Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A social commentary of the Canadian political situation, we are reminded the world hates us, but that’s OK, because we are aliens, strangers and pilgrims. We really don’t belong here.

John 15:18-21 – I Don’t Belong Here

Today I’m straying off a schedule a little. I meant to continue working through the book Experiencing God, but due to the political events of the past week, I felt I needed to address them. I have more to say than time to say it in, but I’ll do my best to make the most of your time.

Two deep-impacting events for Canada happened this week in Ottawa. 1) On Tuesday, Stephen Harper, the leader of the Alliance Party, the official Opposition, made a motion identical to one introduced by the Alliance’s predecessor, the Reform Party, in 1999. It read: "That in the opinion of this House, it is necessary, in light of public debate around recent court decisions, to reaffirm that marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and that Parliament take all necessary steps within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada to preserve this definition." This motion was passed in 1999 by a large margin. Parliament then voted on this motion and the result was 137 opposed and 132 in favor. What this means is that homosexual marriages are coming to Canada within a year.

And 2) On Wednesday Parliament voted on Bill C-250, which was the bill by the New Democrat Party’s Svend Robinson to amend the Criminal Code to include sexual orientation as a protected minority with regard to hate crimes legislation. This bill was passed by a narrow margin: 141-110. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for approval and then must receive Royal Assent before becoming law. What this means is that it’s possible that soon, you won’t be able to even speak out against homosexuality without being fined or jailed for it. You know I don’t stand up every Sunday and condemn gay people to hell. But it is scary to think that soon, I could lose my ministerial license if I were to mention the fact that it is sin.

So it has made me wonder about what to say to you good folks about it all. What should your pastor, your shepherd, say to lead you into this time of moral slipping here in Canada? Well, #1, I won’t stand here and complain all day. And, #2, I will share what I see the Word saying to us. You may agree or disagree, but I will share what I feel God’s perspective is on this thing. Turn with me to John 15:18-21. These are the words of Jesus, meant to comfort the early disciples in the times they would face within a few months. Read. Well, it takes no rocket scientist to see that the world is coming to hate those of us who hold traditional views. If you read the papers, anyone who opposes the gay lifestyle is outdated, narrow-minded, prejudiced, bigoted and “homophobic”. This is Jesus’ words coming true before our eyes.

You know, if Biblical events happened today, these would be the headlines written in the liberal, secular media. On Red Sea crossing:

WETLANDS TRAMPLED IN LABOR STRIKE - Pursuing Environmentalists Killed On Elijah on Mt. Carmel: FIRE SENDS RELIGIOUS RIGHT EXTREMIST INTO FRENZY - 400 Killed On healing the 10 lepers: LOCAL DOCTOR’S PRACTICE RUINED - "Faith Healer" Causes Bankruptcy On healing of the Gadarene demoniac: MADMAN’S FRIEND CAUSES STAMPEDE - Local Farmer’s Investment Lost On raising Lazarus from the dead: FUNDAMENTALIST PREACHER RAISES A STINK - Will Reading to be Delayed On David vs. Goliath: HATE CRIME KILLS BELOVED CHAMPION - Psychologist Questions Influence of Rock.

Why does the world delight in criticizing the church? For several reasons, I think. First, people don’t like when we say that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Those were His words, not ours, but again – John 15:18 says that people will hate us because of Him. Second, people don’t like to be told that what the Bible says is wrong applies to them too. People don’t like being told by a book they don’t believe that what they are doing is wrong. And third, well, Jesus said the world would hate the church. Even the brand new baby church only had a few months of enjoying the favor of all the people until Stephen was marytred. Then, they had to scatter. The church has been most of its life keeping a low profile. The church and the state were entirely separate, and it seemed to work best that way.

And because of that, Christians were able to understand some truths about themselves better than we can. They seemed to understand that God’s kingdom is not the kingdom of this world, and they seemed to understand that they were only passing through this one. Look at what the early Christians called themselves. Peter told the Christians to “live your lives as strangers” (1Pet.1:17). Actually, his whole letter was addressed to “strangers in the world” (1Pet.1:1). He continues in 2:11 and says this: “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” It’s as if the battles that aliens and strangers fight are the spiritual ones. Perhaps we are called to deal with sin in our own lives more than worrying about all the sin around us.

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