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The Virtues: Temperance

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Psalm 107: 1-9

I Corinthians 9: 19-27

Luke 12: 13-21

“Temperance… now usually means teetotalism. But in the days when the Second Cardinal Virtue was christened ‘temperance,’ it meant nothing of the sort. Temperance referred not specially to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further.” —C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 2.


Jesus says of the rich fool, “this is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” That could be a description of the self-indulgent man, as Aristotle describes him in his Nicomachean EthicsRead More »The Virtues: Temperance

“Found Difficult and Not Tried”

By The Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church
Fort Worth, TX
September 2, 2012

Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23
James 1: 17-27

I would like you to hear and consider this re-writing of our Gospel lesson for today. It doesn’t apply, of course, to St. Stephen:

“Now when the leaders of the church and those who did all the real work around here had gathered around Jesus, they noticed that the new members and the youth and the homeless were eating with defiled purpose, that is, that they hadn’t done anything to earn their meal. (For the Presbyterians, and all Christians in those days, believed you were not taking Christianity seriously if you didn’t serve on at least five committees, thus observing the conventions of their society; and they did not eat anything from the market unless it was free-range and safe from causing environmental hazard, and there were many other traditions they observed: that church members had their own pews, on which no one else, even visitors, could sit; the correct washing and placement of Tupperware containers in the church kitchen; the correct order of worship; that all should bring a dish to the pot-luck or else not come; and that those who were most like them were the ones most truly welcome and that everyone else was ‘the least of these,’ who were to be helped, but otherwise avoided.)”Read More »“Found Difficult and Not Tried”

Begrudging God–Matthew 20: 1-16

September 18, 2011
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church
Fort Worth, TX
Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch, Preacher

I did a couple of conferences this past year where some of the speakers were classmates of mine. In fact, some of them were in the classes below me when I was in seminary. And look at them now! Headlining major conferences! They’ve done so well! I’m so proud of them!

No I’m not! 

I keep thinking: Why them and not me?Read More »Begrudging God–Matthew 20: 1-16