Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

The claim that the coming election is "the most important election of our lifetime," has been sadly over used and possibly worn out to the point that people easily ignore those of us who are urgently crying "wolf" about the November 2024 election. This message attempts to state the stark reality of the risk to democracy and individual freedoms at stake in this election. Please, listen to it and share with every voter you know.

Direct download: 20240421_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Two great periods of revivals saved the Christian religion from extinction in the United States. The Great Awakening, near the birth of our nation, and The Second Great Awakening that came along with the western expansion, the Civil War, and the end of slavery. Much of what modern American Christians think is a biblical faith is actually the echos of revivalist preaching based on a very poor reading of the writings of John Calvin.

Direct download: 20240407_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Easter, as it has been taught to us through traditional modern sermons, is, as Bishop John Shelby Spong described it, simply "unbelievable." Stepping back from the "yippee, we're all gonna live forever" myth, this lecture tries to treat the first Easter in a historical context with a critical discussion of early Christian writing.

Direct download: 20240331_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

THIS IS NOT NORMAL! Cultural values we worked hard to correct over the past century are slipping back into what is being allowed to become normative language, thinking, and voting. North Carolina's GOP nominated candidate for governor, Mark Robinson, who enjoyed more than 60% of the vote in the primary, has publicly denied the holocaust, insisted that the Nazis were "not that bad," is opposed to women's right to vote, to LGBT+ rights, and he even insists that the Sandy Hook School shootings were a hoax. This man is currently the lt. governor of NC and is tied for the governor's election in November. America, we have to push back on these ideas and make certain that it is clear that theses are not acceptable cultural values and that for the sane among us, this simply is not normal!

Direct download: 20240324_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The sad news of Alexey Navalny's death in prison brings to mind many who have chosen personal sacrifice as a way to raise awareness in the public's mind or to confront the evils of governments through the centuries. Navalny takes his place along side the likes of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and others whose names remain written on our hearts. There is a kind of suffering that can be redemptive. We might wish that such sacrifices were unnecessary but, alas, they almost always are.

Direct download: 20240310_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

32 of the 33 developed nations in the world have universal healthcare. Why is the United States the only outlier? We spend more on healthcare than any of the other nations, why can't we get the distribution system to be more fair? We also have between five and ten times as many of our citizens in prison, than any of those other developed nations. Why have we not managed to address the roots of poverty (which is what causes most crime) as those other nations have?

Obviously, it is some combination of heartlessness and greed of a very short sighted sort. Our country needs to wake up to some very obvious economic and social facts. And while we are at it, let's also consider supporting the news and educational sources that help us to see the world with new eyes.

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Direct download: 20240225_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01am EDT

Men and sometimes women confuse anger with a show of strength, or of being courageous when, in most cases, anger is simply a product of being afraid. As we try to understand the dangerous divisions within our American population, I think that we need to give careful consideration to the role of grievance, of irrational anger fueled by a paranoid level of fear. Fear of immigrants, loss of white privilege, and Evangelical influence in society is largely ephemeral but the consequences but a move towards the fascist right has dire implications that should be alarming to all of us. Fear leads voters to make bad decisions. In 2024 we need to vote intelligently and not irrationally.

Direct download: 20240211_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

For many congregations, the Bible is still the church's book but not many progressives find scripture to be either authoritative or even relevant in their lives. We have lost an anchor in our lives when we give up on sacred texts but the church of the 21st century has to find its truth to less clearly identified but indisputably more reliable sources.

Direct download: 20240128_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The prophetic church has always advocated for human rights, civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and has opposed the forces that create poverty, war, illness, and racism. As fascist language keeps rising in our current political environment, the prophetic church must find its voice again; before it is too late.

Direct download: 20240114_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT