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Summary: Are you opting out of Sunday morning because you are a cutting edge postmodern thinker blazing the trail to a new kind of christianity; or are you just sleeping in and living in lukewarm apathy?

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Dakota Community Church

August 10, 2008

Living in Laodicea

Last week in my sermon on baptism I mentioned that for a while I described myself as emergent on my Facebook profile but that I had removed it.

I like the idea of having a discussion about how we do things, how we treat sin and sinners, how we become more socially engaged and less self-centered.

The reason I removed the label is because of where this discussion is going in many instances. I don’t think everything is open for discussion and I certainly don’t think “everything must change.”

What about this Sunday morning service? Is it worth our while to keep going with it? Is it worth your while to be committed to it? Is God in it?

Is God still calling pastors and teachers to feed the flock?

Luke 12:42-43

"Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.

Is there still a stricter judgment for those who teach?

James 3:1

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

If so - is God placing any requirement on believers to show up and hear those teachings?

I want to be culturally relevant, to be aware of the issues and concerns of the society I live in. I want to be able to speak their language and compassionately respond to their needs; however, I do not want to be culturally led. I am a Christian, I am a believer!

This generation may not like to be “preached at”; but God is the one who calls preachers.

Our culture may not like to acknowledge sin; but Jesus Christ died to save sinners.

Society may be totally convinced that all religions are paths to finding God; but Jesus himself said “I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father accept through me.

Do you disagree with that? If you do then you may no longer be a Christian, you’re spiritual, you have a form of godliness; but deny the power thereof. The message of the cross is the power of God!

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

What then do we believe? Is there revealed truth?

The Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

Amen.

I think many are dropping out of Church commitment to follow a more relevant path without seeking out the new path first.

Instead of fresh passionate zeal for Christ there is just this kind of “against everything mentality” that doesn’t seem to be “for” anything.

On that note I want to look at the possibility that some of the hot new ideas are just old timey lukewarm living.

Revelation 3:14-22

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

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