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Getting "Reviewed" In The Chron

This morning I was alerted to the fact that I (and my church) made our city’s local rag, the Houston Chronicle. They’ve got a pastor from a Unitarian Universalist church who is visiting different congregations (temples, mosques, churches) in the area during his sabbatical and “reviewing” them in addition to other topics he posts on the paper’s religion section blog . This past Sunday he happened to attend my church where I was preaching.
After reading his post, I thought the gentleman’s tone to be congenial and honest. My assumption is that he’s a very nice guy. It didn’t appear he had an axe to grind or agenda to push. But when it was all said and done, he just simply didn’t agree with what I said.

Here’s a couple of quotes:

What I heard over and over during the 30+ minute sermon was that people shouldn’t listen to those scholars or “other preachers” who are trying to promote a new Jesus–that there is only one gospel and one Jesus (the son and savior), and the rest is just an attempt to deceive. He even quoted Galatians 1:6-8, stating that anyone preaching a message other than the one Paul preached, should be cursed….
Ultimately, I left with a feeling that he was telling his congregation that revelation was sealed. He said more than once that there was only one gospel–that there was only one truth.

Wow! Some have asked if his “review” irks me? It doesn’t. I was a little bummed because I believe he misunderstood some lesser parts of my message but when it came to the heart of it, I think he pretty much nailed it. So, instead of being upset I’m quite excited that a UU minister walked into my church on a Sunday and heard exactly what I was attempting to say: there is one Gospel, one Jesus, one truth.

And better yet, he told his readers that I “even” used a Scripture to support my stance. Yup, I look to the Bible as the final authority for what I believe. Heck, he even got my interpretation of Galatians 1:6-8 down pat! Yes, Paul said if someone else comes preaching a different Gospel then he is anathema. Dude, my preaching professors from seminary should be rewriting my grades as we speak! The audience-in-question understood (though didn’t agree) exactly the big idea I was trying to communicate.

In the end, if a guy from a background that denies the salvific uniqueness of Jesus and the Gospel doesn’t agree with my conclusions then that’s probably a very good sign I’m on the right track.

Ain’t that right, Paul?

The gentleman concluded saying: So, I thank [GLP]for his message, and the entire amazing group of ministers and volunteers at [GLP’s church] for the honesty of their message, the quality of their worship experience, and for reminding me how important my convictions are to me….

Mine too.

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

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