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This week's sermon:

            Luke 19:1-10:  -  "Who You Gonna' Vote For?"
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They say “politics and religion don't mix.” I say this campaign can't shut up talking about religion. They say “separation of church and state.” I say politicians sure been preaching a lot of sermons lately. Some of them preachin’ political sermons in the churches, right up there where the preacher ought to be. You might be able to separate the state from the church but you sure can’t separate the politician from the pulpit. They say, “I’m not going to force my values on others.” I say, what is faith without values?


And so I ask you: What is the state without the church? What is a politician without visible values? What is life without faith? To borrow the words of Paul, “It is nothing.” It is a resounding gong, a clanging symbol. Zacchaeus recognized this. He could not be in the presence of Jesus and not be moved. Moved to right the wrong in his life. He was a tax collector who had taken advantage of many people. Lied to them. Swindled them. Skimmed off the top of his collections. And beyond all this, he had ignored the poor.


Now it’s Tuesday morning for old Zacchaeus and he has to walk in the election booth and pull the lever. He is either going to vote for the state or for the faith. He is either going to vote for himself of for those he has defrauded. He will either cast his vote for Rome or for Christ. Come Election Day, who is he gonna’ vote for?


1. He could vote for the Tax Collectors.

2. He could vote for the poor.
3. He could vote for Christ.


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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....


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