Monday, July 27, 2020

For Online Sermon July 26, 2020

By Pastor Bruce

Considering the sermon by Pastor Bruce Spear on July 26, 2020
Scripture Reading: Luke 7:1-10

In yesterday's message on the Roman Centurion we concluded that he saw a big Jesus sent by a big God who ruled a big universe. We referenced J.B. Phillips book Your God is Too Small. Here is a more complete list of the too-small notions of God that he discusses in the book. I share them with you as a helpful exercise to weed out inadequate ideas about God so that the true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, can reign supreme in each of our hearts. After the exercise, you might want to listen to S.B. Lockridge's description of King Jesus again.

Too-Small Notions of God as described by J.B. Phillips in Your God is Too Small:
Resident Policeman  “To make conscience into God is a highly dangerous thing to do.  For one thing . . . conscience is by no means an infallible guide; and for another it is extremely unlikely that we shall ever be moved to worship, love, and serve a nagging inner voice that at worst spoils our pleasure and at best keeps us rather negatively on the path of virtue.”

Parental Hangover  “What we are concerned in establishing here is that the conception of God which is based upon a fear-relationship in childhood is not a satisfactory foundation for an adult Christianity.”

Grand Old Man  “But there is nevertheless a very real danger that the child will imagine this God not merely as ‘old,’ but as ‘old-fashioned.’”

Meek-and-Mild  “We can hardly be surprised if children feel fairly soon that they have outgrown the ‘tender Shepherd’ and find their heroes elsewhere.”

Absolute Perfection  “This one-hundred-per-cent standard is a real menace to Christians of various schools of thought, and has led quite a number of sensitive conscientious people to what is popularly called a ‘nervous breakdown.’  And it has taken the joy and spontaneity out of the Christian lives of many more who dimly realize that what was meant to be a life of ‘perfect freedom’ has become an anxious slavery.”

Heavenly Bosom  “The critics of the Christian religion have often contended that a religious faith is a form of psychological ‘escapism.’  A man, they say, finding the problems and demands of adult life too much for him will attempt to return to the comfort and dependence of childhood by picturing for himself a loving parent, whom he calls God.”

Managing Director  “It is to think that the God who is responsible for the terrifying vastness of the Universe cannot possibly be interested in the lives of the minute specks of consciousness which exist on this insignificant planet.”

Second-hand God  “The conception of the Character of God which slowly forms in our minds is largely made by the conclusions we draw from the ‘providences’ and ‘judgments’ of life.  We envisage ‘God’ very largely from the way in which He appears to deal with (or not to deal with) His creatures.”

Perennial Grievance  “To some people the mental image of God is a kind of blur of disappointment.  ‘Here,’ they say resentfully and usually with more than a trace of self-pity, ‘is One whom I trusted, but He let me down.’  The rest of their lives is consequently shadowed by this letdown.”

Pale Galilean  “Compared with their non-Christian [friends] their lives seem to have less life and colour, less spontaneity and less confidence.  Their god surrounds them with prohibitions [and boredom] but he does not supply them with vitality and courage.”

And now for a better picture...

(Of interest to us football fans, the church that put this video together is pastored by Randall Cunningham, who was an NFL quarterback for 16 seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia Eagles and then the Minnesota Vikings. He is the younger brother of former college and NFL player Sam "Bam" Cunningham and the father of USC high jumper Randall Cunningham II and World Champion High Jumper Vashti Cunningham. Quite a family of athletes. Must be pretty amazing to have him as your pastor...)

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