Burrows Preaches at Crystal Cathedral
General Eva Burrows (R) challenged several thousand attending worshippers and a world-wide television audience in the millions to a greater sense of personal power and freedom through the living presence of Christ during two recent Sunday morning services at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif.
Burrows, the only woman to preach in the Crystal Cathedral, was introduced by the founding pastor, Dr. Robert Schuller, who compared her lifelong commitment to the poor and oppressed with that of Mother Teresa. Burrows delivered the two sermons with vigorous energy and strength. The Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters, led by Bill Flinn, also participated in the two services.
Burrows first message drew on Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (4:20) in which he said: “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” She noted that society seems to generate considerable “talk” these days. “We don’t need more talk,” she stated firmly, “we need more power. We need people who will make a difference with their lives, who will work for justice and communicate the power of God’s love through helping others.” She stated that Jesus was not a man of talk but of action. He gave us new meaning for the word power. “Many put love of power on the throne, but Jesus enshrined the power of love,” she said. She expressed the opinion that too many people are walking through life with the hotel door tag DO NOT DISTURB attached to them.
“We have,” she stated, “the power of prayer available to us. Praying people are powerful people.” Continuing, she added that we also have available to us the power of the Holy Spirit. “There is much ignorance about the Holy Spirit, and this is unfortunate. The Holy Spirit is simply God at work in the world–in you and me–providing us with the power to be new persons, alive in Christ. To do this, we must be willing to pay the price–the surrender of “self” to God and commit our “self” to Christ. “Who knows,” she observed, “what a committed life can do.”
During the second service of the morning Burrows selected the text from John’s Gospel (8:31, 32,36) “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” She noted that freedom, in recent days, has been presented as tolerance of any form of behavior–“the Sinatra philosophy,” she said, and then broke into song with line “I did it my way” to illustrate her point. “Wrong can be made to seem right if enough people practice it,” she added, but that is not how freedom is attained. Real freedom, she said, is to be found in Jesus Christ and his teaching.
Drawing on Roosevelt’s four freedoms articulated during the war, freedom from want, from fear, of religion and of speech, she constructed four freedoms in Christ: “freedom from fear of the future; freedom from self as our own worst enemy; freedom from the negative impact of the opinions of others; and freedom from sin.”
She concluded both services with an appeal for commitment to Christ.
Mark Kellner contributed to this report.