Video of my Sermon from Newsong Church in Irvine, CA

Joose – August 16, 2009 from Newsong Church on Vimeo.

Here is my sermon (called: Aligning Our Expectations) from yesterday at Newsong Church, where Dave Gibbons (who just spoke at the infamous Willow Creek Leadership Summit) is the senior pastor. This was such a humbling experience. [Especially since I am secretly obsessed with Dave and Newsong!] Not only did this sermon get to be heard live by those at church, it also got broadcast live over the Internet as well to all of the people across the world who weekly subscribe to Newsong’s services.

I preached on Proverbs 16:1-7 which says:

1 To man belong the plans of the heart,
       but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.

 2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him,
       but motives are weighed by the LORD.

 3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
       and your plans will succeed.

 4 The LORD works out everything for his own ends—
       even the wicked for a day of disaster.

 5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
       Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

 6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
       through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.

 7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,

       he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

I pray this sermon blesses you, and keep our motives, plans and actions committed to the Lord no matter what the outcome.

Any thoughts or questions on what I communicated?

Much love.

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  • Diedre

    I am totally overpowered by the depth of your love for our Lord Andrew and I commend you and yours for the strength and energy you give. Thank you for this message…it helps me where I am! I love you.

  • Lincoln

    Great sermon Andy! Much needed on my part.

    I don’t know if this is the time or place to say this, but you’ve put on some weight, brother! I know you’ve been doing a lot of traveling and it’s probably hard to eat healthy but I don’t want to see you turn into another one of those fat evangelists. After seeing and knowing that you can stay at a comfortable and healthy weight I’m just concerned.
    I hope these words find you well and inspire or encourage you to stay healthy.
    Much love.

    Lincoln C.

  • Lincoln,

    There is nothing better than seeing yourslef on camera to let you know just how MUCH you’ve actually gained! Ouch! I knew my clothes were fitting tighter, but dang! I weirded myown self out. My thought is that if I’m here living my life in “public”, then I NEED to be told those things in public as well. Don’t feel bad, you’re now the second person who has said that to me in the last 3 days, because the other person was wondering, “Why haven’t you posted recently about losing weight? You were doing so good, and now what’s up?”

    Well gym, it’s again time for me to stop being just a “silent investor” into your overhead.

    And thanks, Lincoln and Diedre, for your inspiring words about my sermon – they mean a lot as I take preaching God’s word very seriously.


    Much love!

  • Mrs T

    Haven't seen it as I was out of town a few days, but I know that video makes one look bigger. I described a woman as skinny, but saw her on the church internet service & she wasn't. Don't get too obsessed. Try to get some exercise, mainly walking, when you travel. Also, I think the YMCA has visiting reciprocity. Now I'm looking forward to your blogs. I hate it when the rare times I'm away, there are more than usual!

    Luv ya! Mrs "T"

  • Jon Trouten

    Good service, Andrew. And don't obsesse about your weight. You look fine! 🙂

  • Audrey

    God the father = male supremacy and the creation of a god language that creates the inferior class of women as less than. Wow, this is a sad commentary on straight man in the pulpit with the horrifying language of male supremacy. Read some lesbian feminist christian writers and thinkers. This just makes you look like you don't know lesbian pastors at all. Read Mary Hunt, one of our most brilliant theologians. The language… the male supremacy… the arrogance!

  • Audrey, I know many have wrestled with the whole male patriarchal view of God, the Father and the language of the Bible, to say nothing of the culture its history represents. Some of that I can accept as emanating from our fallen nature, which easily allowed men to see themselves as dominant.

    When I was younger, it disturbed me. But I came to accept references to "man" as "mankind." I came to see a certain freedom in knowing God intended a different role for me as a woman, also made in His image. He holds men accountable in ways he doesn't do for women.

    I can get the gender complementary thing. C.S. Lewis equated the "one-flesh" biblical concept of marriage to a lock-and-key mechanism. Obvious symbolism, but a picture of a functioning unit, each dependent on the other. Your relationship with your partner plays off of a deep friendship, but you cannot be the lock and key for each other as men and women can be. That is not a put-down, it is just stating reality. But you, yourself, have stated you want something different. So you have it, as you are free to do.

    I know Christians sometimes react badly to what they perceive as intellectual snobbery from within the gay community. That feeling is sometimes justified, as you probably know. Likewise, gays and lesbians are going to react predictably to Christian righteous superiority. Both just cause sparks to fly. Sad.

  • Audrey

    Just as you say that two women can't be locks and keys, so to I say that men and women cannot be equals in marriage. Male dominance is not something I ever "allow" men. I fight against their arrogant dominance daily. Women have not allowed this, men have forced this on women through rape, denial of access, and male controlled seminaries, and study of the bible. Not too long ago, women weren't even allowed to study theology in many major colleges in America. It's why Mary Daly had to go to Europe in the early 1960s to get a PhD in Catholic theology, for example.

    Carter Hewyward was only ordained as a woman in the Episcopal church in the early 70s.

    So my bottom line is, I will point this herstory out. I will say that I won't go to churches that use this male language, and I will defend my right to name god in my own way, just as men always do. I also won't listen to male sermons in churches anymore. They've said enough, and now I only want to hear women live in pulpits. I want women to be central, and I want to counteract all sexism and all male centric ideas in my life.

    This is a crucial aspect of my thealogy Debbie, and I will defend it here.

    If men use male god language from pulpits, I will know that they are ignorant or afraid to lose their jobs. If women want this language, I think it is about conformity to the norm. Remember, i don't conform to the norm, don't benefit from it, and don't value it as a way to an authentic spiritual life.

    As a gay male friend of mine said years ago, "I want to hear the gospel in my own language." "What's that?" I asked. "I go to MCC because I want to hear the gospel in gay," he said quite simply. I loved that idea, and from that time forward, I vowed to find the gospel in lesbian feminism, and female centric language. And I sought out the art, the poetry and the culture that evokes this. I don't want to have to translate through the male mind. So mankind is about men. In fact, that was an excuse they argued as to why women didn't have the right to vote in the constitution. The constitution referred to voters as "men" and therefore, it didn't include women. This is right out of American history, so us lesbian feminists really know the real deal out there legally. We can't be moved and won't be fooled. It's hopeless Debbie.

    So no, mankind doesn't include me. It's as simple as that. It doesn't really include you either Debbie, but you are more stuck in the traditional and maybe new language would simply make you uncomfortable. You have plenty of churches that will honor your desires, very few that honor my personhood.

    It is my priniciple to not negate myself ever, and I am not included in "mankind." What I will say, is that we can change the language and say all men are included in the term "womankind" all men can be called "she" and have this be considered generic. But I will never ever go to any christian service in which male language is used. MCC has an inclusive language policy, and so do most of the liberal mainstream churches nearby.

    It's a lesbian feminist principle to never believe in a male god. That's how men maintain dominance, they control the language, they erase women. It's what they do. There are many women who will go along with this, but I am on to this, and won't back down on this principle. Just as I believe that marriage between men and women is not about equals, and that men sort of designate those "roles" that they never really wanted in the first place.

    If we are free and equal, then surely women chose. The divine feminine has always been a part of christian tradition, but again, those who control the language are abusing power. They may not know this, but they are.

    It's why male, mankind and he are offensive generic words. It is default male and has absolutely nothing to do with my life or my idea of who god could be. And I will never negotiate my erasure to please the heteronormative world out there. I am proud that I am equal in my home without compromise, and proud that women are battling men and putting them in jail for doing things that were once legal… like raping women in marriage was once "legal." Yeah right equal.