Summary: This sermon explores what it is like to be a Christian in a postmodern world.
Introduction: I started reading a new book a couple of weeks ago. It’s a book written by Bill O’reilly entitled “Culture Warrior.” O’Reily who is a News Commentator for The Fox News Network believes that the United States is in the middle of a “Culture War.” According to O’Reily, the battle is between Traditionalists (those who embrace the traditional Judeo-Christian values that this nation was founded on) and the “Secular Progressives” (who reject the traditional Judeo-Christian values and want to change America into a ‘Secular Progressive” country. It is a very interesting book and I tend to agree with Mr. O’Reily.
In fact I believe Traditional values have been under attack for the past 15-20 years. How many of you remember Dan Quayle? He served as Vice President under George Bush Senior and during the 1992 re-election campaign Quayle delivered a speech in which he made the following statement regarding the rioting that took place in Los Angeles in May 1992. He said, “I believe the lawless social anarchy which we saw is directly related to the breakdown of family structure, personal responsibility and social order in too many areas of our society.” Then he made several comments that supported that statement. As He closed his speech that day Quayle said, “It doesn’t help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown – a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid, professional woman—mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another ‘lifestyle choice.’
Well in the weeks to follow the News Media crucified Quayle and did their best to portray him as an uneducated, intolerant, bigot. The controversy surrounding Quayle’s comments not only contributed to President Bush’s defeat, but it also cost Quayle his political career.
But that is ancient History. What about now? Well, the way I see it we are living in a nation that in many respects is as ‘secular and pagan’ as any nation on the face of the earth. Even though a large percentage of Americans still think of themselves as Christians, in reality they aren’t.
The Church in America today needs to wake up and realize that we are no longer living in the glory days of the 1950’s. We need to realize we are no longer living in a nation where the majority of people go to church 3 times a week. We need to realize that we no longer live in a society that respects and adheres to the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
In fact, we live in a society today that has very little respect for the Christian Faith or for those of us who call ourselves Christians. So, having said that how are we as Christians supposed to live and work in this kind of society? How are we supposed to be the Light of The World and the Salt of the Earth, that Jesus has called us to be? How are we supposed to make a difference in America today? Those are very important questions and I want us to take the next few weeks to discuss them. This morning I want to focus your attention on the world in which we are living…
Listen to what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)
You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money.
They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be crue and have not interest in what is good.
They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly...”
Is it just me or does that sound a lot like the kind of world we find ourselves living in today? The first thing I want to point out to you this morning is that we are
I. LIVING IN A POSTMODERN WORLD.
Some of you may have heard the term post-modern before. But chances are that many of you here this morning have absolutely no idea what it means. Consequently I feel like I need to take a few minutes to give you a little background information.
The Pre-Modern Era ended back in the 1500’s. This was the age of Enlightenment. Some of the characteristics of this period in Human history included:
The belief that God was the Center of the Universe.
The Belief that there were Absolute Truths and that God was the source of those Absolute Truths.
The belief that every area of a person’s life was influenced by their Faith in God.