Life is full of the mundane, the common, the norm. Everything moves endlessly toward one routine destination. You know exactly where you are headed while simultaneously you are completely lost. But every now and then you meet a game-changer and the entire direction of your life alters its course.
That game-changer, for me, was Andrew Franseen. It was not that everyone before him was meaningless or unhelpful (quite the contrary) but that God used Andrew in such a way to break through the ordinary and reveal to me the depthlessness (not a word, I get it) of his Glory as seen from his Word. Andrew has the terrifying ability to see what the Word of God says and how it ought to be applied specifically to the lives of his audience and to actually say it. I have found that quality rare indeed. It was not that Andrew was fearless. On the contrary, Andrew was fearful. Just not of you and me.
I have profited from Andrew on many levels since he first took me to lunch to get to know me years ago. I first knew him as my SS teacher. Then I served alongside of him in various capacities and even shared an office with him for a while. I now call him friend and am humbled to do so. Just as the apostle Paul thanked God in Colossians 1 for the evidence of their faith and love so too do I (and my wife) thank God for Andrew’s faithful ministry to our souls during the years that we had opportunity to sit under and learn from him. He was “a faithful minister of Christ on [our] behalf.”
There are few better examples of this than Andrew’s sermon entitled Merely Traditional (click on link to listen or download) which he preached about five years ago in a conservative fundamentalist church across town from Bob Jones University. It was his (and my own) home church at the time. Andrew is now Pastor at Grace Bible Church in the upstate of South Carolina. If you are looking for a home church (or just one to visit as you pass through) let me recommend this church as highly as possible.
(I am having trouble uploading my own copy of this sermon to the web so I have found the only other online recording – from a blog of a member of Andrew’s present church – and linked to that. This is the only copy of this sermon you will find on the web. That is no accident since there was pressure from a certain Christian university to remove this sermon from the web. Now the only way you can get a copy of this sermon is through a friend. It has hence gone underground and gained a life in and of itself. I still receive requests for this sermon as I know others do as well.)