January 16, 2024
In my sermon on Sunday, I suggested that Cypress Creek Christian Church is an idea whose time has come (borrowing language from Victor Hugo). Now some might think it a bit arrogant to claim that a church and its mission are a match for the moment, but I find it almost humorous how a lot of the big box churches are modifying their language to give the appearance of something that sort of sounds like unconditional and relentless love, but at the end of the day, in a lot of settings, their unspoken commitment is to power rooted in a claim that the Bible is inerrant (without error in its words or teachings). It is impossible to truly unleash the power and boundless nature of God’s love unless it is removed from this late 19th-century concept of inerrancy. If your main purpose is to protect an idea that has no real scriptural basis and totally dismisses the beautiful journey that brought what we know as the Bible to us, then you will need to find ways of creating a system that protects at any cost. Fear and guilt are just some of the tools used while still using a lot of sanctimonious language around words like love and mercy. In the end, a very narrow understanding of a book is lifted above the grace-filled actions of Jesus and those who would follow him. Jesus, as I meet him in the Gospels, is the starting place for my faith, but within the four Gospels, there are some pretty dramatic differences. Some of them can be understood by appreciating the unique context and backdrop in which the Gospel was written. Other times, it is pretty clear that one Gospel writer had a very different purpose in writing than another Gospel writer. In taking those seriously, new insight and inspiration can be drawn for how one might live a bit more like Jesus in this moment of time. I’m not suggesting that we'll come to a place where there will be no more disagreements. There will be plenty of lively debate, but if the purpose is truly to gain a greater understanding of God’s love so we can better share that love, then most disagreements will be secondary to the good work being done.
What beautiful love you have shared, O God, and I only pray for an openness to both the Jesus of scripture and the gift of the Holy Spirit as I continue to grow in my understanding of a concept like unconditional as it relates to your love. And even more challenging is taking what I learn and applying it to my daily life. Yet I believe in the human capacity to grow and to follow in the ways of Jesus even more closely tomorrow than today. Amen.
Rev. Bruce Frogge