While Pastor Ed and Linda are away, we will be going through the book of Galatians in our Sunday Services. Let this introduction from The Message wet your appetite for following the weekly messages.
“When men and women get their hands on religion, one of the first things they often do is turn it into an instrument for controlling others, either putting or keeping them in “their place.” The history of such religious manipulation and coercion is long and tedious. It is little wonder that people who have only known religion on such terms experience release or escape from its freedom. The problem is that freedom turns out to be short-lived. Paul of Tarsus was doing his diligent best to add yet another chapter to his dreary history when he was converted by Jesus to something radically and entirely different – a free life in God Through Jesus, Paul learned that God was not an impersonal force to be used to make people behave in prescribed ways, but a personal Saviour who set us free to live a free life. God did not coerce us from without, but set us free from within. It was a glorious experience, and Paul set off telling others … A few years later, Paul learned that religious leaders of the old school had come into those churches … and were re-introducing the old ways …
Paul was, of course, furious. He was furious with the old guard … and furious with the Christians for caving into the intimidation. His letter to the Galatian churches helps them, and us, recover the original freedom …. for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and squandered.”
We begin the Galatians messages on Sunday, September 14th.