I was raised primarily in a dispensational church. In college, I joined a reformed evangelical church, pastored by Douglas Wilson (who was, incidentally, the officiate at my wedding. He is a jolly, older man with a special knack for ticking people off — never a dull moment). When that church grew, we transferred to the plant, Trinity Reformed Church (at the time, under Peter Leithart, brain extraordinaire, if your brain feels like it is going to explode when you read his books, know I’m right there with you). We absolutely love TRC and are planning to maintain our membership there during our years we are away (my hard working husband is getting his master’s degree). The reason I share all this is to give you a little foundational history for why this sermon by Matt Chandler makes me so uncomfortable. Our most recent church (TRC) is, by far, the most “touchy/feely” church I’ve ever attended, seriously. So, the message in this sermon, Eccentric and Faithful, came through loud and clear,
To which I have to say, after picking myself up off the floor, “Well played, Chandler. You got me!”.
Surely you had to know the Word of God was going to meet you some place that made you uncomfortable. If it didn’t, then it’s not the Bible, and he’s not God. He’s the god of your imagination, the one that makes everything like you feel comfortable. It’s just not the God of the Bible. Is this messy and dangerous? Like life itself.
In the end, he also talks about how we should approach our own churches, which was particularly illuminating for us, as we are looking for an interium church to attend until we move back to our beloved Trinity Reformed Church. In the sermon, he says,
[c]hurch, if you come in and, “Oh, this could be better. What about this?” Shouldn’t your mind be turning to, “How can I help?” if you’re really generous and have been set free rather than, “These are all the things that are wrong”? See, a generous heart looks for ways to help where a stingy heart simply critiques the problems.
So, I guess what I am saying is, this sermon made me wildly uncomfortable in all the right ways, it convicted and challenged me. I’d highly recommend it you (especially if the idea of speaking in tongues makes you squirm). Take the time and read or listen through Eccentric and Faithful. You can find it here and on itunes.