Summary: taking out cues from the early church...
Why is Politically Correct Spirituality so Unsatisfying?
Acts Series: “Completely Irreligious, yet Radically Christian” Part 1
Pastor Jeff Christopherson - January 12, 2003
-I’m excited about Acts… C.D’s available
I. How we became ‘politically correct’:
Philosophy: from Rationalism (cause and effect)
-Enlightenment: spiritually / scientifically
‘truth’ is universally true
to Existentialism (subjective experience)
-Rene Descartes / Friedrich Nietzche -‘truth’ is personal
II. The problem with a pluralistic spirituality:
Relativity (the relationship between 2 ‘objective’ truths)
-Einstein: absolutes: time & space …
-relative to observer’s frame of reference
-brought in new absolute… the velocity of light
turned into Relativism (all truth becomes ‘subjective’)
-many extended the idea of relativity to other spheres…
-advertising: “how does the product make you feel?”
-the church: “how does your theology make you feel?”
Relativism is very polite, yet very impotent.
• If truth is based upon personal experience…whose?
• If there is no ‘objective truth’ then there is no ‘objective hope’.
• Ultimately, any society can only become so post-modern…
-The Book of Acts challenges our ideas of relativism…
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven…” Acts 1:1-2
III. How to find spiritual satisfaction (the Facts of Acts):
The spiritual climate found in the book of Acts is not too dissimilar to what we find in Canada:
• The religious (Jewish) world was divided into 2 major groups.
• The Roman world was largely secular serving money and power.
• The Greek world was spiritual, but completely pluralistic.
In the midst of this, Jesus’ church was born…
3 LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH
1. TAKE God’s WORD Seriously. (world’s oldest book)
This is a struggle for many of us–10 Commandments /10 Suggestions
-If you want to see God’s power in your life…
“…after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.” Acts 1:2
-the 1st thing Jesus did – “here’s the deal guys…”
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” Acts 1:4a
-Jesus gave instructions… Naturally…“alright, let’s go gang!” …
-God’s word was specific: “Wait”
How can God’s Word make a difference in my life?
A. Decide if you BELIEVE that it is ‘GOD’S’ Word.
*(Billy Graham’s struggle…)
-The Bible is an issue of faith (you have to settle this one…)
B. Adjust your LIFESTYLE to God’s Word (don’t adjust God’s Word to fit your lifestyle.)
-Many of us have adjusted our theology to fit our lifestyle
-that sounds easier – but it pulls God out of the picture…
*(Furnace – change the filter – no heat…)
C. In your RELATIONSHIP with God, expect God to
SPEAK to you through His Word.
-The Point of the Bible is God revealing Himself to you…
2. RECEIVE God’s POWER Personally.
-Christianity was never meant to be another religion (another choice)
-Jesus came to fix what was broken in us…
-only the resurrection could do this (an objective fact)
“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days…” Acts 1:3a
-this fact sets Christianity apart from everything else…
“He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles. After that, he was seen by more than five hundred of his followers at one time…” 1 Corinthians 15:5-6 (NLT)
-this wasn’t done in a closet… nobody disputed the fact!
-You say: “I’m tired” “I’m discouraged” “I’ve failed…”
“How can I receive God’s power?”
-What does the Bible say?
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:5
-God’s power comes only from God’s presence.
-*(1/2 full cup of cold coffee…)
-Something supernatural was going to happen…
“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” Acts 1:8a
-They were to wait for Jesus to ascend – and the HS to indwell
-Acts is really a historical record of what the HS did through people
-Has God changed? No
-Has God’s church changed? Maybe.
*(Stuck in the snow: smooth tires – HD Tow Truck…)
1. TAKE God’s WORD Seriously.
2. RECEIVE God’s POWER Personally.
3. SUBMIT to God’s AUTHORITY Obediently.
-To see God work in your life, ultimately you have to settle the issue of ‘who’s the boss”…
“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty day and spoke about the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3
-“Kingdom of God”: the authority of God over individual hearts…