Summary: A Laity Sunday Sermon on the instruction receive through life.
How many of you remember what you thought of your parent’s advice and instruction when you were young? I know when I was in my late teens and early twenties; I have to admit I was stupid, I thought I knew it all. There was nothing my parents could teach me about life, or so I thought.
Then one day I had an epiphany, it was that moment when I found myself speaking, but the words of my dad coming out of my mouth. Anybody else experienced that?
I suddenly realized that maybe my parents weren’t as out of the loop as I thought. Maybe what they said did mean something. Maybe their advice and teaching did apply to our lives today.
For many people, this is how they view Biblical teachings. Many people tend to view it from immature eye. Some people begin by looking at the Bible as either a book of do’s and don’ts or a book that is not relevant to their current situation in life.
Sometimes that person may have been in Sunday School their whole childhood, attended youth group, the whole ball of wax. However, when they got out on their own, or with a group of people that did not believe the way they were taught. Their ideas about what they learned or how it deals with their life changes. So they reject what they knew to be true to pursue this new thought or idea. This is what Paul said in Chapter 4 of 2nd Timothy:
“The time is sure to come when people will not accept sound teaching, but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4 NJB)
Paul of course was talking to Timothy about the church Timothy is serving. A church that has been embattled in a debate over who Christ is and what way should they follow Him. Paul is letting Timothy know that he should not be surprised by this, but he needs to be always ready and willing to preach the Gospel no matter what.
You see much like what was going on in Timothy’s Church with people listening to all sorts of different ideas, today many people have rejected what was held true and have been searching for something new to believe in. Like adolescents attempting to break away from their parents they have bought into to the idea that what they previously knew to be truth is no longer so.
Now the first thing you need to know, this is not some vast conspiracy to make us all mush for brains. No rebellion for what we are taught is something we come by naturally. We only need to open the Bible to story of Adam and Eve in Genesis Chapter 4 to see this unfold. Unfortunately for some they do not learn that lesson until much later.
Today we live a time that is sometimes referred to post modern or the post Christian world view. We live in a time when people, even those in the church, do not necessarily accept what is in the Scriptures as truth, or relevant for today’s world.
Americans spend millions of dollars each year, on self help books, counselors, and pursuing eastern thought religious practices in the name of searching for truth and meaning to their lives. You see through their rejection of Christian truth they find the need to fill the void with some other form of truth. While it may have some foundation to it, it is still counterfeit to what God has laid down for us.
Unfortunately, leadership with in the churches is not immune from this either. In an effort to stay, “current”, or “in vogue”, some people in leadership will turn mistakenly to less than godly ways to reaching people. Whether it is to “lighten the theology”, stress less on the good news and more on feel good approaches, such as universalism which basically states that since the crucifixion, people were all saved and there is no need to actually accept Christ.
Instead of dealing with peoples problems, or dealing with what the Bible really says about particular issues related to daily life, leaders, both clergy and lay, tend to dance around the issues or fail to recognize how or what their congregation is needing to know.
Take for instance giving advice, where might you go in the Bible to discover how a young man is supposed to behave? Does the Bible give advice to young men about what kind of women to look for and what kind to be aware of? Yes of course it does, in fact there are three books in the Old Testament geared specifically to giving advice. Most notably is one whose name means advice. The Book of Proverbs. Chapter 1 verse 8-9 says it all.