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Favoring the Wealthy (7 of 16)
Opening Illustration: Martin Luther was a great gift to the Church, but he was not a perfect man, no man other than Jesus was a perfect man. One of his imperfections was in the fact that he rejected this letter of James because he saw a conflict between the theology of James and the theology of Paul. He summed up the letter of James as an irrelevant strawy epistle.
Well it is included in our New Testament because the Early Church deemed it as authoritative. And I've come to find it one of the most helpful books.
It deals with tendencies that have plagued Christianity in general and Christians in particular over the last 2000 years. Not the least of which is a tendency toward an elitist mentality.
FIRST SERMON - You see - I was saved at the age of 19 and called to preach soon after. As we preachers do I prayed that God would open a door and let me preach. It wasn't long until I received a call from the Pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. That was the Church where my dad was saved and where I grew up. It was a small Church that ran about 30-40 on a good Sunday. I preached there as if I would never preach again. I preached on repentance. I preached against some things I didn't even realize I was against. After the service was over I stood at the back with the Pastor and greeted the people as they left.
Then it happened. Bro. O'Neil the Church treasurer approached me and stuck a check down in my shirt pocket. I looked at it and it was for $50. I realized he was paying me for preaching!
He was doing the right thing. He was honoring the scriptural mandate, "Do not muzzle the ox while he is treading"
But as I stood there in the vestibule I was seriously offended. The thought of getting paid had never crossed my mind. I just wanted to preach.
FIRST PASTORATE - Fast forward 10 years - My first Pastorate was in a downtown First Baptist Church in Lancaster, KY. It ...
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