[Tennessee Valley Presbytery (TVP) adopted a resolution vindicating the Session of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church with regard to its having invited Dr. Linda Eure, a staff member, to speak during two services of Sunday evening worship. In so doing, TVP approved language which stated that the Session allowed Dr. Eure "to speak from their pulpit on two Sunday evenings, for the purpose of explaining her approach to Christian education." Below are excerpts from her two messages. More extensive excerpts are found on the website of Presbyterian International News Service, at http://pins.simplenet.com, Vol. 5, number 1 (March 1999). Audio tapes are also on the PINS website; or, the tapes can be ordered from Cedar Springs (423-693-9331).-Ed.]
August 16, 1998
What I'm going to do this evening is to take one verse, II Corinthians 3:18, and refer a bit then to Mark 9, . . . to talk to you about the glory of God, using five "D's". The first D being that of Defining the glory of God; the second D, the Displaying of the glory of God; the third D, the Desperation that we need for the glory of God; then, the Dedication that it takes to know the glory of God; and finally, Declaring the glory of God. And I want to start with a verse that seems to be the Women's Ministry verse, II Corinthians 3:18-"But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed into that same image, just as from the Lord the Spirit." And I want to take this verse for just a minute. "For we all": that includes people in the Congo. That includes people in Kenya. . . . That includes friends in Russia tonight. "For we all, beholding as in a mirror." As we look in a mirror, we see ourselves very clearly, don't we? And as we look into the mirror, are we really declaring the glory of God? "With unveiled faces." There's no veil over the face. We see Him clearly. When Moses said, "Show me the glory," we have it so much better than Moses. We see Him, we need Him, we know Him, He's here, He's real, He's vital, He's among us tonight! "Are being transformed." And for an English teacher like me, it means a lot to me to know that that is in the present passive participle. That means that we are being transformed. We are being transformed, as we behold His glory. Because it's in worshipping Him that we are changed. . . . "From glory to glory": that's the process of it all. "Just as from the Lord the Spirit."
. . . I want to declare to you tonight the glory of God in what I believe is the most simple definition that we can know. The summation of all of who God is. All of His attributes. A God who's loving. A God who died for us. And I think that the very epitome of the picture of the glory of God is what we see on the cross. When we see a Savior dying. And we see such glory displayed on the cross, we see a thief turning to Him and saying, "I want to be like that. I want to repudiate all my old stuff. I want to leave everything I've known before. And I want to be like that!" Because of glory-the splendor of the radiance of the manifestation of the glory of God!
. . . The summation of all of His qualities. The summation of all of His character. The one who, when He came on earth, said, "Get away from me, dignataries! But suffer the little children to come unto me!" The one who reached down and touched the ostracized leper, and healed so much more than her physical problems. The God of the universe, the God who put all the stars into space!! And I often think, if we could only see the stars one night a year, we'd gather all of our chairs together and we'd all worship! This is the great God we serve. . . .
. . . I want to say very dogmatically that there has never been a time in the history of the world when there's not been an instrument to declare the glory of God. Creation-the heavens are declaring the glory of God! When Moses saw the burning bush, He saw God on fire! We see the tabernacle, and the glory of God within the tabernacle! You know, the tabernacle was just an old tent, until God moved in. And can you imagine as people saw that tabernacle, and the radiance that must have gone out from that tabernacle? And then God filled the temple, and the glory of God came. . .ÿ.
Is it the life, the truth, of Jesus Christ, being displayed in us? You know, the enemy has us all entrapped. The enemy says, I tell you how you can be like God. It's sort of like John's message this morning: "MONEY!" "SEX!" "POWER!" "All these things-they'll make you God-like!" And that is just a trap. The Son of Man was one who came and turned society and all that we think as human beings completely upside down. He was the one who came and washed feet. . . . The glory that is displayed by Him comes out of total submission and total brokenness and total dependency upon the Father. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Why did Jesus Christ come? He came to make us the people He intended us to be. . . .
[When people couldn't meet my needs], I had to go to the God of the universe, and I said, Meet my needs! Meet my needs! Come, Lord, meet my needs! Come meet me where I am! And He pressed me into a oneness with Him, so that His glory could in little places give me a little compassion so that somehow I could display and help a broken world who wants to know of a loving God! . . . Don't you know that nothing touches you unless it's been filtered through His fingers of love? And don't you know tonight that He's conforming you into His image? Don't you know that He's going to make you into His image, and He's going to make you one through whom the splendor of the radiance of the manifestation of the glory of God can be displayed? Call on Him!
. . . We're in a hard place, men and women, in our society and in our whole world. . . . We're in a world without a lot of absolute truths. . . . [With Modernism,] we've built in a sense the Tower of Babel. "PROGRESS!!" "HUMANISM!! 'Let's make a name for ourselves.'" . . . In Post-Modernism, in an age where there are no absolutes, we don't understand each other. We're babbling. . . . The whole world is screaming, Show us! Show us some truth! We need some answers. . . .
So my charge to each of us tonight is to go out of this sanctuary on our knees, for America. Tomorrow's an important day for America. . . . [The next day, August 17, 1998, was the date when President Clinton testified before the federal grand jury.-Ed.]
August 23, 1998
. . . I think about being in New York City a few years ago, and seeing Charles Atlas in front of the General Electric building, with the world on his shoulder, all bent over, like he was groaning. And I walked across the street, and I looked behind the St. Patrick's Cathedral, behind the altar, and I saw a little boy Jesus standing there, the world in his hands. . . .
The Lord said: Jacob, Tell me, who are you? It sounded like Ken Starr talking to Clinton. Tell me who are you! Tell me about what's going on! . . . God would not let [Jacob] go. . . .
Has God been hounding you? Has the hound of heaven been after you? Have you had an encounter with God? He wants to make you part of a Grand Story. He wants to change you from a person that you don't want to be, to a person who will radiate the splendor of the majesty of the wonder of the glory of God! That is what He's about in your life and my life!
. . . I ask us, why do we worship anything less than God? . . . I ask us all tonight, men and women, are we into a little personal peace and affluence?. . .
I would like to close tonight by reading this poem that I believe God gave me. . . , "Sir, We Would See Jesus.". . .