Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Monday 11 September, 02006

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:49 am

Another sermon from me [35KB PDF]

18 responses to “”

  1. James King says:

    A fine, well argued and clear sermon. Well done old chap!

  2. Hey Matt, I enjoyed the sermon on Sunday night – despite the fatigue you were experiencing. I’m with James on this one. I like that you beat yourself up writing it, and in the content: challenging yourself vocally with regards to what you were saying made me much more aware of what I could personally do.


  3. Anabelle says:

    Sermon, it rhymes with simon, lemon and german, moment, demon, movement, perisimmon, omen and newman, among others. No, not newton. me da miedo, ah!

  4. Deborah says:

    Where did you find out the bit about the Greek Old Testament?

  5. Matthew says:

    Expositors Bible Commentary. Plus the Catholic lectionery cunningly includes the Isaiah 35 reading.

  6. Sambo says:

    I watched you write it… Thats the same as listening right? I’m a good friend.

  7. Timbo says:

    i blew the Task immediately afterwards. spoke to someone after the service who wd describe herself as a Christian, but hadn’t been going to church for 2 years. had i really been listening to the sermon, i might have used this opportunity to challenge her, Apostle-James style, by saying “Ah, sister, how can you hope to be formed in the image of God, unless you are meeting with his body to grow together into the image of his son?” Instead, i did the “she’ll be right / Enneagram No. 9” thing, nodded and said, “how interesting”…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Its amazing how we can put up definitions of what a chrisitan should be doing, when we fail to look at the lack of christs love we have in our own heart. Sorry Timbo, but I think your comment on so called challenging is something that is incredibly judgemental. God has given us the ability to live within him and surely in fellowship with others can help considerably but that is not the ticket to living a life of love. The only person I am accountable to is myself. If you can truly look in the mirror and say you are a perfect christian, it is not your place to judge whether someone is a christian or not, if they haven’t gone to church. Have you thought of the reason why she may not have gone to church in 2 years? Maybe it was filled with hypocrites who were not actually living the love god showed us and pointing the finger instaead

  9. Johannes says:

    Anonymous, you make some dubious claims.

    “The only person I am accountable to is myself.”

    er. not so actually. You are sure to find quite a bit of biblical support for saying that we are accountable to God, our parents, children, Church, leaders and elders.

    “-when we fail to look at the lack of christs love we have in our own heart.”

    Yes, applies to all of us all the time.

    “Have you thought of the reason why she may not have gone to church in 2 years?”

    Obviosly Timbo had.

    The suggestion that the rest of her church were judgemental hypocrites while she was a True Christian as an explanation of non-attendance at corporate worship for two years is somewhat thin.

    Scripture is clear that God is a God of nations, of communities. God has saved His Church.

    To remind someone who arrogates to herself the title “christian” (without participation in the bride of Christ) that she needs to live her faith as part of a redeemed community is not judgemental at all, it is a speaking of truth in love, a necessary word in season.

    I am not sure how you can conclude that being a perfect christian disqualifies one from assessing someone else’s christianity.

    Fortunately God has given us signs and seals of His covenant as well as communities to adminster them.

    It is therefore not judgemental to question whether someone outside the church is a christian, it is a simple matter of definition really.

    A christian is part of The Church by definition.

    A christian is not a private individial with gnosis or experiences or feelings as their defining chracteristics.

    Unfortunately someone who withdraws from a community is not entitled to that communitie’s name.

  10. Johannes, I feel there might be some confusion here between The Church and a building that is attended once a week. That’s what Anonymous was getting at. Of course this person would want to withdraw from The Church Community if they’re gonna be poo-poo’d each time they come back to the fold. The Prodigal Son was greeted with a feast, open arms, and a welcome return to the title of ‘son’.

    Anonymous, I think Timbo’s done good here. It’s a fair call that he would come to that judgement – though he did not pass it. He has vocalised it here, perhaps without realising that the girl he was talking to could in fact be a reader of this blog. It’s entirely plausible that you, Anonymous, are the girl he was talking to. Then again, perhaps not. I would be pissed if someone thought that about me.

    Johannes and Anonymous, Timbo is part of a community of people who gather once a week (or, in true Protestant-based form, thrice a week on a Sunday, many times throughout the week) to worship, pray and learn together. Try being a KKK member and coming back ‘into the fold’ after being away for two years. Try being in a Bowling League and coming back for a practise round on League Night after being away for two years. Extreme example vs Commonplace example: both are ones that would cause a reaction amongst the members, and extreme hesitancy on the part of the returnee. Imagine our bowler, coming back for a bowl, and getting a series of gutter balls. He could understand that, but if the league members on either side of the lane started ripping into him for being crap, he’d leave in no time at all.

    Challenge is good, but biting one’s tongue is better. That’s why I haven’t ripped into Johannes’ comment as much as I’d like to, and that’s why I haven’t tried to teach Anonymous to be a little less blunt with the Dutchies.

  11. Sorry, just to clarify my imagery here: should the members rip into gutter-ball playing returnee, the Prodigal Bowler would think “flag this League thing. I’m going to come in once every three or four months to have a bowl by myself, maybe on a Saturday morning, when all the little kids are around, and I’ll buy some beer and fries, and bowl a few strikes for kicks.”

    Hopefully y’all can see a comparison between what would happen as a returnee to Church.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks daniel and Johannes for your response to my rather hasty and heated reply. I have since had a dutch sandwhich (that is eaten with a knife and fork) a sleep, a bike ride (on my borrowed dutch bike) and am grateful for your points of view.
    No I am not the ‘literal’ girl that timbo met, but I am a girl that has become disappointed with the chritian church so have not been consistantly for the past 2 years.
    Don’t get me wrong, I have total respect for organised religion and its potential but I believe sometimes the the doctrines can place a bigger importance than the actual application and essence of jesus’s teachings.
    For the past three weeks I have been going to a baptist church in England and have made alot of judgements while being here.
    In clarification to you picking up my hiccup Johannes, I meant to say that I am accountable to god for my actions. I cannot change others but maybe I can act in a more christ like way toward them.
    Back to the baptist church story. Listening to what thoughts ran through my head, I saw how I was and have always been so judgemental of others. I had huge expectations of this little church and all the love and warmth I was giving out was expected back ten fold. How many times did Jesus get slapped in the face?
    This has been a lesson to me. I reacted strongly to timbo probably because my fear of not been accepted as a christian.

    I am stillgoing to this little church, not because I think I will not be in the image of god, not because I want to show that I am christian. I am going because my heart at this time compells me, to look past my judgements even if I don’t entirely agree and see the person behind labels and what not.
    To me a church family is definately helpful, but the world can also be our church in fellowship with those who we understand the least.
    A priest I met in france told me to try and understand the other rather than try to convinve the other to understand you.
    Are we willing to understand others?
    Hi matt

  13. Anonymous says:

    By the way I am far from perfect, I did not stop going to church thinking I was more superieor, just that at the heart of our faith should be applied in every aspect of our life. I struggle on but believe if I am stranded on a deserted island with no church and no bible i still would be able to see and share gods love

  14. Rudy says:

    Hello Anonymous,

    where are you in England?

    I’m living in London, and can recommend a church or two. I’ve travelled all over the place, tried all sorts of churches, and have finally found one that I’m happy with (that sounds really wrong, doesn’t it? – as if I get to decide what constitutes a “good” church!).

    It’s taken a while, but I am very thankful for my friends taking me along to St Helen’s in London. And to God for giving me friends!



  15. Johannes says:

    Hi anonymous, glad to hear your are felowshipping, next step is to graduate from the baptist paradigm ;).

    You will have to excuse Daniel, it appears that he has been deeply scarred by having his terminal ineptitude with a bowling ball ridiculed once too often.

    He now prowls cyberspace making the world safe for maladroit sports people.

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