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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Simple Church Minute 1--sermons (revised)

         As I commented a few days ago, I have realized that, if I got these radio commentaries broadcast, and someone was to go to this website to see the transcript, having multiple posts on the same day make them difficult to find.  Therefore, I am reposting these writings, beginning with the 2 minute versions, in a more convenient manner.  I am also adding footnotes, and placing all of my phone number, as I now, as most people in this society, have a number not shared by others.

My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute. Why are there sermons in church? It’s only been in the last few years I’ve even thought of this question. I’ve just assumed that there is scriptural reason for it. Matthew 5 is called the Sermon on the Mount. But, if you look at it, scripture doesn’t call it a sermon. It covers way too many different topics in the couple of minutes it would take to read it aloud. Also, was it really a teaching to believers, or a series of statements so radical as to turn off those who were only chasing the next big thing, and to allow the Spirit to speak to the heart of those who would follow in spirit and truth. John chapter 6 verses 66 to 68 indicate Jesus wasn’t at all concerned about having a large number of fair weather friends. Acts 17, where Paul speaks with those at Mars Hill, it is clear that Paul was doing dialogue, not monologue. From Acts chapter 20 verse 7 and other places, where we do see someone doing something that appears to us as preaching, the Bible uses the word “spoke”, and these occurrences are infrequent. Some say Second Timothy chapter 4 verse 2 connects preaching with speaking to the church, but that context is not clear. The church we see in the New Testament shows itself as using speeches such as what Paul gave while visiting Troas as an exception, not the rule. Why? We don’t get nearly as much out of one-way communication as we do multi-way, where one can ask a question if something is unclear, or where a variety of people with various skills and experiences can paint a fuller picture of a subject. Romans chapters 12 and 15, First Corinthians 14 and Colossians 3 show that worship involved every member, included teaching, exhortation, prophecy, singing, and admonishment, was conversational and impromptu.

For more on organic church*, see , or locally at . You can phone me at 757-735-3639 or email me at .  You can see a transcript of what I just said on my blog,, on the post of March 11,2012.


On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.” While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better. I comment on that in blip 94.

Footnote:  Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, 2002, Present Testimony Ministry, and later Barna Books/Tyndale House, chapter 4.

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