preached a sermon on being willing to be rejected by others for the sake of the Gospel because our Lord was rejected for us. I emphasized the downfalls of argumentativeness, pushing other people away and being angry at those who are unrepentant.

After one of our services an older man who was a guest came up to me and ask if he could talk to me. Not knowing what it was about, I obliged. He proceeded to question the specificity and methodology with which we fence the table at The Resolved Church. Which by the way, “fencing the table” is a phrase used to describe communion being for believers only based on the command for people not to “eat or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner (1 Cor 11:27).” I’ve got another another blog brewing on that, so stay tuned.

Within the first few minutes of the conversation I could tell he was not happy with what I had said in my sermon and how we regularly practice the Lord’s Supper at The Resolved Church. However, rather than using discernment and addressing the heart and attitude that colored his criticism OR instead of simply not entertaining the conversation since 1 Timothy 5:19 says not to “admit a charge against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses”, instead I gave into my pride.

I began to drop big theological words and reference historical controversies and practices within the Reformed tradition in order to explain and defend our church’s practice of the Lord’s Supper. Later that afternoon, God in His graciousness helped me realize how, in my heart I had just fallen into the same trap I had preached about earlier that morning. I was argumentative and when the conversation was over I was angry and immediately began to write off the guy in my head as being crazy.

John 16:18 says that one of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to convict of sin and righteousness. Often times God in his loving wisdom and care for us will bring out things in us where our heart and our actions betray the things we say we believe. This is because God loves us and is serious about making us like Jesus, becoming the men and women he has called us to be.

I decided to write a blog on this both as a fruit of repentance and hopefully as an opportunity to lead by example in humility, openness and repentance. Pastorally I am concerned about what we profess to believe versus what we practice. The Christian life is meant to be an open life, where we are not claiming rightness but unrighteousness…one where we are not looking to prop ourselves up but looking to the one who was proped up on a cross for all our unrighteousness.

The Gospel ought to make us more humble. The Gospel ought to make us more open. The Gospel ought to make us more repentful. In your life and relationships…in your community groups…are you humble, open and repentful? Where and how is God growing you? What sin is he addressing in you? How are you coming to see and learn and know the Gospel more in your life?

May God continue to grow us up into Him who is our great Head Pastor and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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