Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Christians have been transformed (or perhaps you could say mutated by Jesus Christ), and though they stand apart from the world, they still fight to save the world that would persecute and hate them

A "Mutant" Generation (A Hollywood Jesus)

-Reverend Antonio L. Torrence

I. One of this summer¡¦s most anticipated movies is X-men 3: The Last Stand based upon the marvel comic¡¦s series of Stan Lee. I grew up reading this comic series and what I liked about it was that originally, Stan Lee used the comic book of x-men as a device of dealing with racism in America. And one can even see the echoes of the two methodologies non-violent peaceful approach versus ¡¥by-any-means necessary¡¦. The rivalry that once existed between Malcolm X and MLK were echoed in the characters of Magneto and Dr. Xavier. And so, the movie X-men continues to serve as a metaphor for tolerance and acceptance of those who are different racially, sexually, cultural, physical, etc. In the film, the mutants are humans with special powers. Some in their society consider these power to be birth defects and abnormities, others believe that it is the next step in evolution for humankind. However the mutants are challenged with who they are, how they accept themselves, and how they go about bringing about change where they are seen as valuable asset to society. It is a struggle that virtually all people, inwardly and outwardly face and battle. In some way, we all realize that in some strange way we ourselves are mutants.

o There is something abnormal about and strange about us all based on society¡¦s standards.

„X Single-parent homes or broken home. Divorcee or forty-something and still singled.

„X Legal resident or refugee; ex-con or ex-addict; physically challenged or cancer survivor. There a little mutant x in us all.

II. Like the X-Men, Christians have been transformed (or perhaps you could say mutated by Jesus Christ), and though they stand apart from the world, they still fight to save the world that would persecute and hate them. You might even call Christians the Ex-Men, for Jesus has made us into something new. We have gifted with divine authority and power over the evils of this world.

o We have ¡§exousia¡¨ the power of authority: Matthew 10:1 Jesus calls the twelve and gives them authority to heal the sick and cast out demons. Exousia is the power of choice; judiciary power to decide the destiny of the delivered and the damned.

„X Matthew 16:19 ¡§I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[f] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[g] loosed in heaven."

o We have been given power ¡V ¡§dunamis¡¨ ¡Vexplosive and cosmic: This is strength and ability to enforce the authority that you have. Act 1:8 ¡§And you shall receive power to be my witnesses¡¨

o We have been blessed with special talents and gifts:

„X Be it Motivational gifts (Romans 12:6-8)

„X Gifts of Manifestation (1corinthian 12:7-10)

„X Gifts of ministerial Leadership (Ephesians 4:11)

III. But the power, authority, and our gifts are only effective when we can stand together united and we are not afraid to use them. That¡¦s the decision we will have to make. At some point in our lives, we will be confounded with an issue and we will have to take a stand. The question asked in X-men 3 is ¡§Who will you stand with?¡¨ Halle Berry who plays Storm tells Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) that time for sitting on the fence is over; ¡§If you¡¦re going to be with us; be one with us.¡¨And the problem we are facing is that many may be with us but they are not one with us. Many are with us today, but they are not one with us.

o There are several issues dividing our country right now, as many of us feel that as long as it doesn¡¦t affect us directly, we will never have to deal with the subject in our lives.

„X As I drove to work on Friday, I notice that someone had spray painted one the ¡¥retaining walls of I78 with the comment, ¡§Get rid of the all the Illegals and Bush.¡¨

„X Abortion and the right of choice.

„X America¡¦s continual involvement in Iraq.

„X Gay rights and marriage.

IV. Jesus prays, ¡§That we would be one as he and the father are one¡KI in them as you are in me that they may be perfectly one.¡¨ In other words, Jesus is saying, ¡§Lord, let them have a sense of unity. Give them a spirit of oneness. Let them realize that they are all created equal in your sight. Let it no longer be about them and us, but let it be about ¡§ours and we¡¨. Let them be one as you and I are one. When the world sees me, they see the father. When the world seeks the father, it seeks after me. So, let them, Holy father be unified that they aren¡¦t seen- but let the Christ that is in their midst be seen. Let them be one. Let those who are colored in the many hues of the rainbow collectively mirror your true colors. Let the dark shades of Africa mixed with the soft pastels of Europe and the florescent spices of South America. Let them form the mosaic stained glass windows adorning your spiritual temple here on earth. Let them be one. Tell someone, ¡¥let us become one.¡¨

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