Summary: If you were brought up in George Mueller’s orphanage as opposed to one of the state-run facilities for orphaned children, would there be a difference? Definitely, all of your opinions, philosophies, values, and ethics would be worlds apart.
Romans Series Title: The Line in the Sand
Message Title: The Party Line
Scripture: Romans 1:2
2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures
In politics, the line or the party line is an idiom for a political party or social movement’s agenda, as well as those specific ideological elements that are peculiar to the organization’s partisanship.
In communications, a party line is where two or more people share the same telephone loop or line. The number of rings would tell you which house was being called. Ring, then a pause, then another ring meant it was for you. Ring, ring, and that would be for the Smiths down the road a piece, and ring, ring, ring meant it was for the Jones.’
Though either explanations or definitions of the term the party line can stand on their own, they are very similar when you think about the two. It’s all about subscription to a group. It’s all about being a part of something.
In a Christian organizations, where a group of people of ‘like faith’ have come together and call themselves a church, it is referred to as the Statement of Faith. But, we could just as easily call it the party line because everyone in that group, through their interpretations of the Scriptures, has determined the basic subscription policy to that group of believers.
Now, not saying that opinions, philosophies, values and ethics all have the same meaning, but every organization, and for that matter every person in the world, has basic opinions, philosophies, values and ethics concerning faith, beliefs, life, education, and work, and it even extends into recreational time. Most of these opinions, philosophies, values, and ethics are based on or influenced by how and where you were brought up and they form your own private line. People search around the church, the community, the city, the region, and the country [through the internet!] looking for other people that have a similar private line. Once the two get together, it’s a party line.
If you were brought up in an area where everyone was in a gang, you may end up being in a gang and your work ethic and your value for life would be much different than someone brought up in, say, a tribe of Christian natives in Papua New Guinea.
What about this? If you were brought up in an area rich in natural resources [oil, agriculture, etc.], then your work ethic may be different than someone that lives on the beach in Hawaii or a mountain cabin in the Appalachians.
If you were brought up in George Mueller’s orphanage as opposed to one of the state-run facilities for orphaned children, would there be a difference? Definitely, all of your opinions, philosophies, values, and ethics would be worlds apart.
You have a private line. It is yours, and that is what makes you who you are. Now, because you’re human, there shouldn’t be much difference between your private line and the party line to which you subscribe or, the group to which you belong.
So why are you here in church? Didn’t your upbringing determine where you should fit into this world? If so, why are you here?
The world will tell you that your private line of opinions, philosophies, values, and ethics are what set you apart from everyone else, but in actuality, those very things are what draw you to others. Those very things are what advertisers prey on to get you to buy their products.
The world will tell you that, once imprinted onto your system, these opinions, philosophies, values, and ethics are next to impossible to change.
If so, again, why are you here?
Some of you had the benefit of Christian parents, Christian families and Christian homes, but there are others here that were not so fortunate. Why are you here?
Let me answer that for you…
“the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures”
In this scripture passage it says "the gospel," which means God’s good news. Then Paul says, "he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures…" Now, since we know that Paul was writing this in the first century we know that there was no New Testament, so the Holy Scriptures here would mean the Old Testament. The promise of God’s good news can be read in the Old Testament.
Why are you here? You’re here because of the gospel of God and what it has done to your life.
Party lines in the political world are shaped by not only people but many other variables. Party lines in the Christian world are shaped by God and based on His Word, His gospel. But, wait a minute…my opinions, philosophies, values, and ethics were already shaped by my environment…