Summary: Though the trend towards "evangelistic atheism" in our culture is disturbing, followers of Christ should be concerned about the "practical atheism" that may be at work in our lives.
The Cosmic Authority Problem
TCF Sermon Text
July 15, 2007
Did you ever notice that children sometimes have misconceptions or misunderstandings, about the Bible, about church, and about God?
There’s the Sunday school class that was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. One girl raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor’s wife."
There’s the man who had been teaching his three-year-old daughter the Lord’s Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. The dad listened as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: "Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail. Amen."
One particular four-year old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."
Six-year-old Angie and her four-year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church." "Why? Who’s going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers."
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say ’Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’ Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
After the church service a little boy told the pastor, "When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money." "Well, thank you!," the pastor replied, "but why?" "Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had."
A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn’t know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am."
Out of the mouths of children. But this last one illustrates something important I want to address this morning. Children grow into adults, and many adults still have misconceptions or misunderstandings about God.
Sometimes these misconceptions, if you dig deeper, are more intentional – and they’re for the same reason this little boy prayed that if God couldn’t make him a better boy, that’s fine, because he was enjoying being just like he was, which was apparently not so good.