Sex Money Power

Power As God's Gift

Esther • October 29, 2017 • Pastor Léonce B. Crump Jr.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This quotation by the John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, has been made famous in speeches, literature, conversation, and film. But, after much consideration, I’d like to challenge its truthfulness. It is quite fair to say, I believe, that We primarily only understand power in either negative or individual sense. Negative in that it must be avoided, tamped down, or controlled. Individual in that it cannot be leveraged beyond its usefulness for us alone. Afterall, as we saw last week, power when seen as God, seduces, corrupts, blinds and destroys. So we see it, as lord Acton described, as primarily a means of corruption. Hands off. Walk away. Power does not have to be cast in negative terms, nor does it have to be feared always as something that might get out of control. No, Power, leveraged as God’s Gift, dignifies, liberates, restores and rescues. It reverses the corruption caused by the worship of power. It can be far more than an opportunity for individual means. Power, when seen as God’s gift, opens a world of possibilities for those who would be its beneficiaries. Sex Money Power | Power As God's Gift | Esther

Power As God

Exodus 1, Samuel 11 • October 22, 2017 • Pastor Léonce B. Crump Jr.

Our desire for the ability to be master of our own fate and in control of our destiny is on full display, even when we are children. We tend to believe that the more power we have, the more secure and in control we will be. And it is derived from the innate sense of powerlessness and dependence that we all feel at most all times. Reinhold Niebuhr, with whom you will most likely be unfamiliar, was a well-known theologian in the twentieth century. He proposed that all human beings wrestle with a sense of being dependent and powerless, birthed long ago in the Garden of God, with God’s first children. The original sin wasn’t pride, primarily, but a full-on resentment of human limitations. When presented with the opportunity to “be like God,” (Genesis 3:5) meaning to have God-like power and might and knowledge, they leapt at it. There is great danger in this, because the more we long to maintain control over our lives, and the more we push to possess the power, the more that power is elevated to that which we depend on, and the more readily it replaces God. Power, elevated to the place of God, seduces, corrupts, blinds, and destroys. Sex Money Power | Power As God | Exodus 1, Samuel 11

Money As God's Gift

Luke 19:1-10 • October 15, 2017 • Pastor Léonce B. Crump Jr.

If we’re honest, as a whole we believe generosity is optional, or circumstantial, or what we do with what’s left over, or has nothing to do with our standing with God. And yet from the Old Testament declaration of God getting a tithe, 10%, from all that He’d given His people (Leviticus 27:30-32); to Jesus’ words about the inseparable connection between heart and resources; to Paul’s admonition to the ancient church at Corinth that they should prove their love by excelling in generosity as they did in faith, speech and knowledge (2 Corinthians 8:7-8); and that God has a special place in His heart for the radically generous (2 Corinthians 9:7), it seems genuine faith and faithful generosity are indivisible. True salvation and radical generosity cannot be uncoupled. Sex Money Power | Money As God's Gift | Luke 19:1-10

Money As God

1 Timothy 6:6-10 • October 8, 2017 • Pastor Léonce B. Crump Jr.

If there is any more complicated relationship human beings have with something other than sex, it's money. We are weird about money. Some of us don’t want to talk about it, as though saying the very word will conjure a spirit of some kind. In fact it is a subject often avoided in church altogether. Granted, some churches abuse the talk of money, but they are neither the norm nor the majority. We believe money provides safety, and security, and freedom, and the potential for a better future, right? But a love for money? No; that’s someone else's problem, not mine. Here’s the question… are you sure? Would your credit card statements, job choices, generosity, schooling choices and bank account support that position? Maybe. But perhaps not. It’s important to know for sure. Because there is grave danger in having a love of money. When we elevate money to the place of God, we are lured away; entrapped; plunged into ruin. Sex Money Power | Money As God | 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Sex As God's Gift

Genesis 1:24-25 • October 1, 2017 • Pastor Léonce B. Crump Jr.

We must see sex as a gift from God, or lose the beauty of what we’ve been given. Why is this important? Because if we don't treat sex as the gift God intended it to be, we may find ourselves viewing it through one of the several broken lenses. God created sex as a valuable gift, imbued with dignity. If we can begin to see sex this way, as a valuable gift, then no matter how we presently see or experience it, we can be unshackled from the varying bondages that come along with seeing it as any less than that. Sex Money Power | Sex As God's Gift | Genesis 1:24:25

Sex As God

Romans 1:24-25 • September 24, 2017 • Pastor Léonce B. Crump Jr.

it is undeniable that something is wrong with humanity's view of and appetite for sex, perhaps now more than ever before. The pornography industry is now a trillion dollar one, grossing enough money to feed 4.8 billion people a day, putting it ahead of the GDP of at least 63 nations. The porn industry releases more films and grosses more money annually than Hollywood. It grosses more money that the MLB, NBA and NFL combined. But this warped appetite doesn’t rear its head in pornography alone. It governs the plot lines of major motion pictures, favorite television shows, app. Creations, Instagram traffic, and dating habits. Even music is revealing in this regard. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, 92% of Top Ten Billboard Songs, across multiple genres, including country, are about sex. Even as we hear all of this, We actually believe ourselves immune to the debasing effects of our culture's worship of sex. That somehow we go unscathed, whether vigilant to guard our hearts and our bodies, or not. Human beings and society are degraded and destroyed when sex is elevated to the place of God. Sex Money Power | Sex As God | Romans 1:24-25