Summary: Cultural Christianity, or "Hollow Christianity" is characterized by worthless worship, worthless words and worthless wisdom....
"The Problem of Cultural Christianity"
Matt. 15: 1-20
1. What is Cultural Christianity? There are many possible answers.
2. As we go through the sermon this morning, You might arrive at your own answer.
3. I believe it is best summed up as "A religion of symbolic devotion".
4. Hollow. Meaningless. Futile. Empty. And there are many other words we could use.
5. Usually when I preach a sermon, I have a basic outline of the points I’d like to make, and I don’t do much reading.But by way of introduction, let me read a few prepared statements, which I believe, will put you and I on the same page this morning---statements which will open your eyes to the problem of cultural Christianity.
6. "When our government leaders do their best to outlaw the very mention of God’s name, but are quick to use to call on Him or quote scripture during times of tragedy or political expediency---we are seeing cultural Christianity.
7. When mainstream religious denominations have to hold meetings and conferences to determine if issues such as homosexuality are compatible with scripture and biblical teaching---things that God has settled forever in no uncertain terms---then we are seeing cultural Christianity.
8. How ’bout one a little closer to home. When we professing Christians spend hour upon hour watching the garbage and filth that Hollywood produces, yet we spend just minutes in prayer and Bible study-well-once again, we are seeing cultural Christianity-actually we are at that point a part of it.
9. Finally, when the world does its best to look like the church and the church does its best to look like the world---my friends we are seeing cultural Christianity."
10. So this morning lets you and I look a little closer at this prevailing problem that we are facing. A problem that Jesus faced in His day as well.
11. In our text Jesus gives us the example of how to battle this problem. I believe we have to face it head on.
12. And lets take an honest look and see if we are living that genuine Christian life-or if we have in fact become cultural Christians our selves.
I. First, notice that cultural Christianity is a religion of worthless words.(v7-8)
1. Look at v7- and 8 with me again.
2. If you could sum up the Christian life in a verse or two, which ones would you use?
3. What about Luke 9:23 "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
4. That’s a good one. How ’bout John 14:15.."If you love me keep my commandments."
5. What about Matt. 22:38 "Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment".
6. Those would all be good to sum up our lives as Christ’s servants. But I chose James 1:22 " but be ye doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your own selves".
7. WOW! Deceiving ourselves…Tricking ourselves…sounds odd doesn’t it?
8. (Ill.) Does any one here set your clock ahead a few minutes to avoid be being late? Basically your are tricking yourself to be on time.
9. James says you’re doing the same thing when you hear the truth of God and to ignore its commands and teachings. You are fooling yourselves!!!
10. And my friends sooner or later, people will figure you out. They will know whether or not you have got the goods-whether or not you’re really one of God’s people.
11. They’re going to know if your religion is based on words or actions.
II. Not only is cultural christianty a religion of worthless words,it is also a religion of worthless worship.
1. Look at v9 with me again.
2. What an awesome pronunciation from Jesus... "Your worship is worthless."
3. How could this happen? More importantly, has this happened to us ? Is Jesus telling you that your worship is worthless?
4. So what causes vain worship? There are many answers: Maybe were more concerned with our image than we are with honoring the king of kings (mention political leaders)
5. Maybe our attitude caused it. Maybe we weren’t doing what the bible says when it said " worship me in spirit and truth".
6. And we could go on.
7. But one problem we have is that we have gotten so busy.
8. We have fooled our selves into thinking there are things that are more important than the genuine Christian life of sharing the gospel and in this case offering up to God genuine worship.
9. That is the prime example...worshipping God on our schedule...that is if we can fit him in.
10. So how do we worship?