Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Victor Frankl, reflecting on his own suffering in Auschwitz, said that the extremities of the concentration camp revealed the true selves of his fellow prisoners. Some became saintly in their self sacrifice and acts of compassion, while others became moral monsters, turning on one another in their desperate desire to survive. In our current hard times with the rise of fascism around the world as well as in the United States, many are still simply seeking diversion rather than engagement but it is time for those who have the potential to be saints to rise from their slumbers and to act for the good of refugees from Ukraine, women of child bearing years in the USA, as well as the children in our schools being taught to hide from “active shooters” in their schools.

Direct download: 20220626_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

It may be true, as suggested in a recent Atlantic article, that America has been uniquely stupid over the past decade and our gathering cloud of ignorance is largely due to our over exposure to partisan news sources and the scourge of the internet, with its unfiltered social media. How can we, as Soren Kierkegaard suggested 150 years ago, become less concerned with freedom of speech and more concerned with freedom of thought?

Direct download: 20220619_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

More than three months into the unconscionable invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the international community is still wringing its hands, asking themselves, “How can we survive without oil and gas from Russia,” while the purchase of Russian oil funds Putin’s terrorist military campaign against the Ukraine, destabilizing the entire world’s markets, and threating several regions of the world with food shortages. Why can’t we stop the Russian armies from this rampage of rape, torture, murder, and destruction of cities? Because we have failed to take seriously the need to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable wind and solar energy sources. We should have done it for environmental reasons years ago but now we are faced with the fact that the market in fossil fuels provides almost all of the funding of terrorism everywhere in the world. We need to stop funding global bad players and, incidentally, save the planet from environmental collapse at the same time!
Direct download: 20220612_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Our culture often speaks out of both sides of its mouth, acknowledging in popular proverbs that “nothing is certain but death and taxes,” or, as my homiletics professor often said, “the mortality rate is 100%” while still commonly insisting that we all have a certainty of life after death (either in reward or punishment). Progressives began to be dismissive of the belief in a burning hell but, for the most part, have held onto the security blanket of belief in a wonderful eternal existence after death. The sad fact is that there is no evidence to support this belief and it amounts to a denigration of the value of the only life that we actually know that we have. Perhaps it is time for spiritual communities to accept mortality as a fact and stop trying to push our hopes off into an imaginary future.
Direct download: 20220605_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT