Deep Fried Diary: Day 2

Oh my! To say that today was amazing would be quite the understatement.

First of all, Raudel Hernandez (our Spanish campus pastor) preached from James 1 at Summit today. He talked about temptation and sin. Here’s just a few things to think about from what he said:

  • “Sin is not that we want bad things, but that we want things more badly than we want God.”
  • Every adversity AND every prosperity is a test. Do you honor God or do you ignore him?
  • “You always do what you most desire to do.” -Jonathan Edwards
  • We sin because we want to sin (see above).
  • Sin is sweet, but Jesus is much sweeter and more satisfying than our sin.

The message isn’t up yet, but it should be soon. I HIGHLY encourage you to listen to it here as soon as it is. It gave me a lot to think about.

Also, I tweeted about a blog post and tagged @SummitRDU and @JDGreear in it earlier this week. J.D. AND someone on Summit staff both read the post and tweeted back at me. It’s a silly little thing, but it’s still incredibly exciting.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.06.25 AM

After church, I had a quick lunch with my grandma and a family friend, then I hurried off to the fairgrounds.

My first assignment of the day was to attend the Livestock Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I helped shoot (with a camera, not a gun) the event. There was a light reception after the ceremony, then Heather, Danette and I headed back to the press office.

My next assignment was to write a press release about the SPAM recipe competition.

When I finished that up, I took a camera to get some golden hour pictures around the fair.

I was on my way back, when I bumped into Andrea and Heather, who were on a mission to sell two extra tickets to the sold out Florida Georgia Line concert that Andrea had purchased.

We went up to Dorton Arena and successfully sold Andrea’s tickets, then we set out to try to get into the concert to get some photos for the Public Affairs Office. After some trying, we made it in, and were told that we could stay for the opening act (Larry Frick) two songs of the Florida Georgia Line show.

Shooting that concert was one of the coolest things I have EVER done in my life. We were so close– I was probably about a foot away from the stage. I’ll post some more pictures later this week.

FL GA Line

I actually didn’t eat anything at the fair, so no awesome fair foods to report on today. Never fear, though, I’m going back tomorrow and I WILL be sure come back with something to share.

The big stink about the inaugural benediction (and the Gospel)

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day, taking in the usual tweets… you know: gun control, Oscar nominations and the White House Chief of Staff replacement (yes, there’s some @HonestToddler and @DepressedDarth there too). But then, a certain news story began taking over my newsfeed, and it went something a little like this:

BOILING SPRINGS, NC (XYZ NEWS SERVICE) – Evangelical pastor, Louis Giglio, withdrew from giving the benediction at the president’s inauguration on Jan. 21, after a liberal group discovered a controversial sermon of his on homosexuality from the mid 1990s.

ThinkProgress, the group that unearthed the sermon, provided several portions of the manuscript on their website in their initial story.  The original recording can be found here.

In the message, Giglio points to multiple passages in the Bible that state that homosexuality is a sin (I Corinthians 6:9-10, for example).

“…Homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle… homosexuality is not just a sexual preference homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the Word of God… It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.”

Giglio went on to offer hope and the promise healing. “And the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been engrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus.”

ThinkProgress and many other Americans didn’t like that message. They didn’t like being told that homosexuality is wrong. They certainly didn’t like being told that homosexuals should change.

But maybe, just maybe, they took Giglio’s message a little too personally. Later on, he says, “We’ve got to say the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me… it’s not easy to change, but it is possible to change.”

Giglio puts himself, and everyone else sitting in his congregation, in the same plight as those living a homosexual lifestyle—the place of a sinner.

In Romans 3, Paul is very clear about who is affected by sin.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:9-12 (ESV)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 (ESV)

You are a sinner. I am a sinner. Louis Giglio is a sinner. Billy Graham is a sinner. Homosexuals are sinners. Adulterers are sinners. Gluttons are sinners. The proud are sinners. Gossips are sinners. Murders are sinners. Every single human being on this earth is a sinner.

As sinners, we are condemned. Judgment. Hell. Eternal separation from God. These are the consequences of sin.

In Romans 6, we see our death sentence pronounced.

“For the wages of sin is death,…”

Romans 6:23a (ESV)

The beauty is that Paul doesn’t stop with death. He finishes the sentence.

“BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23b (ESV) (Emphasis my own)

What exactly is this free gift?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

The book of John tells us that God sent Jesus, his son—His perfect, spotless son—to our sinful and fallen world. Not to just coexist with the sinners… not to bring judgment on sinners. Jesus came to earth as a substitute for our sins.

HE was condemned. HE was judged. HE suffered through Hell. HE was separated from God. HE took on the consequences of our sins.

He offers us a new life, not one defined by our sin (and consequently, our separation from God), but one defined by His holiness. All we have to do is accept His gift of eternal life.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9-13 (ESV) (Emphasis my own.)

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Everyone. That means Louis Giglio, Billy Graham, homosexuals, adulturers, gluttons, the proud, gossips, murders–even you and me.