Resources

 

Pastor's Bible Study

Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.

 

Pastor's Column

 

the mystery of iniquity in a violent world

october 3, 2017


 

The Mystery of Iniquity in a Violent World

Violence in our society is a perplexing reality. If we look at it in terms of statistics, there is less killing and crime in many categories than in many years. When we see the daily litany of murder stories on the news, though, and compare our nation to other nations, we are appalled at the spectacles of Newtown and Orlando and now Las Vegas.  In every case, our own people take up weapons of mass violence and irrationally rain death upon the innocent.

We try to understand the motives. Often it is some misguided sense of revolution or cause, but more often than not, it is rooted in a broken mind, disconnected finally from reality and responsibility or planted deeply in the fertile garden of anger and grudges. Sometimes there is simply no answer at all.

In the early 17th century, Thomas Helwys, one of our first Baptist ancestors, wrote a tract called “The Mystery of Iniquity.”  While he was writing from prison about the injustice of religious persecution, he took the title from 1 Thessalonians 2:7.  where Paul speaks of the mystery of lawlessness and evil in the world, where oppression, murder and corruption destroys the intention of God for humanity.

Our country has been battered in the last month—three devastating storms and now a senseless act of violence, the taking of so many beautiful and productive lives for no apparent reason, and certainly for no worthy one. There are resentments and causes and conflicts in the world, but the way of unforgiveness, irrational hate, murder and violence, the enemies of the way of Jesus, finally make no sense. They are the mystery of all that is against God’s purposes.

We mourn today, again, exhausted with mourning, a world of constant grieving and creation of new pain and grudges. The gospel (good news) of Jesus is not a mere hobby for certain personalities. We are in a deadly earnest contest of reality, one that needs us to tell and live and mend and pray. We live in the shadow of iniquity that threatens to end all that we know and love unless we repent and believe and renew our common and individual lives. Laws are needed but they will not finally solve lawlessness alone. We need transformation of the human heart.

To the victims in Las Vegas, we offer our prayers and hear a call to stand clearly for life, for healing, for repentance and faith. Only these can sustain us.

 

Will Our Children Have Faith?

This Sunday, October 8, I will begin a new sermon series entitled, “Will Our Children Have Faith?” As we face one of the most challenging eras of human history, what is required of us to invite the next generation to a robust and living faith? What is that faith? What is asked of each of us to communicate it effectively?

I want to share from my heart about the essence of the Christian faith from scripture, through a definition of our common faith, and an invitation into decisive and faithful living for these days. I hope you will be a part of this important series as we examine the foundations of faith, the problem of sin and the nature of the Christian life together.

                                             Gary