Financial Gospel (Acts 2:42-47 “The Follow-Up”)

This is the “follow up” to the previous post (see TED Talk below).

ok…so this was an uncomfortable sermon to preach (more than you know). Why? Because it is about ‘ownership’. I find we have an interesting history with the topic of ‘ownership’. Some of you remember Vanilla Ice and his hit song “Ice Ice Baby”. His career came crashing down shortly after because the bass line used in that hit song had been stolen from another group that wrote it about seven years prior to “Ice Ice Baby” (see this news video to learn more We have a culture where ANYTHING can be ‘owned’: a bass line, even a word such as ‘footlong’ which is owned by Subway.

Yet, here in this passage we see an early Christian church dealing with ‘ownership’ as an identifying factor in their identity as ‘church’. The big question is this: How does this play out in 21st century America? The early church, according to this passage, sold what they owned, gave it to those in need and held everything else in common…yes, it says “in common”. Talk about flying in the face of our modern American Capitalist culture!!!!!

I brought this up in the sermon and used some stats from the TED Talk below…then I simply let it all hang out there for the congregation to chew on…I gave NO answers or direction other than this. I simply said that when Jesus becomes a part of our life, when we decide to live “the way”, our entire way of living actually changes. We cannot live as a disciple and have nothing change in our lives. We simply can not.

So…what changes? Ownership? Property? Use and concept of money? What?

What are your thoughts?

Acts 2:42-47 – Sell It All?

Ok…so this may be a complicated post…but I need to do it. I may get scathing comments from you out there in BLOGOSPHERE but I still have to do it. My sermon today is about Acts 2:42-47. The idea that all of Jesus’ followers, upon receiving the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire (Acts 2:3), speaking in many languages so that the masses could understand them (Acts 2:4) and hearing Peter’s speech (Acts 2:14-36), had devoted themselves to fellowship, breaking bread and prayer (Acts 2:42) and selling their possessions and sharing everything in common (Acts 2:44) is on its own with no interpretation VERY controversial. Therefore, any solid talk about this passage is likely also going to be controversial no matter what direction one might take on it. My intent is to offer an idea without dictating political or social solutions…that is up to you.

My sermon will be posted on within a few days (I’m preaching this sermon in a few hours). However, I wanted to post this TED Talk so that those who hear me today can have a forum to see what this idea is all about and to post comments to get the discussion going….

If you read Acts 2:42-47 and watch this TED Talk I will only ask one simple question…what does it mean to be saved in the context of this passage??


Watch this TED talk…again, one of the oldies but goodies. I’ll toss out some thoughts regarding the church and God in light of this TED Talk later this week…

Spiritual Experiences…

Dave & Tim

A while back I heard a talk/teaching/sermon (whatever they are called) by Rob Bell where he spoke about church, worship and ‘spiritual’ experiences. I honestly don’t remember the point of the talk, but remember a comment, a statement he made while digressing from the main point. He talked about how worship, maybe even the ‘whole’ of the churches expression of the divine is worship misses the point. Of course I’m paraphrasing from memory, but he spoke about how even a concert, specifically a U2 concert can be a spiritual experience. He didn’t mean that in a new-age sort of way either…he meant it as a true encounter with the divine, the creator of the universe.

Here I am, one of the first warm days of spring, sitting at a Starbucks, having an Iced Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte listening to Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City having one of those very experiences. Though all of these things are a few my favorite things (yes…the song from the Sound of Music just went through my head), none of them are divine, churchy, or Christian by any modern definition. Yet, here I am…in one of those ‘places’ where I truly can say that there is a God. Not because of the bible, a sermon, liturgy, hymns, praise songs, study groups, prayer, or anything that is ‘supposed’ to connect me to the divine, but because God simply IS.images-1

So the question for the day is this – can we have ‘spiritual’ experiences, God experiences without the Sunday morning experience? Do we ‘need’ the Sunday morning experience to experience God?

This of course gets into more dangerous questions such as: Is church necessary? Is worship real? Is worship simply a manipulation of what already exists in creation? Is it fabricated?

I’m not ready to tackle those here…maybe in my next book!!