6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This sermon is titled by the first half of our purpose statement as a church. The message reflects on the importance of helping make the connection to God, and in fellowship with others.

We are in week two exploring the purpose of our church. Last week, we began by exploring the purpose that your pastor, me, feels like has been placed within my life as the leader of this body. The next two weeks we get to broaden the scope. What is our purpose as a church? As that piece of the body of Christ that worships at Stonewall Wesleyan Church.

We have a purpose statement. Anyone willing to boldly raise their hand, say I know it, and stand and declare it today? (Take volunteers and give prizes)

Let’s declare it together again this morning, Our purpose statement is "Connecting People to God and Each Other by Living and Declaring God’s Word."

This purpose statement is what we call counter culture. It runs contrary to the views and paradigms of most people cruising around in our society. Because for many people life is all about. . .me. Mot me, as in Chip. Me as in, whoever is saying it. The trinity of me, myself and I. Most people are living what we will refer to today as a "monopolar" existence. A one dimensional existence. And a one dimension spirituality that is all about the discovery of an ever evolving and unfolding self.

In fact, the ever emerging vision of spirituality in the twenty-first century is largely monopolar and subjective. It’s about me, and what I say it is about. Granted, that one dimension is a very real dimension. Obviously, we all exist. We all have an essential humanity and humanness within each of us. But in monopolar spirituality the entire journey and quest is about having this encounter with my inner self. It is a very private, inner experience of religion. There are no sacred places, rituals or traditions. It is a religion without formal religion. It is a religion of self.

The language of the monopolar spirituality and religion is one of ¡§getting in touch with one’s self. As one person described it, "My god is nature, the high Sierras my temple, the high I feel when hiking or climbing the only sacrament I need. I am never happier with myself than when by myself."

Monopolar spirituality pursues the objective of self discovery as the ultimate purpose of life, existence and religion. To better know who I am. This is how that can play out in a practical sense. Take the example of forgiveness.

If I am a monopolar adherent, I forgive and accept others. I tolerate differences. I am even enabled to claim closure. And it is all so that I can be free. I forgive you. I tolerate you. I accept you. Not for relationship with you. Not because God’s word tells me it is the right thing to do. But so that I can more freely be me. I am a church of one. A church of me.

There is even a monopolar style of worship. You can even by the CDs. Check it out ("Me Worship" Movie Clip from SermonSpice).

Now there is a CD that will sell, and to add to your Christmas list. Unfortunately, as important as it is that we know ourselves. As important as it is that we get in touch with our inner self, and understand who we are. We are not called to, or created for a monopolar life. In fact, if we choose to live a monopolar existence, we will fall short of God’s will and plan for our lives. His purpose that He created into us.

Take your Bibles and turn with me to Matthew 22. Let’s stand together as I read this passage. I’m reading out of the English Standard Version. Matthew 22:34 (read through verse 40 & pray).

So here’s the scenario (recap passage)

Now, if all the Law and the Prophets hang on a given commandment or two. If Jesus says here are two things that if you do, you will be doing all that I desire in your life. Might you join me in thinking this is pretty important stuff? Amen?

In fact, it might be just important enough, that as a church. As a piece of the body of Christ. We should be about helping people live out those commandments. Amen?

But there is something very distinct about both of these commandments. There is something that they hold in common. Namely, it is impossible to live them out in a monopolar universe. A monopolar spirituality. These most central commandments. The guiding statements of who we are created to be, and how we are created to live are completely impossible to fulfill in a monopolar existence.

So as the body of Christ, we have to intersect the "me universe", and move ourselves and others from a monopolar, "Me, myself and I" existence into a tripolar spirituality that enables us and them to live out a love for God and for others.

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