Convocation 9/20/17: Chad Veach and the friend of sinners

After the mess that was Monday’s convo, anything would have been an improvement. Fortunately, Chad Veach was not simply an improvement over D’Souza, he gave a legitimately good message.

Today’s speaker, Chad Veach, is the pastor of Zoe church in Los Angeles. His message was centered on Matthew 11:18-19, specifically the accusation made against Jesus that he was a friend of sinners. Instead of seeing this accusation as a denouncement, Veach presented the idea that this was one of the best things about Christianity. It is only because Jesus is a friend of sinners that we are able to be saved, for we have all sinned.

Chad Veach gave a good, although extremely simple, message (No offense, but “Jesus is a friend of sinners” is bordering on Olsteen levels of banality). However, while Veach could have preached this message in the usual manner, instead he took some unusual directions with his message. One such interesting point that he made was that Jesus was not just a friend to those other sinners, but that he was a friend of us (the listener). He pointed out that we as humans tend to think in terms of the “other”, those who are not us, and of ourselves. We apply labels to the other such as sinner or friend, however we tend to avoid labeling ourselves in such a manner. Instead, we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt or allow our intentions to excuse our actions. Others are sinful, I am just misunderstood. Instead, Veach pointed out that we are all sinners, and we all need Jesus. The other interesting point I though Veach made was his connection between the giving of the old law and of the new law. I had never heard a pastor draw a parallel between the 3000 who died upon the giving of the old law, and the 3000 who were saved by the giving of the new law. It was a very interesting and unique connection.

Overall, I was a fan of Veach’s presentation, however I did have one issue with his message (Don’t I always?). As Veach repeated throughout his message, Jesus was a friend of sinners. However, while telling us his testimony, he mentioned that after he became a Christian that he split with his non-christian friends. If we are to follow the example of Jesus, should we not too be the friend of sinners? This is not a problem unique to Veach, many Christians recommend separating yourself from non-Christians after conversion. While I recognize the reasoning behind this advice, should we as Christians not be attempting to emulate Jesus? Jesus sat down and ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, but we won’t even go to a movie with a non-believer.

Bible verses quoted: 4

Total bible verses all semester: 19

Lightning Round:

  • Why did they have to bring up his book at the end of convo? They were so close to getting through a convo without advertising someone’s book. I swear half the speakers so far have tried to sell us something.
  • I hope to catch up on convo posts this weekend. Monday’s post really took a lot of my time.

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Liberty University leadership or administration in any way. The opinions expressed here are solely my own and should be not be taken as the opinion of the University, its staff, or the student body.

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