Relationships: Tools, Idols, and Foes or Family, Body, and Kingdom

This week’s sermon concluded our post-Christmas sermon series “Spiritual Not Religious” in which we were exploring some basic human longings that all people share whether they follow Jesus or not. This last week I preached about our innate human longing for relationships. I think this is the strongest longing we have. We make a lot of choices in life out of the need for authentic companionship. The question is whether our relationships are dysfunctional or healthy. In the first half of my sermon, I talk about tools, idols, and foes: three forms of unhealthy relationships in which we either try to get the other person to orbit around us, fall into another person’s orbit, or clash endlessly because neither one can overpower the other. The second half of my sermon discusses three metaphors for the structure God provides for us to have healthy relationships: the family of God, the body of Christ, and the kingdom that is created by the Holy Spirit.

Engaging Spiritual but not Religious #2: Too Hooked on Truth

The second testimony I wanted to engage claims that religious people are “too hooked on truth.” By this, the author means: “They all tell you exactly how things are, with absolute certainty. Almost like only their version of reality is the truth.” An immediate edit I would make is to remove the “almost like” from the second line. Many Christians are “absolutely certain” that they know “exactly how everything is.” Continue reading

Engaging Spiritual but not Religious #1: God is a three-letter word

We’re starting a sermon series this weekend called “Spiritual not religious.” I’ve been a little bit sheepish to share this on my blog, since it’s about as cool in Christian circles as being a Vanilla Ice fan in 1994. Hating on “spiritual but not religious” people is obligatory in the Christian blogosphere. I’ve done it; everyone has. But I thought about trying a different approach. I googled the phrase “I am spiritual but not religious” and a site came up with testimonies of people who identify that way. So I figured I would start a series engaging some of these testimonies on somewhat neutral metaphysical ground instead of just making fun of the label in order to prove my legitimacy to other Christians. Continue reading