Monday, March 9, 2009

Blackened pots

Yesterday we celebrated our 're-emergence' service. It was a really exciting day and my message was simply the fact that God uses 'blackened pots.' (If that analogy is completely lost on you then you're going to have to download the message from our website once it's up). Any how, my point was made that much stronger by the use of my wifes cooking pots from home, as I managed to smuggle them out without her even knowing. The basic premise of the message was: It's time for the church to stop judging and condemning people who have lived less than stellar lives, as this would consign everyone (including us) to the ash heap of worthlessness. I further suggested that God gave Jesus the highest honor according to Philippians 2:9, and he had in turn bestowed honor upon the woman caught in adultery (John 8) who was presumed by the religious leaders of the day to be of the lowest honor. That is the mandate of the Church! To honor those that are presumed to be without honor.

It's vital to the very survival of the Church in our country that we become known more for what we stand for and care about, than for what we stand against. According to an report today, Fifteen percent of respondents in a survey said that they had no religion, compared to 8.2 percent in 1990. Apparently Vermont reported the highest rise in the numbers of people that said they had no religion (34%), but every state in the country reported a rise in that number. The statistic that struck me the most though was from the following quote:

"The current survey, being released Monday, found traditional organized religion playing less of a role in many lives... About 12% of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths. And, since 1990, a slightly greater share of respondents - 1.2% - said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca and Santeria." Clearly people are looking for someone or something to believe in but I guess the Jesus we've presented in the way we live our lives doesn't quite look like the Jesus of the Bible, and so people are less likely to think of the Church as able to provide relevant answers to their questions about faith. That's why we must re-evaluate and repackage how we present the message in order that we may "win all the more for Christ."


Ash said...

first off, i dig the flip flops...and the fact that you used the word "stellar" in your blog. you must be getting "hipper." ha ha

more importantly, i do agree w/ you here. people are searching for something bigger than themselves... and in order to touch them w/ christ, i think it's vital that we be more like him rather than a "religious label," so to speak.

now go put those pots back! wink.

Joseph said...

Hmmm, Ash not sure if I should say thanks for the 'backhanded' compliment. :)

Any way, the pots are safely back where they belong. ;)

Joey said...

You stole some of my thunder for SNU using the MSNBC article, great minds!! ;0)