Summary: There is no wonder there is an Identity Crisis in the local church today. In our text for examination, we find the disciples of Christ were also locked into an Identity Crisis some 2,000 years ago. In our modern culture there is more and more confusion
Dr. Wayne A. Lawson
The Word Ministries, Inc. of Oklahoma City
Preached on Monday October 9, 2006
Opening night of Revival
Tabernacle of Praise
SCRIPTURE: ST. MATTHEW 16:13-16
13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
TITLE: IDENTITY CRISIS
++++Are you unsure of your role in life? Do you feel like you don’t know the real you? If you answer yes to these questions, you may be experiencing what is known as an identity crisis. Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term “identity crisis” and believed that it was one of the most important conflicts people face in development. According to Erikson, an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. Researchers have found that those who have made a strong commitment to an identity tend to be happier and healthier than those who have not.
§ Those with a status of identity diffusion tend to feel out of place in the world and don’t pursue a sense of identity.
§ In today’s rapidly changing world, identity crises are more common today than in Erikson’s day. We have so much more competing for our attention.
§ Exploring different aspects of yourself in the different areas of life, including your role at work, within the family, and in romantic relationships, can help strengthen your personal identity.
++++The sad reality my brothers and sisters is the fact that the Church is also experiencing an Identity Crisis. Somewhere between the first century church and the 21st Century Church we have lost our identity.
§ Those with a left wing view of the Church insist that 9-11 was ordained by God. A little over 2,000 innocent Americans that lost their lives due to the most Horrific Terrorist attack know on the soils of our nation. They say that God was angry because of our nations Homosexuality – high divorce rate – sexual promiscuity – unethical business practices – unjust wars - Because of God’s anger he sanctioned the events of 9-11
§ Those with a Right Wing view of the Church insist that God is concerned with our riches and prosperity. Nature of God has been reduced to the Genie in the Bottle approach. God is only concerned about our Mercedes Benz – big house on the hill – annual cruise – independently wealthy - and if you don’t have these things something is wrong with your Christianity
§ Those that hold this middle ground view of the Church insist that everyone is going to heaven. Makes no difference how you behave or what you believe - whether you go to church or not. As long as you pray and recognize some type of higher power than you are on your way to heaven.
++++There is so much going on in our churches today that we are no longer concerned with understanding the very nature of God. Yes….the Church is in the midst of an Identity Crisis
§ At a church some weeks ago that boasted of over 50 different Ministries in Operation
What does the Church look like today: PRAISE TEAMS - PRAISE DANCERS - MIME MINISTRIES -- MASS CHOIRS – YOUTH CHOIRS – ADULT CHOIRS – MALE CHOIRS – MISSIONS GROUPS - WOMEN’S MINISTRIES - MEN’S MINISTRIES - TAPE MINISTRIES - SOUND MINISTRIES - SICK AND SHUT IN MINISTRIES - PASTOR’S AIDE - PUBLIC RELATIONS MINISTRIES - BUILDING MINISTIRES - KITCHEN MINISTRIES - FEEDING MINISTRIES -- BUS MINISTRIES and certainly the list of ministries goes on and on. Yet those in our own households, neighbors, and friends are still unsaved. JEREMIAH 8:20 “THE HARVEST IS PAST, THE SUMMER IS ENDED, AND WE ARE NOT SAVED.”
++++There is no wonder there is an Identity Crisis in the local church today. In our text for examination, we find the disciples of Christ were also locked into an Identity Crisis some 2,000 years ago. In our modern culture there is more and more confusion over just who Jesus is. It seems that even the church cannot agree on who Jesus is. There are more and more theories that seem to come up about who Jesus was. More and more documentaries are being made to discover who Jesus was and virtually all of them slide their agenda into the mix and distort the identity of Jesus.
++++Who do men say that I am? Who do you say that I am? Jesus is still asking us this same question today. The fact is that until you decide what you are going to do about Jesus, your life will never be settled.