52 Churches 52 Weeks

Worship Exploration Journey

Week 35 – Greater Phoenix Chinese Christian Church – Christian

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Candace and I attended the very welcoming Greater Phoenix Chinese Christian Church in Chandler this Sunday. Everyone was so nice. A lot of different people reached out to us during our time there. GPCCC has quite the operation with a campus, administrative buildings and even a huge playground. After services, the congregation went off to Sunday school. They have services in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. I visited with the Pastor and the newcomer welcoming committee after the service and signed up for the newsletter and pot luck via ipad. Very high-tech.

There was lots of music, prayer and reflection. Communion is taken on the first Sunday of each month so lots of worshippers showed up for the monthly ritual. An engagement was announced that caused the whole church to cheer. It was so adorable.

Afterward, the pastor asked me what I thought. I told him that I appreciated his edgy, real world discussion on adultery, sin, stealing, pornography, homosexuality, hypocrisy, pre-marital sex, murder, rape, divorce, alcoholism, politics, speeding, lying and Jesus. It was pretty brutal in an interesting and calm sort of way and boy did he cover a lot of ground.

The Pastor discussed the proper way to lovingly confront sin and the difference between Gods law and mans law. He says that judgement is acceptable but we should avoid knee-jerk rebukes. Our lives are shades of gray. We need to treat the accused with respect as Jesus did for the adulterous woman in the bible. He heard her sin and told her that she was forgiven and to sin no more. He was not harsh, he did not stone her. He is an example of how we should treat others. I finally get the phrase, “what would Jesus do?” We treat others with respect because all people are made in the image of God.

Other thoughts on sin included the idea that we tend to assign a hierarchy to sin that tells us speeding is a lesser sin than murder. And yet sin is sin. We must get ourselves under control. Jesus shows us that no sin is beyond forgiveness and teaches us how to prune our own lives to find a balance between love and righteousness. The pastor was very clear that we need to address the sin we see in the world.

I have lots of thoughts that occur outside the scope of this blog that parallel what is I see happening in the world. It’s a little like a Law & Order episode. I usually keep those thoughts in a journal so that I don’t forget the messages I hear that I feel mirror society. Today I will just put myself out there – On this Sunday I address, reflect and remain non-judgemental in a loving way on the sin of Mr. Josh Powell who murdered his 5 and 7-year-old sons in a fiery explosion in his home after the suspicious disappearance of his “flirtatious” wife. What is the hierarchy of all the possible sins he may have committed and I wonder what Jesus would say?

To visit this church learn more here: http://english.gpccc.org/ Candace and I are looking forward to attending a pot luck here some day 🙂


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