Sunday 1-3-16 (The Askew’s Ranch, Boring, Oregon)
Scripture reading for today: Gen 6 - 8 Luke 3
S=Scripture O=Observation A=Application P=Prayer SOAP for the soul.
S. Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? KJV
Then he yelled to the crowd of people who had walked for miles to be baptized, “You bunch of snakes, Who scared you out of your nasty holes?” NUHV*
O. John apparently didn’t attend the same seminary I did. Dim the lights, everyone close your eyes, while nobody is looking... any hands? At John’s altar call, “Everybody look around you and now all you nasty snakes that still want to get baptized stand up?” Talk like that could get you shut up in prison or your head chopped off... and John got both.
A. John the Baptist’s diet may have included honey, but his methods weren’t very sweet... not the best way to build his hearer’s “self-esteem.” Fortunately “political correctness” had not been invented yet. Today we tip-toe around the subject of sin to make sure we don’t offend some timid religious sinner.
It was a simple error in speaking Spanish. I was preaching in the open air. Out in the street behind the crowd were some young fellows making noise and mocking me. I didn’t know that one of the ways to insult these kind of guys was to call him a “sin vergüenza” meaning something like “you shameless creep”. I gave an altar call and I was trying to say, “Come up to this altar without shame.” “Pasen adelante, sin vergüenza.” But what I really said was, “Come up here, you shameless creeps!” You’ll never believe it, but some of those “shameless creeps” came forward for salvation.
P. Jesus, both You and your cousin, John the Baptist, didn’t pull your punches when preaching to sinners, especially religious sinners. Sometimes You called highly respected Jewish religious leaders “hypocrites” to their faces. You gave us lessons in how to get ourselves crucified. Maybe You call some of us to put soft gloves on when we preach. Please just give me a balanced ministry of both valor and wisdom... may I speak the truth with love. Amen.
*New Unauthorized Hiatt Version