Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
A common misconception about religion is that it is seeking approval and acceptance from God through our behavior, but this approach is self-centered and self-righteous, leading only to a rejection of God and Christian community. Real acceptance from God only comes from accepting God's grace and Christ's sacrifice to atone for our sins.
In many ways, cities are the very best places to raise children. The city plays a crucial role in raising children who embrace the Christian faith.
The subplot of Jonah's story is his relationship with the sailors on the ship to Tarshish. The sailors rebuke Jonah for not using his faith for the common good. When his behavior alters, it creates a change in them. Too often the church is like Jonah: asleep to the people standing right in front of them.
We were created perfect in a perfect world. Adam and Eve rebelled against God's rule, which resulted in sin, shame, and nakedness. Ever since, we have been trying to cover our nakedness and hide our true selves from God, ourselves, and other people. We can never adequately deal with our nakedness, but God has come into our wrecked world to provide a perfect cover for us.
The Christian understanding of hell gives us insight into the danger of our own hearts. It also gives us resources to live in peace in the world, and to know the love of God who suffered hell for us.
The modern critique of religion comes from Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche. Freud claimed that religion is psychological self-justification, that we created God to assuage our guilt and fear. Marx claimed that religion is a sociological self-justification, that we created God to exclude those unlike us. Nietzsche said that religion is nothing but a power trip, an attempt to use God to accrue power over others. However, Jesus himself critiqued religion and turned it on its head.