Messiah Lutheran Church :: GOD ANSWERS DOUBTS-CHRISTIANITY IS TOO OLD FASHIONED

GOD ANSWERS DOUBTS-CHRISTIANITY IS TOO OLD FASHIONED

Dear Christian friends,
 There is such thing that economists have put together called the misery index.  You get the index by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation create economic and social costs for a country. When Jimmy Carter ran for president, he used that against President Ford.  
 Carter’s four year run was not good either.  There was record inflation, an oil embargo, all kinds of trouble in the Middle East and trouble with the Eastern Bloc of nations. He was defeated by Ronald Reagan.  Reagan used the same misery index against Carter that Carter had used against Ford.  Isn’t politics fun!?   
As the presidential race heats us we hear the same kind of talk.  Stats are tossed out there. People say that the unemployed and underemployed rate is higher than it has ever been.  The American worker is making fewer dollars than seven years ago.  Every presidential candidate appeals that under them life will be better than the previous generation. 
Hold it! Life will be better than the previous generation?  I get disturbed by that.  My life isn’t so bad. In fact, I would hope my kids and grandkids would have such a life.  In fact, the old-fashioned wasn’t bad at all if you want to call it that.   
That complaint is registered against the church of today.  It is outdated; it is old fashioned. Get with the times! As our sermon series continues that Jesus Answers Doubts “Jesus, You and Your Church are Too Old-Fashioned.”  That’s the 1) The human accusation; But let’s look at 2) God’s plan is best.
There are different aspects where people register the complaint that Jesus and his church are too old-fashioned.  It is especially true in the area of human sexuality. Do you understand why I have chosen to go on vacation this week and video the sermon?  All questions can be directed to the elders of our church after the service is over.  
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.  That also meant Samaria.  For historical reasons the Jews and Samaritans didn’t care for each other.  But Jesus went to Samaria.  John writes, “Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.”
A conversation began.  There was some small talk. Jesus who knew all things about this woman’s life made what seemed to be an innocent comment. It was all about a plan by which Jesus would bring healing to her on the inside.  He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”  “I have no husband,” she replied.  Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
That’s when Jesus addressed the ugly wound that she was wearing on her soul.  Five times she had set out with the best of intentions to always be there for a special man in her life. Five times she was dropped like a hot potato as each made it clear they would not be there for her.  Now she was in a relationship with a sixth, but not married to him.  She wasn’t going to let that happen again.  No more honeyed promises to turn into sour lies to make life miserable.   
It is interesting that Jesus and she only talked about this personal situation with this man for three verses.  It seems like she tried to steer the conversation away from that.  Do you think that she knew she was doing wrong?  Jesus didn’t suddenly create a psychiatrist’s couch and tell her to lie down.  He didn’t pull out a tablet or put her on the clock to charge her for his counsel.  He gave her counsel that was not only free but God’s counsel.  It doesn’t get any better.
2000 years ago this all occurred with Jesus and the woman at the well.  But that woman was pretty much like the modern Hollywood woman. Elizabeth Taylor had eight husbands.  I am sure there are more than a few around who have had five just like the woman.  Then she had a live-in.  She could move right into Hollywood or perhaps onto a street near you. 
But she was suffering from failed marriages because she and all those men failed to understand God’s old-fashioned design for sex and marriage! God’s design for sex and marriage was never designed to fail. 
There is much to explore about the modern and old fashioned godly way of doing things. For some reason there is the idea that is spooking around that Christians are against sex.  Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is quite the opposite. So often we hear the phrase that couples are engaged in casual sex.  I am not sure that casual sex is in the Divine Designer’s Dictionary.  In fact, it is designed to always be very special, something to be shared with only one person.  That way you never have to worry about performing worse or better or all those things that can make someone insecure.  
Casual sex is pretty modern, but casual sex is a problem. Having casual sex to satisfy a basic instinct and for personal pleasure without an emotional attachment leaves partners empty and feeling used.  God’s old fashioned way is so much better.     
“What I do with my own body is my business!”  That’s modern plan too, isn’t it?  Perversions of all sorts are excused under that principle. Then there is abortion and purposeless sterilization  and who knows what else!
What’s God plan for sinful man and woman?  Well, let’s look at God’s old fashioned plan.  God says it clearly, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Your body is not your own.  It had a designer and creator.  He happens to live everywhere.  In fact, the psalm says he watched that body formed in the womb, “For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Not only did he create the body, he redeemed it too.  Bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus to honor him who honored you by saving you. 
We aren’t done.  Your body is sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  It has been set apart to live a new life for the Lord.  Your body is more than a body.  It is a temple in which the Holy Spirit lives.  Yes, God lives in you.  What is this talk about your body being your own?  Hardly.  You have been bought with a price. That’s God’s good old fashioned plan. That’s God’s good old fashioned religion.
Man’s plan turns God’s plan on its head when man’s plan for sex and marriage makes it okay for a man to be with a man and a woman to be with a woman and call them married.
First of all look at the design of man’s body and look at the design for woman’s body. I suppose there is a joke one could make about round pegs in square holes. Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty fame was criticized for comments that he made regarding that.  I fail to see what he said was wrong.  God’s design for the human body and its sexual function gets an A+.  The graduate designer critic from Gay State fails and fails badly. 
Now we have another one of man’s plans - to modify the design.  Bruce Jenner who fathered four kids and gave them the chromosomes to determine their gender, wants to wear the apron strings too.  What child could actually work through all that?  Bruce you didn’t need a sex change, you did need the psychiatrist’s couch or better yet, the Lord in your life. Dear Lord, give me your old-fashioned way any day!
Another part of the plan!  A baby comes forth.  A miracle!  And it is!  God says “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.”   But now the modern plan okays the killing of the baby if it is inconvenient or conceived accidentally or not accidentally.  It is acceptable by far too many to burn the baby in the womb by pumping saline solution into the misguided mother.  It is okay to squeeze their head so their head bursts and the brain spills out.  It is okay to suction the baby until the body parts detach.  For the love of God and for the sake of a poor innocent baby created by God, give me the old-fashioned plan.  
God’s plan includes a very important element – a mommy and a daddy, who love each other and love the Lord who brought them together.  God’s design does not include a daddy hole in the child’s heart or a mother who had to be a Mom and a Dad.  No son should have to learn how to be a godly man without a godly man being a model. No daughter should ever have to wonder what it must be like to have a daddy around to show her what she should look for in a husband.  Yes, that’s God’s old fashioned plan, but it works.
That leads us to still another plan – God’s plan that every sinner needs to desperately.  Let’s go back to the well.  We have a thirst. Unfortunately that thirst will so often take us into the wrong places.  Those wrong places are all the places we wanted to go rather than where God wants us to go.  
Jesus introduced himself to a wayward woman that day at Sychar.  Jesus taught this woman how thirsty she really was.  Her scandalous life gave evidence.  Yet he quenched that thirst with free water, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again.” Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
There are a lot of different cures for thirst these days, sport drinks, vitamin water and all else.  Yet doctors keep telling us water.  There are so many different cures for our spiritual problems, but the only cure is really Jesus.  He is the good old-fashioned cure now in time and for eternity.

Amen

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