Defining and Unmasking the Powers

Third in a series. Edited for electronic publication.

Last week, I ended the sermon by saying that few powers control us any more completely than the ideas we serve. We human beings are vain.  We think we own a plot of land, a house, and all that is in it, but we don’t. We just use them. Eventually, we die, and they belong to another. It is the same with ideas but more so. We don’t use ideas, ideas use us, and when we die, they use those who follow us.

Victor Hugo said, “More powerful than a mighty army is an idea whose time has come.”

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The Limits of Our Engagement

Second in a series. Edited for electronic publication.

Last week I spoke to you about “contending” against the principalities and powers, defined as  “the world rulers of the present darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” This morning, I want to talk about our rules of engagement, the limits under which we operate.

Ephesians 6 forces us to talk about this because it not only says that we are “contending” the powers, some of which are earthly but urges us to “put on the whole armor of God” and compares it to equipment used by Roman soldiers. Continue reading

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From the Sublimely Evil to the Seemingly Ridiculously

First in a series. Edited for electronic publication.

I  recently had a conversation with a highly intelligent 14-year-old about the virtues of incense, which she professed to enjoy.

“It makes a room smell sweet,” I said.

“Yes, and it keeps away the ghosts,” she said.

She knew I was a preacher and a fuddy-duddy. I thought maybe she was going for shock effect, so I decided to do the same. “I am sure it is effective against ghosts,” I said, “Ghosts are easy, but how good is it at protecting you from the principalities and powers?” Much to her relief and much to my chagrin, our conversation was interrupted. I promised myself that I would speak to her again about these things, in person or in writing. Continue reading

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Messages from the Provincial Elders’ Conference

MORAVIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA, SOUTHERN PROVINCE
Provincial Elders’ Conference
459 South Church Street ▪ Winston-Salem, NC 27101-5314 (336) 725-5811 ▪ (888) 725-5811 ▪ fax: (336) 723-1029 ▪ pec@mcsp.org

August 13, 2021

Messages from the Provincial Elders’ Conference

August 13 is the festival day in our Moravian Church when we remember the powerful, reconciling, and unifying experience of the Holy Spirit that brought our diverse church together in the summer of 1727. This is considered beginning of the renewed Moravian Church. From that empowering moment our forebears moved outward in a sustained mission effort to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed to the far corners of the world.

Today the Provincial Elders’ Conference shares the following two statements: “When Moravians Disagree,” and “Why Moravians are talking about Racism.”

We invite pastors and church leaders to share these messages with the members of our congregations and fellowships, particularly as we look forward to the 2022 Provincial Synod.

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Wisdom and Insight–and That Which Is More

Proverbs 9:1-6
1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. 2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her servant girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, 4 “You that are simple, turn in here!” To those without sense she says, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Continue reading

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