Audio: The Beloved Community, the Kingdom of God, and Candy Bar Christianity
In this sermon, Pastor Efrem discusses the focus in April on Martin Luther King's death and the Easter Season, and proclaims that there is no separation between proclaiming the gospel and advancing social justice. In short: "The Beloved Community must be seen as the advancement of God's kingdom on earth."
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In another clip, Pastor Efrem preaches from Matthew 25, the parable of the sheep and the goats, to describe the criteria upon which the church should be judged. The church must be socially innovative, and not be judged by the size of the building, budget, or congregation, but on how it deals with the marginalized: "We, as connectors to God -- that's intimacy -- must be carriers of God's love and justice -- that's mission."
And then he sings a song about Snickers candy bars -- which holds a profound spiritual lesson about "Snickers bar Christianity," and the need for disciples of Jesus to feast on a more balanced spiritual buffet.
Efrem Smith is the senior pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church, with the vision to be an urban, multi-ethnic, relevant, holistic, and Christ-centered community. He has held leadership positions in organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Hip-Hop Church.