Summary: Experience a faith that is respectful of others.

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Undergo Nonjudgmental Therapy

Series, “Being Spiritual without being Religious” – Part 7

Pastor Jeff Christopherson

October 31, 2004

Start with Authenticity…

Preserve my Personality…

Investigate the Ground Zero of Faith…

Recognize my Net Worth…

Invest Myself…

Take Sanctuary…

Undergo Nonjudgmental Therapy…

Experience a faith that is respectful of others.

Assess my Contentment

Love with Intensity

phar•i•sa•ical adj : marked by hypocritical self-righteousness.

Luke 15: Three parties in Jesus’ parable of ‘The Prodigal Son’

• Search Party vs. 11-21

• Homecoming Party vs. 22-24

• Pity Party vs. 25-31

a snapshot of a religious pharisee:

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’” Luke 15:25-27

• Be sure that I ‘appear’ faithful.

• Be suspicious of things I don’t understand.

• Never go to my Father for answers.

I. how to know if i’ve contracted a case of phariseeitis…

1. I find myself mumbling way too much…

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.” vs. 28

“We position ourselves as judges of others rather than simply as lovers of others. Our judgments are so instinctive to us that we usually do not notice them. Even worse, they are so natural to us that when we do notice them, we often assume we are righteous for passing judgment! Because of this, it is easy to overlook the fact that our judgments are blocking our love, keeping us asleep, preventing us from living in the truth God created us to live in.” Repenting of Religion, Gregory A Boyd.

2. I often use myself as ‘Exhibit A’ (for comparison purposes.)

“But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.” vs. 29

3. I tend to see grace as injustice…

“But when this son of yours* who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’” vs. 30

*lit. ‘this one’

“‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’ “Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’ “He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’” Matthew 20:9-15 (Message)

II. God’s therapy for the phariseeinme…

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Take to heart what the Father is saying to you…

1. “I treasure our relationship more than your work.”

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me…’” vs. 31a

2. “You have access to all My resources.”

“…and everything I have is yours.” vs. 31b

3. “Please don’t miss My party.”

“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” vs. 32

Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.


Digging Deeper @ Home Church: giving grace


1. Who has the hardest job: a) mothers of preschoolers? b) NHLPA negotiators? c) door to door salesmen? d) family physicians?

f) Blue Jay fans?

2. Read Matthew 20:1-16

• Why do you think Jesus told this parable (see 19:29-30)?

• Why do the principles of the Kingdom of God seem counterintuitive to our ‘natural’ thinking?

3. Why were the wages given in equal amounts, even though the amount of labour wasn’t equal?

• Who was treated ‘unjustly’?

• Who was discontented? Why?

4. If grace could be measured in ‘amounts’, which experienced the greatest measure of grace:

• The first hires – which enjoyed a full day of purpose?

• The last hires – which enjoyed a full day of benefit?

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