Sermons from the Community Christian Church of Springfield, MO.
We are believers in Jesus Christ who accept all people without judgment and who desire to work and worship as a community striving for social justice.
From Conspiracy Theories to Reimagining Community
In 2013, an Italian programmer named Alberto Brandolini observed that - "The amount of energy needed to refute b******t is an order of magnitude larger than is needed to produce it." It became known as Brandolini’s law, although it is an astute observation rather than a scientific conclusion. Unfortunately, we’ve had nearly a decade to observe just how often this is true, with the flowering of conspiracy theories and proliferation of disinformation all around us. Though the situation is daunting, with a better understanding of why humans are so susceptible to conspiracy theories, we can chart a way forward.
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy and Religion departments in universities, once considered to be the "queen" of a college campus, are now being relegated to subheadings in either History or Anthropology departments, treated more like a scourge than a source of wisdom and guidance. The failings of organized religion cannot be denied but maybe we are being a bit hasty about this transformation. There is, after all, more to life than work and mindless entertainment.
Religion vs Spirituality
Many of us like to say that we are “spiritual but not religious,” but what does that mean? As church attendance of all sorts is in steep decline, what exactly are we turning away from and what, if anything at all, are we turning to?
Is there a way to hold onto spirituality and still try to remain in community of some sort?
Denial of Cultural Racism is Our Stumbling Block
All over Europe there are memorial stones set in streets where the victims of the Holocaust once lived. These scattered memorials serve as reminders of the moral failure of the Nazis and their many sympathizers. In the USA, we have been more inclined to memorialize Confederate military leaders than to acknowledge the evils of slavery they sought to protect. The resistance to teaching a factual American history to young students about our nation’s moral failings leaves us vulnerable to making the same mistakes again. In fact, in many ways, we already are.
We're All Connected
We are all connected to one another. We may not insist that our neighbors to the south use child labor to produce our fruits and vegetables in our grocery stores but, if they don’t keep the prices down, we won’t buy them. Our casual daily choices in which we are legally simply exercising our rights, has an impact on others that we often do not see. Still, our choices to do legal things, like buying an assault rifle or a handgun, choosing not to be vaccinated, or not to take public health precautions seriously, is why we have so many gun deaths in America, why we have lost over a million Americans to Covid-19, and why most of the people in rural Central America are still very poor. Hopefully, becoming aware can change our attitudes and eventually, our behaviors, so that the outcomes will eventually change as well.
Government of the People?
Given the decisions handed down by an increasingly out of touch Supreme Court, today's message will be a reading of an article Dr. Ray has written for the July 4th edition of the LA Progressive outlining some of the philosophical challenges surrounding the court's decision to strike down Roe v Wade and the suggestion that they may go even farther in taking constitutional rights away from American citizens.
Social Justice Meets Faith for the New Millennium
Excellent talks, which occasionally hold up a mirror to the incongruencies of what people of faith, say they believe and what they do. Always illuminating on yoking together our history as it effects the present and how to grow, build, and emancipate our beliefs as we become more aware and compassionate and how to put our faith into meaningful action.
Good Sermons, But a Reactive Preacher
While Reverend Ray preaches a good sermon, many of which have strong social justice messages, should you plan on posing questions or having a different perspective to Roger himself - Watch Out! For off the pulpit Rev Ray is very reactive and easily offended, quick to judge and often more inclined towards doubling down on the righteousness of his stances than being open to having a civil discussion.
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