Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Message of Obadiah

I am not sure that I will be posting the sermon from last night. I might in the future whenever I am able to work out a few of the kinks. To be honest after I went home I felt really sour about the sermon. I was afraid that I communicated the wrong thing. My hope in asking, "Does God have enemies" was to cause us to think about what it was like when we were God's enemy or for those who do not know Him to realize they are in a dangerous spot. I hope that was conveyed and perhaps it was--but I went home thinking I could have communicated that truth more effectively. I understand that one of the things that I said might be confusing but I still stick beside it. I really do believe that the Word of God reveals that God not only hates sin (as an outward expression) but also the sinner (an inward condition), but on top of this we can also say at the same time that God loves the sinner. I do not understand all of the complexities of God.
If you are curious as to my stance here are a few other places you can look:

Does God Hate Anyone?--CARM
Does God Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin?--John H. Gerstner (Excellent)
If you are absolutely distraught on this I would suggest buying and reading D.A. Carson's excellent work: The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

Another one of the reasons I felt uneasy has to deal with a website I visited the day before preaching this sermon. I stumbled upon the site of Westboro Baptist Church of whom maybe you have heard about on the news. These are the "Christians" who picket funerals and hold up signs such as "God hates fags" and "Thank God for (insert present disaster here)". The site made me weep because they are proclaiming a half truth. They too believe that God hates the sinner...but where they falter is that they hate the sinner. Not realizing that they are incapable of the righteous and holy anger of God. They are ungentle and unloving and feel that they are being biblical in doing so. Therefore, I had a fear that what I was preaching could potentially convey that. We should take the path that Jesus Christ took and love our enemies. We should love sinners. John Piper wrote an excellent article that I think you should view: Do I Not Hate Those who Hate You?

Also there has been a request for the full text of Jonathan Edwards' sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, just click on the link and you will find it.

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