Topic: Controversial Issues
This week we explore vulnerability, and how we all tend to use the serpent’s tools of hiding and idolatrous performance to protect ourselves from judgment and shame. We learn that Vulnerability is the only onramp to real connection with others, and is also the key to enabling us to receive our life and fullness from God alone.
One of the core convictions of Woodland Hills is that God is indiscriminately loving and opposed to all violence. But many Christians since the 4th century have not wanted this to be true. It’s more comfortable for us to hate our enemies and be justified in doing so. So some Christians have gone to great lengths to argue that Jesus was not actually opposed to violence. Debunking these arguments is what Greg focused on during this ‘Turning the Tables’ message.
How are other pastors and church leaders responding to Greg’s proposal for interpreting the violence of God in the Old Testament? In this sermon, we get to hear from the perspective of Bruxy Cavey, pastor of The Meeting House in Toronto, Canada. He summarizes his interpretation of Greg’s writings, and offers his take.
God is a God who stoops down, out of love, in order to meet people where they are. He is a heavenly missionary who accommodates that which he is against in order to win people over to the truth. This metaphor of a heavenly missionary helps us understand what God was doing when we read about the violent depictions of God in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament often portrays God as either doing, commanding, or threatening violence. For many, this is a huge problem because these depictions contradict the way Jesus lived and commanded. What are we to do with this contradiction? In this sermon, Greg invites us to see that there is something else going in these portrayals of violence, and we can only see this something else when we understand what was going on when Jesus died on the cross.
In this third message of our Worth the Risk series, Greg talks about marriage relationships and explores the meaning of Ephesians 5:22, which says that wives must submit to their husbands. Read More
This next sermon in our series, titled God in Us, focused on the meaning, biblical background and practical application of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This phrase has created much controversy in the church today while often creating more division than unity. The evidence in Scripture emphasizes that there is a difference between having the Holy Spirit as a follower of Jesus and the act of being filled with the Spirit, but that this filling of the Spirit looks more like the extravagant love of a married couple than any spiritual test. Read More
This weekend’s sermon is a response to the recent police/black lives matter conflicts from Baton Rouge, Dallas and here in Saint Paul. We took a break from our current ‘God In Us’ series to talk about this together. Read More
We held a Q&A night to wrap up our Flesh and Blood sermon series. In the final sermon of that series we examined how racial reconciliation is a vital part of the gospel message. To further discuss this we asked Dennis Edwards, the Senior Pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church, to join Greg for this Q&A on a Jesus-way of addressing … Read More
This week we heard from a guest speaker, Jeremy Jernigan, teach on the topic of his new book, Redeeming Pleasure. The topic of pleasure within the church has often been shied away from because of an assumption that pleasure is connected with guilt and shame. Jeremy emphasized the need to seek pleasure on God’s terms where we will experience maximum pleasure rather than seeking pleasure on our own terms which ultimately leads to less pleasure. Read More