Summary: We are broken people - SARS and war of evidence of this. Yet God chooses to love and use broken people to spread his Word.
Intro.: I don’t know whether you read the newspaper on a regular basis? But I expect that, if not the newspaper, then the radio or the TV becomes a source about the days news.
1. Sometimes when I listen to or read the news, I feel quite discourages
2. It seems that I see daily bad news about the economy or Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrom (aka SARS) or war.
3. For some people, the events that define 2003 are the most discouraging of their lives.
4. But there is another question that might be addressed, One, which unanswered, might leave one wondering about the place God has in our world
5. In a few moments we will look at two key truths that will help us understand and respond to the events that appear to be defining 2003
1. Part of my time this week was spent understanding how Christians have historically responded to war.
2. There have been two key responses to War by the church.
3. The early church – for the first two or three centuries was almost universally practiced pacifism. Christian pacifism is rooted in the firm conviction that God is in control. His death was sufficient to care for all the evils that men may demonstrate – and therefore we do not need to enter into fights to change our world
4. But through the centuries, Pacifism has been a minority position within the church. The prevalent view is rooted in the need for believers to be loyal to the governmental leaders that put into place.
A “Just War” is defined by two key concepts – First, how we define the need to invoke war. Principles are well-established that will govern our decision to go to war. A “Just War” is also defined by a set of rules that govern how we fight in a war. Who is our enemy?
T.S. Scripture lays out two principles that help us to understand the place of God in world torn about by calamity.
I. Illness and War are rooted in our brokenness Genesis 1:26-31
A. It has been wild winter – the news paper is covered with stories about our economy, war, and some strange disease called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS
– increased concern and anxiety in a great many people.
B. It is what I have termed our brokenness that lead to the pain and suffering that is part of our world
C. What do I mean by brokenness – two things
– as created beings we are limited – we are not all knowing - we are not all powerful – we are also fallen beings – theologians call it “total depravity”. This does not mean we are horrible people – it does mean that every area of our lives has been tainted, been touched by the fall.
(Ill.) I can take a few drops green food coloring and add it to this water. The water is green – it could be greener, but none would argue that the water is not green.
(Ill.) So it is with our lives – we could be worse, but we are broken. It is fairly easy to spot broken people.
Pres. George Bush
You and Me
D. When something is broken it does not work properly. The same is true for us – our brokenness has its consequences:
1. Mistakes – if we were not broken, we wouldn’t make them
2. Illness – if we were not broken, there would not be illness
3. War – if we were not broken, there would be no war
4. Sin – if we were not broken, we would not sin
(Ill.) Interestingly, each of these serve two purposes. They both are the consequences of our brokenness, but they are also the proof that we are broken.
II. God loves us even as broken people -- John 3:16
A. We speak of unconditional love – but until we recognize our brokenness, we cannot truly appreciate unconditional love
B. But there are two expectations for each of us –
C. First, we are called upon to love broken people.
– unconditionally love them
– with a love that sometimes costs
– we pray for them
(Ill.) A recent issue of Christianity Today when discussing a Christian response to war suggested that God is more concerned about how we respond to war that why we go to war. Loving broken people is difficult, but it is what God calls us to do.
D. But we also recognize that even as God loves us – he also wants to bring heal us - spiritual healing begins when we first receive Christ
(Ill.) Max Lucado – God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses leave you that way. He wants you to be like Jesus.