Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday's Service / Jerry Sutton

Sunday's Sermon - The reluctant river
On Sunday, God led me to speak on Ezekiel 47 - which references a vision that shows the river that flows from the temple. The Spirit kept leading me to this passage, but I was resistant. The reason I resisted was my association of "the river" with some revivals in the '90's. I have been avoiding for the last decade songs, slogans and other references to "the river." However, as I studied Ezekiel 47 and corresponding passages, I rediscovered that "river" is actually the Holy Spirit. I was reminded through the Scripture that God is the first one to make the anaology of "the river" for the Holy Spirit. WIth that reminder in mind, I can now say, "Let the river flow." More importantly, let "the river - the Holy Spirit - flow through me!

Water Baptism Experience
Sunday, we had our second water baptism experience of the summer. Is there anything more meaningful than our baptisms? I am thrilled to have our church body gather around the "feed trough" to create a holy moment. There were several children we baptized, and I thank God for each of them. I was especially thrilled to baptize my good friends Chad and Kristen Clark. Kristen started following Jesus through our church plant that met at Guild Elementary in Gallatin. To watch her and Chad grow in the Lord the last three years has been thrilling for me!

Jerry Sutton's Resignation - a sad story
I was sad to read today that Jerry Sutton, the pastor of Two Rivers Baptist in Nashville, took early retirement due to pressue from some of his congregation. You can read the article in Monday's Tennessean newspaper. I have no idea wether or not his season was done, but I do know that way this circumstance came about was sad, and did not glorify God. Basically, the article summed up what has happened in this quote - "Sutton and church leaders hope his retirement will bring an end to a 14-month conflict. In the summer of 2007, a group of dissident church members sued Two Rivers, seeking Sutton's ouster and access to church financial records." Perhaps Jerry Sutton's season has ended, but it shouldn't have happened through disgruntled members, lawyers and the media. Disgruntled church members are the meanest creatures on God's planet. There may be some the bemoan Jerry Sutton's salary and retirement package, but they have no idea the pressures and unique challenges of a senior pastor's role. I pray for better days for both Two Rivers Baptist and Dr. Sutton.

1 comment:

Cindy Lee said...

As a former member of this church, during my childhood & again during early adulthood, I am saddened by this news as well. I have a couple of co-workers who I have watched go through the struggles of this situation during the entire time, & pray for continued healing for Dr. Sutton, his family & the church.

C