Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Woman In The Pulpit (Part 2)

I went this morning to see and hear Jackie Roese give her first sermon at Irving Bible Church.

(See my previous post: A Woman In The Pulpit: "Lions And Tigers And Bears! Oh, My!")

You can listen to it here (no longer at this link).

It was part of the church's current series in which the various leaders are sharing their dreams and visions for IBC - i.e., what it can and should be.

Jackie's text was John 4:7-37, and she used it to discuss how the church, like Jesus with the Samaritan woman, should not regard people, no matter how sinful or ritually or physically unclean they are, as those we are to avoid or protect ourselves from. (The woman had five husbands - which meant she presumably had experienced the rejection and devastation of five divorces - and was now living with a sixth man, plus Jews considered Samaritans to be unclean half-breeds.) Rather, we should fight for the heart for our King, and take Him and the Gospel to the poor and wounded and ravaged and outcast of the world.

She said that Evangelicals hadn't always been so withdrawn from culture, and that in the 19th century they had been instrumental in ending forced prostitution and child labor. However, during the 20th century Christians and the church decided to retreat from engagement with the world to "protect" themselves.

She shared about her own abusive childhood and how she came to faith in Christ due to the love and efforts of a person who was not afraid to get close to her, despite her profligate and sinful lifestyle. She also shared a bit about the results of the decision she and her husband made to let the world into their home - both the negative effects on their own children and home (their kids are more worldly than she would like them to be, and her house is always dirty and smelly and in need of cleaning and lots of febreze), and the positive effects on the kids they reach (protecting and feeding kids who have abusive parents and no food at home, and seeing some of them come to Christ).

All in all a good message. I'm not sure that its delivery by a woman made any difference in its effectiveness, either positive or negative.

And... lightning did not strike the church.

Speaking of which: It is a BIG church. The worship center/sanctuary is a large auditorium with a balcony, a large stage, and two screens for video. The music, though loud, was not uncomfortably so. They have a hamster-tube (McDonalds-style) play area for little children. The entire structure is like a fancy airport terminal or upscale mall - they even have a lounge in back with a Starbucks coffee bar, complete with a huge espresso machine, and nearby on the walls they have these giant Magritte and Dali paintings:

It seems to have lots of "emerging church" touches, both in its decor and in the language used in its magazine.

1 comment:

  1. It's so fun having a "Personal Investigative Reporter" as one of my friends. I think you may have missed your true calling...