Sermons

Summary: Entertainment it is; Gospel it aint! Forrest Gump was fun to watch, heartwarming and had a lovely moral...it just isn’t true!

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June 25, 1995

The greatest ever recorded revival of spiritual obedience took place in Nineveh. Jonah took a submarine ride to get there. You might recall that Nineveh was a wicked place that got God’s attention. He commissioned Jonah to go and preach to those folks. Jonah rebelled --tried to run in the opposite direction, and became fast food for a big fish.

Having gotten Jonah’s attention, God gave the prophet a second chance to preach. Once Jonah preached the simple message God had demanded, something more than one hundred thousand people repented -- got right with God.

Perhaps the most startling thing about that revival, however, is not the number of converts More amazing is the fact that the preacher despised his own success. Jonah put on a monumental pout. The last sentence of the prophet’s story is God’s simple question to the prophet:

"And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?" Jonah 4.11

You may miss the impact of God’s statement concerning the people of that city not being able to distinguish between left and right hands. Counting was done by using the joints of the fingers, 12 on each hand. The multiples of 12 served as the basis for the 12 month calendar, 24 hour day and 360o circle. God was saying to Jonah that these people can’t even tell time. These poor, illiterate, superstitious people of Nineveh ought to be pitied, not pouted over.

I believe our nation, indeed our world has reached the status of Nineveh. We cannot tell what time it is on God’s clock. We claim to have entered a "New Age" of civilization, spiritual enlightenment and brotherhood. Yet crime is soaring, poverty and ignorance grows. The New Age has an old problem -- it isn’t working!

CONCERN OVER CULTURE

It is said that the art of any culture reflects that culture. If that is so, our culture is reflected in Hollywood’s garbage output I am concerned about the underlying message Hollywood is sending to the young minds of our future (and a few old ones of our present).

Hollywood is saturated with, and fueled by the New Age Movement. You say "New Age" and immediately people want to know your angle. Visions of weird and spooky spiritual experiences flood the mind. It’s like the overweight, out-of-shape philosopher was telling his doctor, "Doc, I had an out of body experience." The doc took one look at the man’s sagging stomach and replied, "I don’t blame you!"

CONDITION OF OUR CULTURE

Let’s ask some questions about the condition of the so-called "New Age" What exactly is the New Age Movement? Who’s at the back of this conspiracy? What does it look like? Where’s it going? Why’s it so dangerous? Can’t Christianity coexist with it? What’s all the fuss about?

Lyrics from a "sixties" song correctly identifies the basis for New Age thinking:

"This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius...Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding. Mystic crystal revelation, and the mind’s true liberation....

The New Age Movement has it’s orientation in the Zodiac, an imaginary belt encircling the heavens, which encompasses an 8o elliptic pathway of all the planets and moons, except Jupiter. The constellation of Aquarius (the "water bearer") is the symbol of life in witchcraft curses.

An anonymous writer penned these words to describe the New Age craze:

“The New Age Movement, a hodgepodge of scientific hokum, heresy, and deception could emerge as the greatest threat to Christianity in history. While it claims to be new, it actually is as old as the Garden of Eden, with its promises that you will not die and you will be gods. New Age teaching says that we won’t die; we’ll be reincarnated. The Bible says that it is appointed for a man once to die and after that comes the judgment. The New Agers teach that we are all gods. The Bible teaches that there is one God! The New Age Movement urges the abandoning of objective moral standards such as the Word of God. If we are gods, they reason, we can set our own standards of conduct.”

Sound familiar?

With this New Age of no moral absolutes/ do anything so long as it pleases you kind of outlook, the sixties touched-off an avalanche of destructiveness to the moral and spiritual fiber of our society.

Instead of "harmony and understanding" we have discord and Bosnia. Instead of "sympathy and trust abounding" we have children killing children, and having babies. "The mind’s true liberation" turned out to be the most unpeaceful, stressed-out, drugged-up society in the history of mankind.

Ironically, this stressed-out, shoot ’em down, throw it away society’s New Age rallying point is stuff called: karma, spirituality, ecology, holistic medicine, motivational training, and sports/exercise training! It is even infiltrating the church. It is called "deeper life" or some other spiritual-sounding name. Often it will point to the power or strength you can possess. Scripture is taken out of context to prove a selfish thesis. Most often you will hear it in terms that encourage you to locate and unleash the power that is within you. It is a control thing.

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