ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S
UNITED CHURCH(ELCA)
            

Pastor's Page

Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor

Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor

      Pastor Steven Thomas was born in Houston, Texas. He graduated from New Mexico Tech with a BS in Chemistry. He was working as a chemist in Baltimore for a few years, and then decided to pursue the dream of being a pastor. In 1993, Pastor Steve graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg. He is married to Pastor LaDonna Thomas who serves at St. David Lutheran Church in Hanover, PA. They have one daughter, Rebekah.

      Pastor Steve enjoys kayaking, reading, and motorcycling. Pastor Steve’s passion is always looking for greater understanding - especially in how our expanding scientific knowledge reveals additional wonders of God.

      Some of his favorite books are The Bible (of course), Awareness by Anthony DeMello, The Shack by William P. Young, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, E=mc2 by David Bodanis, and the Tolkein trilogy.


Contact Pastor Thomas




Sample Sermon

Nathan and David


John 18:12-27


Joel 2:12-14


The Prodigal Son


Theodicy Sin Suffering


What Life Is All About


Keeping Sabbath


Jesus the Prism of Life


Isaiah 40:1-11


The Bible As Social Commentary

           


     Sometimes people have the understanding that spiritual things are separate from the everyday things of our lives.  And yet, the entire job of the prophets in the Bible was to make social commentary upon the state of the nation.  The state of the nation included the corruption of high officials as well as the overwhelming greed of the rich.

     For instance, when King David steals his commander, Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.  Then King David tries to cover up his wrongdoing by executing Uriah - sending him and his men on a suicide mission on the field of battle.

     The prophet, Nathan then confronts King David in the King’s court.  First, Nathan tells a story of a rich man who took the one lamb of a poor man - and ate it.  When King David gets outraged and condemns the rich scoundrel, Nathan says, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 11-12:7)

     So, the role of the prophet, or preacher is sometimes to confront the powerful - even in government.

     In a second place, the prophet, Isaiah says that the Lord condemns Israel’s alliance with Egypt against Assyria because Israel is trusting in Egypt’s powerful army (their horses and chariots) rather than trusting in God.  You can imagine that Israel’s rulers and elite were not too happy to hear Isaiah’s clear condemnation.

     In another place, the prophet Micah scathingly condemns the dishonest merchants and rich, “The voice of the Lord cries to the city: ‘Hear, O tribe and assembly of the city! Can I forget the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Can I tolerate wicked scales and a bag of dishonest weights? Your wealthy are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, with tongues of deceit in their mouths.’”  Predictions of dire consequences follow.        (Micah 6:9-12)

     You can imagine Micah’s popularity with the wealthy and merchants after that sermon.

     In the early part of the 20th century, a famous theologian, Karl Barth once said that you must “do theology with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.”  That is, the Bible is directly applicable to everyday life.

     You might be tempted to believe that Jesus was a little less socially outspoken than the prophets, but then you have to remember Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  Jesus’ parable condemns the rich man to hell for not taking care of the poor man, Lazarus.  (Luke 16:19-31)

     And then, in His prediction of the final judgement of the nations, Jesus tells of the judgement of the sheep and the goats.  And Jesus says that they were judged in this way: “ Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

     Those who did not do these things were condemned severely. (Matt 25:31-46)

     These are just some examples that the Bible is very socially conscious.  Sometimes scathingly so.  Jesus gives us fantastic grace and forgiveness, but He still calls us and our society to account.  As Christians, we cannot ignore the social ills of our time and remain faithful.

- Pastor Steve

Pastor Messages of Special Interest

Suicide - Surviving Life’s Darkest Moments



Video of Archived Sermons

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