June 2017

TruthTalks Sermons

TruthTalk (Sermon): A Money Masterclass

Top Image Money Masterclass

Money permeates much of our everyday lives and how we use it provides a strong indicator of our attitude towards giving and generosity.

Jesus often used money as everyday illustrations in His teachings, but He didn’t address the topic itself that much. In this sermon I link together Luke 16:13 and Luke 6:38 to present The Master’s class on financial giving.

For those disillusioned souls who have suffered the ‘tithing’ abuse all too common in churches today, this message will bring you freedom and joy.

Financial giving is important, but it is supposed to be a means of blessing, freedom, and joy, and not guilt, obligation, and hardship.

Save

Save

Save

Save

TruthTalk (Sermon): A Money Masterclass Read More »

TruthTalk on the Borg Dilemma

TruthTalk: The Borg Dilemma

TruthTalk Borg Dilemma

 

In his post from last week, Dr Christopher Peppler wrote about dilemma’s facing church leaders and made suggestions on how to handle them.

In this TruthTalk he addresses this topic in more detail. After this I barge in with my usual volley of questions.
I try to focus on the more practical side of things in these question and answer sessions from the perspective of a church member as opposed to Dad’s position of being in leadership positions most of his life.  I do hope you get something out of these and SUBSCRIBE, or simply leave a rating or comment on whatever you use to listen to your podcasts as this is the main way we can get this podcast out!

To listen to the TruthTalk from here, simply click on the play button below:

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

TruthTalk: The Borg Dilemma Read More »

Moral Dilemma feature image

The Borg Dilemma

Moral Dilemma top image

What do the Borg of Star Trek fame, South Africa’s ruling party, and the church have in common? All three function in terms of their understanding of the philosophy known as ‘collectivism’.

Now don’t stop reading, because this article deals with an issue that many, if not most, Christians and particularly church leaders have to deal with at one time or another – what is best for the greater good.

Collectivism has been defined in so many ways, but I understand it as the belief that the common good of the group is more important than the good of the individual. The extent of the ‘group’ can vary from the whole of humanity, to a country, a political party, or even a local church. The Borg is a fictional alien species that are linked together by a group mind, a hive mentality, they call The Collective. South Africa’s ruling party (The ANC) also regard themselves as a collective and I suspect they secretly cherish the Borg mantra of “resistance is futile”. I have called this article ‘The Borg Dilemma’ because collectivism creates some real dilemmas especially for those in positions of leadership or influence.

A couple of days ago the Secretary-General of the ANC expressed the nature of the sort of dilemma I am talking about. He stated on national television that in his official capacity he was sometimes obliged to convey decisions and give reasons for these decisions that he does not personally agree with. He explained that he was part of the ’collective’ and therefore was obligated to conform to the group decisions and ‘party line’. In the absence of any biblical values, his dilemma may simply be personal image and reputation versus group cohesion. However, for a person whose conscience is prescribed by biblical values the dilemma is more complex.

Let’s take the case of a church leadership group that takes decisions that compromise the beliefs and convictions of one of its members.

What is that leader supposed to do? On the one hand he or she wants to preserve the unity of the Body of Christ, the church, but on the other hand personal integrity and commitment to truth demands potentially divisive action. Obviously this leader would voice his objection to his peers, but what then? He could continue to argue for a different decision or way forward at the risk of creating disunity first in the leadership group and then in the church at large. He could resign as a leader and if pressured by others to disclose his reasons for resigning he could simply leave the church. Or perhaps he could say nothing and tacitly support what he believes to be a wrong and potentially destructive decision. This is indeed a dilemma because group interest stands in apparent opposition to individual conscience and integrity. To make matters worse, if he is correct in his objections then the church as a whole will inevitably suffer the consequences of the wrong decision, either immediately or later.

A starting point for resolving this sort of dilemma is to realise that there is often a false dichotomy involved. What is best for the group is usually placed in juxtaposition to what is best for the individual, but for the Christian the real question is simply what is BEST. And what is best will always satisfy the criteria of both truth and love. The Ephesians 4:15 injunction to speak the truth in love means that love and truth must be linked, and that truth must be motivated and applied in love. Both the group and the individual good is best served by the loving application of truth.

In the example I cited the dissenting leader would be wise to attempt to speak truth out of a motivation and in a manner that would do least harm to the unity of the church body.

Key elements of this would be humility, refusal to accuse or denigrate others, acknowledgement of the worth and contribution of those holding a different view, and gracious and non-inflammatory communication.
Two proverbs speak to the combinations I am describing; ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’ (Prov. 15:1), and ‘An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips’ (Prov. 24:26).

The Lord Jesus Christ embodied and epitomised both truth and love (grace) for it is written, ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14). And John’s benediction to the church reads, ‘Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love’ (2 John 3).

Save

The Borg Dilemma Read More »

TruthTalks Sermons

Why the ascension is important to YOU

top image ascension

Does our general lack of awareness of Ascension Day mean that the Ascension is relatively unimportant? Or does it indicate our lack of appreciation of just how important it actually is?

The early creedal hymn of 1 Timothy 3:16 places the Ascension on the same level of importance as the Incarnation and the Resurrection:

‘Most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.’
Manifest in the flesh – the Incarnation; justified in the Spirit – the Resurrection; taken up in glory – the Ascension. All three are important and have a profound effect on our lives both now and eternally.

Here is the audio of the sermon I preached on this at the Lonehill Village Church on Sunday 28th May 2017. If you enjoy this you can subscribe HERE or find TruthTalks on all the major podcast catchers. Here’s the sermon:

 

Save

Save

Save

Why the ascension is important to YOU Read More »

About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.