Summary: Do we love Jesus enough?

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John 8:41-47

“Who Do We Love?”

By: Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

I was speaking with the mother of two teenagers this week, and she was telling me about

how different things are these days compared to when she was growing up.

“It was so much easier back then,” she said.

Today, children are confronted with so much evil....with so many things that are not just

bad....but are plain and simply evil and dangerous...

From the hate-filled, porno-graphic lyrics of the rap and rock songs that artists such as

Marilyn Manson spew out....

To the wickedly bloody and violent video games that kids seem to be drawn too...

To the prevalence of drug abuse and a general lack of personal ethics and lack of


The lines seem to be being drawn in the sand.

There is very little middle ground left.

She said that it seems as if people are either very committed to Jesus Christ.....

Or they are very committed to something else which is unsettlingly different.

With all the other activities that we have created to distract our attention and entertain us,

we have become a very busy people.

And the church is no longer the center of family life that it once was.

Some of you may have noticed, as I have, over the past few weeks

as we have been engaged in this year’s Lenten series pulpit exchange with four other churches

that there have been very few, if any, families who have been attending with their children.

When I was a kid, my parents brought my sisters and myself to just about every church

function of this sort--even if it was taking place at night--as did my friends’ parents.

There were always lots and lots of young families with young children at church

functions....especially when two, three, four or five churches got together.

What’s going on here?

What has happened?

Where are our priorities?

As far as I can tell the only church out of the five that has had any youth representation

at all has been Parkview.

Way back in the old days when I was a kid....and I am being facititous...If we knew that

there was a church function taking place and we had homework due the next day....we did our

homework....and went to the church function.

If our homework was not done...we were still expected to attend the church function.

The church was basically the center of our lives....and we weren’t alone--and I didn’t

even come close to growing up in the Bible-belt---Syracuse New York is just about as far

North as one can get in this country!

Sure we did plenty of other things, but if the church was sponsoring something, or if

there was a worship service, or a church picnic--whatever--we were there!

And I’m only talking about a few years ago.

Things are changing, and things are changing fast!

I’ve heard it said many times, and am afraid it is true: the Christian era is definitely


It is no longer the social norm to be an active member of a church.

I was reading an ABC News Poll last week which posted that only 38 percent of

Americans attend weekly church services.

And the only reason this percentage is as high as it is--is because in the deep deep

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