Ministers are often asked to offer words of comfort. For those who are suffering through a dark night of the soul, ministers can help frame a brighter hope and a better tomorrow. I'd like to take a stab at finding something brighter and better as we suffer the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. I'll address (i) the limits of Supreme Court authority, (ii) the limited, non-existent justification for Christian civil disobedience, and (iii) the limits of LBGT numbers.
Unlike the term Religious Liberalism that has a very distinct and standard definition, the definitions of Religious Legalism are all over the place. These multiple definitions create confusion for any discussion of the subject. Before any useful conversation can take place, the definitions need to be sorted out.
Fellowship is the New Testament word for shared action and mutual participation. Taken from the Greek word koinonia, Christian fellowship reflects common virtues and values as Christians work together and toward lofty goals. When Paul spoke of "the fellowship of the ministering to the saints" (II Cor. 8:4), for example, he was describing the lofty efforts of several first-century churches cooperating in a benevolence effort.
Written by Paul in about 62 A.D., Ephesians is a companion epistle with Philippians and Colossians. These three epistles plus Philemon were written during Paul's time as a prisoner of Rome. Called the "Prison Epistles," Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians form the practical core of Paul's writings.
I have challenged the congregation to study Ephesians for 20-30 minutes per days during the week of June 14-20. During these seven days you are encouraged to do the following one day at a time: