The Palm Sunday Path - Pastor Rick Rose - 3/29/2015

by Richard Rose 31. March 2015 12:17



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The Palm Sunday Path - Pastor Rick Rose - 3/29/2015

by Richard Rose 31. March 2015 12:09



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Forgive One Another - Pastor Bruce Sexton

by Richard Rose 22. March 2015 06:48



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Sermons

Wash One Another's Feet 3-15-15

by Richard Rose 16. March 2015 15:01



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Sermons

Consciousness

by Richard Rose 19. February 2013 04:33

Wet Gushy Stuff
Materialism Can't Explain Consciousness

Eric Metaxas
February 19, 2013

 

The “biggest mystery left to science” is the fact that you are listening to this broadcast. Well actually, it’s that you’re aware that you’re listening to this broadcast.

You see science can explain or at least believes it can explain a great many things. But consciousness has it stumped. We can describe the brain in ever-increasing detail. We have a pretty good idea about which parts of the brain control certain actions and even emotions.

But what about the so-called “mind/brain” distinction? It’s just as mysterious today as it was when philosopher Rene Descartes wrote, “I think, therefore I am” some four centuries ago.

This mystery and what to make of it was the subject of a recent public radio series entitled “Mind and Brain.”

The mystery lies in the fact that, as one guest put it, this “wet gushy stuff” with the “consistency of mashed potatoes” in our skulls is an integral part of “us”: of our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes, and desires.

As was clearly evident on the program, the culture we live in is, in large measure, shaped and governed by a materialist worldview. That worldview holds that the only “real” things are matter and energy and that everything we observe is the product of the interaction between matter and energy.

That “everything” includes our awareness that we are the ones doing the observing. But as the philosopher David Chalmers said, “materialism doesn’t have the resources to fully explain consciousness.”

Instead of acknowledging the inadequacy – or, as the program called it, “limits” – of the materialistic worldview, three of the program’s guests, militant atheists all, tried to play down the problem.

Daniel Dennett, author of “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” insisted that there was no mystery at all. When challenged by the host, he argued that, within 15 to 20 years, we would be able to “read” people’s dreams while they slept. Right.

When the host challenged that assertion, all that Dennett could say was “hang on to your hat.”

Richard Dawkins, who penned, among other things, “The God Delusion,” admitted that we may never solve the mystery of consciousness, but added “What on earth makes you think that religion will?”

And Sam Harris would not rule out the possibility that consciousness survived death. That’s right, one of the world’s most famous atheists allowed for the possibility of life after death. He just thinks that the “idea that the brain can die and a soul that still speaks English and recognizes Granny is going to float away into the afterlife” is “profoundly implausible.”

Well perhaps it is. But what is equally implausible is that the materialism that reduces consciousness to chemistry and electrical impulses can tell us anything worthwhile about the human condition.

As award-winning writer and Christian Marilynne Robinson explained in her book “Absence of Mind,” a “central tenet” of this materialistic worldview is “that we do not know our own minds, our own motives, our own desires.” Only “well-qualified others” know them.

Thus, materialistic neuroscience explains away “experience and testimony of the individual mind,” and substitutes a story that more neatly fits the materialist paradigm.

Except that it doesn’t fit. And people are noticing this, and are pushing back against junk neuroscience and even the worldview that produced it.

Which is a very good thing. I’m sure the wet gushy stuff inside your head would agree.



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John Stonestreet addresses the issue that change is coming to Chistians in America

by Richard Rose 11. January 2013 03:29

Has the Time Come?
Hobby Lobby and the HHS Mandate

John Stonestreet
January 11, 2013

Earlier this month, Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned arts-and-crafts retailer with 500 stores and 13,000 employees nationwide, announced that it would not comply with the HHS mandate.

By doing so, the company has subjected itself to fines that could amount to a staggering $1.3 million a day.

Chuck Colson warned that the day would come when Christians would have to choose between the dictates of their faith and obeying the government.

And he was right.

As we’ve previously described on Breakpoint, the HHS mandate forces employers to fully subsidize services for their employees that, for many, violate deeply held convictions. Although the media has chosen to focus exclusively on the contraception side of the mandate, under the regulations, employers must also provide coverage for sterilization and abortifacients, such as Plan B, the “morning-after pill,” and Ella, the so-called “week after pill.”

Paying for these abortion-inducing drugs is what Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family, object to. They’ve endeavored to run their business on Christian principles, including Sunday closures, treating employees fairly, and honoring the sanctity of life. Paying for abortifacients definitely violates those principles.

So they filed a lawsuit against HHS but, unlike plaintiffs in ten other cases, including other businesses, they were denied an injunction. While appealing the denial, they had to choose between complying with the law or refusing to comply and accepting the consequences. To their credit, they’ve chosen the latter.

But what do we need to know in light of this? Well, given the trajectory of our culture, the kind of choice the Green family was forced to make is inevitable for the rest of us too, regardless of who occupies the White House or controls Congress. This was spelled out in the Manhattan Declaration. When it spoke of the “decline in respect for religious values” in the law, it anticipated that non-compliance may be required of those of us who claim Christ.

For Hobby Lobby, that time has come. It may be the first Christian-run institution to choose non-compliance with the HHS mandate, but barring a change in the law, it won’t be the last. This weekend, we’re offering a full update on the issue on BreakPoint this Week. The show features Matt Bowman from the Alliance Defending Freedom and Emily Hardman of the Beckett Fund. Listen on radio, or by coming to BreakPoint.org and clicking on this commentary.

But let’s be clear: non-compliance won’t be limited to the HHS mandate. This is the post-Christian America that Francis Schaeffer, Chuck Colson and many others predicted. For many—not all, but many American Christians, this is new and unsettling territory. We’ve become used to a society that, while officially non-sectarian, paid homage to most of their beliefs and values, even if it didn’t always live by them.

As Alexis de Tocqueville put it, “Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

This has made choosing between God and Caesar unnecessary, unless, as the struggles of the Civil Rights movement showed, you were African-American.

One of the consequences of this close identification was that, for many American Christians, our sense of identity was more shaped by our nation than by our place in the body of Christ. We conceived of ourselves as Christian Americans instead of American Christians.

Now this is in the process of changing. It’s challenging, even painful. And let me be clear: We’re not to give up on America by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve heard far too much despair from Christians since November, as if the Kingdom of God was dependent on the American ballot box.

We’re called to live faithfully and courageously today; to love our neighbor and our country. And the best way to do that is to remember that we first and foremost belong to Christ. And therein, and only therein, lies the hope that gives us the courage for the tough decisions ahead.


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Thoughts on World View from Eric Metaxas

by Richard Rose 8. January 2013 04:41

Not Sermons but Stories
Engaging in Culture the Right Way

Eric Metaxas
January 08, 2013

If you’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia, you know they are loaded with Christian themes and symbols. That’s why many assume that C. S. Lewis wrote them in order to send some kind of Christian message.

But Lewis himself insisted otherwise. The tales, he said, started as a series of pictures that came into his mind and set his imagination working. The result was not sermons, but stories—beautiful stories loved by believers and non-believers alike for decades.

There’s a lesson in here for all of us. Conservative Christians today often feel alienated from the larger society, and for good reason. The vast majority of the stories that permeate our culture are told by people whose worldview is diametrically opposed to ours. We can hardly watch a TV show or read a magazine without seeing ourselves portrayed as villains, and our cultural opponents held up as the epitome of righteousness.

And it’s not hard to see the political impact stories have on our fellow Americans. As National Review Online recently put it: “The fact is, it’s easier to sell a political narrative to America when it comports with the cultural narrative we see and hear every day.”

NRO’s solution was for cultural conservatives to start taking back the culture by telling and promoting stories of our own. They argue that we can’t “keep ignoring the importance of story.”

And that much is true. But we have to be careful that we understand what stories really are, and why people tell them.

Which brings us back to Lewis and Narnia. Remember that Lewis didn’t tell stories to push an agenda. His stories grew naturally out of his worldview, and because he was a gifted storyteller, they expressed that worldview beautifully.

As Alex Wainer explains in a recent article at BreakPoint.org, this is true of all the best-told stories. We may be tempted to think that secularist celebrities went into show business simply to indoctrinate the public; many of them certainly act like that.

But that is not the case. Wainer writes, “Entertainers often work from childhood to develop [their] talents, and go through years of arduous dues-paying . . . [and] rejection, working menial jobs while pursuing endless auditions and practicing their craft.”

For the most popular artists and entertainers today—just as it was for Lewis—their art grows naturally out of their worldview. It just so happens that today, we have far fewer C. S. Lewises and far more Jon Stewarts.

This is why conservative Christians need to be wary of engaging in cultural efforts just to push a message. As Wainer reminds us, “Jon Stewart knows comedy in his bones; he happens to be liberal . . . but he mainly wants to make people laugh. When conservatives start telling stories to express their ideology, they have missed the motive that will sustain them through the years of … setbacks common to anyone in the entertainment industry.” And audiences will know the difference—and stay away.

Christians produced great art and culture for centuries, and we can do it again. But there are no shortcuts. The church needs to teach its members a strong and consistent Christian worldview, and then support and encourage those with artistic gifts to pursue their calling.

Please, come to BreakPoint.org and read Alex Wainer’s article, “Creating a Conservative Counterculture: Harder than it sounds.”

Re-shaping the culture is a noble goal. But our first goal should be to be so soaked in the Christian faith and worldview that the stories we tell—and the lives we live—will naturally speak of the beauty, and goodness and love of Christ


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Happy New Year

by Richard Rose 4. January 2013 01:32

Well, I hope your New Year started off well. We didn't go over the "fiscal cliff", at least not yet. And 2013 is rolling along already. I started out with a mild case of pnemonia which has slowed me down this week, but I am on the road to recovery and excited about what God will have for us this year. We are having new Members classes on January 13 & 20 with new members being received on January 27th during the second service. Attending the class will help folks better understhand church membership and decide if Dover Alliance is the right fit for them so I encourage all who have not joined to attend the classes. Please let me know if you will be coming so that I can plan accordingly. The classes will be in the GYM during the Sunday School hour 9:15 - 10:15 and both classes are required although we will work with you if you would like to join but have a conflict.



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Razi Zacharias on the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut

by Richard Rose 19. December 2012 06:17

I appologize for not being present recently, but my intent is to do better as the New Year begins. A friend emailed this to me this morning and I felt it to be something worthy of sharing.

Dear Friend,

The tragedy that shookNewtown,Connecticut, and indeed the entire nation, defies analysis. What must have gone on in the mind of this young man for him to walk into a school of little children and wreak such devastating carnage numbs the soul. At the same time this was happening, I was under the surgeon’s blade for minor surgery. When I left the recovery room and returned home, among the first pieces of news on my phone was the news of this mass killing. Something within me hoped that I was still not clear-headed, but I knew deep inside that I was reading an unfolding story of horror and tragedy. What does one say? What is even appropriate without violating somebody’s sacred space and their right to scream in protest?

I am a father and a grandfather. I simply cannot fathom the unbearable weight within a parent’s or grandparent’s heart at such a personal loss. It has often been said that the loss of a child is the heaviest loss to bear. I have no doubt that those parents and grandparents must wonder if this is real or simply a terrifying nightmare. My heart and my prayers are for them and, indeed, for the family of the assassin. How his father will navigate through this will be a lifelong journey.

When a mass-killer like this ends by taking his own life, there is an even deeper sense of loss. Everyone wants to know, “Why?” Not that the answer would soften the blow but it would at least give some clue, some release to speak, to hear, to try to work through. But all we are left with is twenty-eight funerals and lifelong grief. To all of those who have suffered such loss, may the Lord carry you in His strength and bear you in your grief. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

My own attempt at saying something here is feeble but carries a hope that somebody listening will make this world a better place. My heart goes back to Angola Prison inBaton Rougewhere I met such people whose savagery took them to that destination. It was interesting to see a Bible in every cell and to hear many talk of how it had become their only means of life and hope. Someone with me said, “If we had more Bibles in our schools maybe we would need less of them here.” To the skeptic and the despiser of belief in God, I know what they will respond. I am quite convinced that the one who argues against this ends up playing God and is ultimately unable to defend any absolutes. Hate is the opposite of love and while one breathes death, the other breathes life. That is what we need to be addressing here. The seeds of hate sooner or later bear fruit in murder and destruction. Killers are not born in a moment. Deep beneath brews thinking and the animus that in a moment is uncorked. We are living in a society that nurtures hate on many sides with the result that lawlessness triumphs.

Even in ideal settings, killing can take place. Murder began in the first family when a brother could not stand the success of his sibling. The entire history of the Middle East–five millennia–is a tale of two brothers. Centuries of killing has not settled the score. Maybe in Adam Lanza’s case we will find a deep psychological reason behind what he did. But that does not diminish the reality that there lurks many a killer whose moment will come and the nation will be brought to tears again. We can almost be certain of that. Yes, we can discuss all the symptomatic issues—security, gun control, early detection signs, and so on. These are all worthy of discussion. But it’s always easier to deal with the symptoms rather than with the cause.

I wish to share what I think we must address or we head down the slope to a precipitous edge of brutality. The fiscal cliff is tame by comparison to the moral devastation ahead if we do not recognize the malady for what it is. Hate is the precursor to murder. Jesus made that very clear. Playing God is the dangerous second step where we feel we are the ultimate judge of all things and that we have the right to level the score.

Here, I would like to address our political leaders and media elite: You may personally have the moral strength to restrict your ideas to mere words but many who listen to you do not. To take the most sacred privilege of democracy and transform it into the language of aggression plays right into the hands of hate-mongers. This is not the language of a civil society or of wise leadership. It is not the ethos of a culture of co-existence. It is not the verbal coinage with which we can spend our way into the future. Our political rhetoric is fraught with division, hate, blame, and verbal murder. Our young are listening. Remember that what you win them with is what you win them to.

As for the entertainment world, what does one even say at a time like this? Calling for gun control and then entertaining the masses with bloodshed is only shifting the locus from law to entertainment. Do our entertainers ever pause to ask what debased values emerge from their stories? The death of decency is audible and visible in what passes as movie entertainment and political speech. This is the same culture that wishes to take away Nativity scenes and Christmas carols from our children. God is evicted from our culture and then He is blamed for our carnages.Americais lost on the high seas of time, without chart or compass. The storms that await us will sink this nation beyond recognition if we do not awaken to the rapid repudiation of the values that shaped this nation. The handwriting is on the wall. Freedom is not just destroyed by its retraction. It is destroyed even more painfully by its abuse.

There is one more thing. It is so obvious but is seldom ever addressed. All these recent mass murders have been done by men. Many of them young men, yes, even mere boys. Jonesboro, Columbine, Virginia Tech, nowNewtown. Is there something within our culture that doesn’t know how to raise strength with dignity and respect? Is this how boys are meant to be? From bloodletting in hockey games while thousands cheer to savagery in school shootings while thousands weep, we must ask ourselves what has gone wrong with us men? Where are the role models in the home? Is knocking somebody down the only test left for strength? Is there no demonstration now of kindness, gentleness, courtesy, and respect for our fellow human beings? One young man on death row in Angola Prison told me that he started his carnage as a teenager. Now in his thirties with the end of the road in sight, he reached his hand out to me and asked me to pray with him. Life was lost at the altar of power and strength.

The Bible only speaks of one remedy for this: the transformation of the heart by making Christ the center. Those who mock the simplicity of the remedy have made evil more complex and unexplainable. Every heart has the potential for murder. Every heart needs a redeemer. That is the message of Christmas. The world took that child and crucified Him. But by his triumph over death He brings life to our dead souls and begins the transformation within. Unto us a child is born and He shall save us from our sins.

Before the first murder was committed, the Lord said to Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” To gain mastery over sin there is only one way. Just as Victoria Soto put herself in the way so that the children in her class might live, Jesus Christ put himself in the way that we all might live. That is the beginning of the cure for us as individuals and as a nation. All the laws in the world will never change the heart. Only God is big enough for that.
 
Ravi Zacharias

RaviZacharias


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Post Election Thoughts

by Richard Rose 9. November 2012 01:08

Last night, I was able to attend  an Eric Mataxas event in Cleveland with some of our church family and about 1400 others from the area. Eric is the man who wrote  the book "Bonhoeffer" you have heard me mention. His primary topic was the Bonhoeffer book, but he tied in thoughts from one of his previous books, "Wilberforce" and other pertinent information. The take away I want to leave with you this morning is that God is still on His throne even after the election. It may not have turned out like you would have liked, but God hasn't forgotten us. Eric's talk on the life of William Wilberfoce, a man who literally changed the world, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer who fought against Hitler, reminded me that the role of the church may be changing a bit in America. It may begin to cost us more to maintain our religious freedom if that is important to us, and it certainly should be. Are we willing to seek God concerning our role in keeping religious freedom alive in America, which has certainly been challenged by Mr. Obama and his administration in the past four years and may get worse in the days to come. Eric sees tremendous parallels between what is happening in America today and what happened in Germany as Hitler and the Nazi party took over. Something to think about. Let me hear from you.



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