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Education Reformation: Cancer on Christian Education

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • June 5, 2021
    3:20 PM
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Let's pray while the thank you for something better to think about and the hope of heaven and I pray, lord, please, right your words in our heart may we love being with you and reflecting on what you're looking forward to doing and reflecting on what you've already done, we put all things in your hands now and ask your bless our time together in jesus name. Amen. Were in the midst of a series of sermons on education reformation. And this morning we're going to take on some challenges. I wanna encourage everybody to be sweet and humble. I've gotten a variety of text messages after the 1st service and the last one said, you did not touch on my idol. And you're right, there's a lot of things I won't touch on here today, but I am looking to deal with the things that corporately affect us as we disciple our young and it's important that we are humble and gracious in kind and that we just grow with each other, but sometimes we find that we have drifted off course we have what our educational superintendent in Michigan conference calls, mission drift. And this morning I don't use the words cancer casually. It is something that is, these are things robbing us of our passion for christ and the proclamation of the 3 angels messages. So let's do a little preparation for the message like this. The message of john the baptist, if you were to sum it up in one word, what was the one word? repent the message of jesus when he started preaching was repent. God spoke through jesus. He was god in the flesh. And he said, john the baptist is Elijah, if you can accept it. Now in the book of malakai, the last book of the old testament chapter 4, the scriptures tell us that before the great and terrible day of the Lord, he will send the alija the prophet. What does that mean? It is a call for us to recognise god preparing a people to give a message and that same message will be along the same lines. Now, are we to live in this constant sense of, of condemnation? No, there is no condemnation. Now those that are in christ jesus who walk not according to the flesh, but walk according to the spirit. And so this morning I'm inviting you to come humbly to a journey in which the spirit can speak and whatever he says we will do. But along the way, the message of gospel proclamation has involved and acknowledgement that our feet are on the wrong path and they are to move to a different one. Now, if you practice 7th day adventists, them as a somewhat preferred lifestyle, it's a ritual of your youth. You come here, every sabbath, that's about all you do. This message won't have a lot of relevance to you. I don't think that's many, but I am challenging. You this morning to make sure that you are a true seeker on the path that is narrow and upward leading. Our goal is heaven, and today is the day to think about how we might need to adjust course. One more thing I'll say before we opened the bible and that is this, that when you go to a physician, you're praying that that physician will do a good job of diagnosing your problem. And then a good job of prescribing a plan to remedy it. But we all know that some doctors seem to have a particularly good gift for the ministry health and some maybe not as much. And hopefully all are growing. My point is this in the day of jeremiah, there were true prophets and there were false prophets. And what the difficulty of this day and age is that as we anticipate the coming of jesus and jeremiah's message was a message of judgment. It's important that we tune our ear with the spirit sensitivity so that we can discern and test the spirits. And this morning, I want to challenge you to be a humble berea and you know those who examined what the apostle paul had to say. They search it out in the scripture. And for me, I'm hoping when we're all sudden done that we have more encouragement for the pap. Jesus is marking out for us, No wagging of the fingers, no negative condemning spirits. No, we're better than them mentalities. Instead this morning I'm hoping that we can go away with a collective sense of some things we may need to adjust and let go on. And other things that we want to embrace more whole heartedly. Now when the institution loses its way, it usually requires some sort of crisis to get it back on track. Some of those crises are seen by the general public and some are not. And I can tell you that in each of the larger churches that I've pastored, there's been a crisis in the beginning of the ministry. I don't think most people knew there was a crisis going on at the beginning of the ministry, but I can assure you about 6 and a half years ago, there was a crisis in this church between me and some of the leadership. I fasted and prayed for 3 days and if it hadn't been the lords intervening, there would be no ron kelly in the pulpit here today. But through god's intervention, god brought elements of spirit and life and power and fruitfulness to our corporate journey. So this morning, if you happen to be involved with an institution in which there is mission drift, if you happen to be in a place where there's been a collective or corporate cozying up to the ways of the world change is hard and it always involves some form of trauma, sometimes for the whole organization, sometimes only for the leaders, sometimes in the hall. But this morning I want to remind you know, institutions, it's gone, of course changes. It's direction as trajectory without a little bit of trauma. Fortunately, the Lord overseas, it all, and for those that might have a role in a christian education institution, which is I look out here this morning, are several and varied. I want you to understand jesus holds the tiller. The winds of strife are blowing. Some of the gale force winds are blowing waves across the the deck of the ship and its concern. But even this week I picked up my wife's grandmother's bible and right in the front of it was that beautiful picture. There was jesus with his hand on the tiller and you could see the man and the woman looking over his shoulder. And she said, there are traumatic things coming to the church. Things that will try the leaders of the church and ways they've never been tried before. For which will be no human solution. And this morning, those same trauma will be come into the homes. They'll be coming to our churches. May god give us wisdom and confidence to face them. Take your bibles this morning, go to the book of judges. Cancer on christian education, the book of judges will be in the 6th chapter. Now the commentary on all the judges is a bit limited, especially in the inspired books, like patriarchs and profits. This judge gets time. His name is gideon. Now we know that the judges is a time of spiritual ups and downs. We can call it a roller coaster ride. This morning. I want you to understand that there's nothing new under the sun. God is the ultimate parent. He is the consummate spouse who's made a covenant with us. He understands what healthy relationships look like and how they work. He wired us and woven together. And what we're reading here now is going to be another window on the heart of god as parents and live partner to the nation of israel. It says and judges chapter 6, verse one. Then the sons of israel did what was evil in the side of the Lord. And the Lord gave them into the hands of medium 7 years. Now, to the degree you want to talk about god removing his pret protective hand and to the other elements of Human relating. Made this one thing be clear. When someone doesn't want god, he doesn't make him The primary focus of their lives. So if the nation of israel says that covenant with god is a bit outdated, it's a little bit clumsy, it's restrictive. We don't like it. God says, okay, I'm going to step back and in a healthy relationship, if you change somebody who wants to get away, they only run faster. Now I want you to think about this. I'm speaking especially in a marriage relationship of which if you read the sabbath school lesson, you saw that god once and has a husband wife kind of covenant with us. When a husband no longer loves his wife and the wife chases him, it doesn't make him love her more. As a matter of fact, when a woman loses respect, which is the cornerstone of attraction and marriage when she no longer has that mystique, that feminine mystique that can't be fully defined and certainly can't be fully controlled when she loses those things. And the husband starts losing his way and looking other places chasing is the wrong direction. And in this case, god, understanding that respect is at the center of all human relationship says ok, if it's not me, I'll step back in the process of stepping back. We have a completely different level of dysfunction. In this case, the absence of protection is the instrumentality for awakening the nation to its faith, less nurse in the covenant. Now this is not changed when we read the book of hoes. When we read the book of hosea and hay guy especially, and we see the failure to do what is right, god says, okay, we have this relationship. We're not going to have a partnership with trusted respect anymore. So I'm going to step back and as he steps back, we see the absence of prosperity, the absence of security. That's what's happening here. The midianites are coming up and whenever the fruits on the tree and the fields are ripe with grain, they come in like a horde. They rob and they pillaged, they take the animals and it leaves the israelites hiding out. Now in verse a, we see that god begins to wake him up. He wants the relationship to work. Will start with verse 6. So he, israel was brought very low because of median, and the sons of israel cried to the Lord. It's like the prodigal and the pig pen. His misery overcame his pride. Now it came about when the sons of israel cried to the Lord on account of midian, that the Lord sent a prophet to the sons of israel. They were ready to lessen. And he said to them thus, says the Lord God of israel, who was I, who brought you up from egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the egyptians and from the hands of your oppressors, and I dispossessed them before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, I'm the Lord God, you shall not fear the gods of the amorites in whose land you live, but you've not obeyed me. Now when we walk away from god, we are walking into the arms of insecurity. Were walking into the arms of trouble and trauma and dysfunction. This is what the prodigal son finds out in the new testament is what the whole nation is experiencing here. But god comes with the prophetic message and he says it could be different if you want it to be. Now, god doesn't force anybody but life is about choosing. And so whether it's a relationship with an adolescent child, I can remember some of one of my boys in particular would threaten me that he was going to enroll in the army or the marines. And I said, that's your choice. If you choose to do that, that's up to you. Yet I had a intern ones who worked in the navy and he said navy stands were never again volunteer yourself. And I understood this, surrendering your liberty as an 18 year old to the marines. While it is a noble task, if you're called to do it is certainly not a journey of more freedom out from underneath the pastoral parent that you have. And I left them with the freedom to choose. God values the freedom to choose which is why apostasy is possible and it's also how love can be born. And so here we are. The message has come. And now it's time for god to move on someone's heart for deliverance. Verse 11 than the age of the Lord came and he sat under the oak that was an o for which belonged to joe asked the bees right. As his son getting with beating our wheat in the wine press in order to save him from the midianites, the angel lord appeared to him and said to him, the Lord is with you. Oh, valiant warrior. Now it's potent for the understand. This was a distinguished family and israel, not that it was large and powerful, but all of gideon's brothers were valued fighters and they had all been slain in the onslaught between the amalekites, the midianites, and those that came into the, into the land. All this left of joyous, your family is this man, and he so desperate to hang onto a little food. When instead of having the ox thrush out the grain, he's down in the wine press where nobody can see him doing it himself. God comes and finds him there, god knows where deliverance is that and god's presence is deliverance itself. Gideon said to him, verse 3rd, jean oh my lord. If the Lord is with us, then why has all of this happened to us and where are his miracles? Which our fathers talks about said, did not the Lord bring us up from egypt, but now the Lord is abandoned us and given us into the hand of median. Then the Lord looked at him and said, go in this your strength and deliver israel from the hand of medion. Have I not sent you? verse 15. He said to him, oh lord, how shall i deliver israel? behold, my family is the least manasseh and I am the youngest in my father's house, but the Lord said to him, surely i will be with you and you shall defeat midian as one man. So gideon said, if I found favor in your site now, then show me a sign that it's you who speak to me. Gideon goes into the house at the lord's directly. He comes out with an offering. He's got broth, he's got to me, he lays it on the rock. The angel of the Lord, which is jesus christ himself. Gideon does not know this yet touches it and fire comes out of the rock and consumes it. The Lord goes up in the smoke, and gideon realizes he's been in the presence of god. Verse $22.00 were giddy and saw that it was the angel of the Lord. He said, alas, oh lord God, for now I've seen the angel the Lord face to face. And the Lord said to him, peace be to you, do not fear you will not die. Then get him built there and alter to the Lord and he named it the Lord is peace. And to this day it is still the Oprah of the BES right now. It gets tough before he's going to go face off with the midianites. He's got a face off with his own family. Listen to me very carefully. Right now. This is where the hardest battle is going to be. I'm going to talk about some interesting things in the rest of this sermon. And some of it's going to pick a husband against a wife and a wife against the husband. And some of it's going to pip parents against kids and kids against parents. But the deliverance of jesus begins in the hall and it begins with a war on idolatry before it's a war on oppression. That's where the hardest part of this battle is out today. And that's why as a church today, I'm talking to you because we comprise the community that supports these educational systems. And it's our families that are the feeders into the broader culture of the school. So what happens in your home is imminently important, and God is going to say to gideon, your 1st battle is going to be to go against all your family members, all the citizens of your city and your dad. Take your father's ball by the way this, this idle will be identified as his father's idol. Take your father's bull, there's 25 and a 2nd ball 7 years old and pulled down the altar of bale, which belongs to your father. And cut down the ashura that is beside it and build an altar to the Lord your god on the top of the stronghold in order to in an orderly manner and take a 2nd ball and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the ashura, which you shall cut down. The gideon took 10 men of his servants and did his lord and spoken to him. And because he was too afraid of his father's household and of the men of the city do by day. He did it by night. Now there's good hope here, friends, because most of us can look and see into our family's lives issues. And by the way, i've never met a single person in the 7 AM. Is church who has an idol in their life, at least not by self examination. Every single person I've ever dealt with where I have to talk about something that's painfully willing, their spirituality, their leadership or something or that doesn't exist. That's not a problem. And my guess is today there's $200.00 plus people listen to me for which the same natural human tendency exists. That's not an idle in my life. And I've walked up and down the stairways of the hotels in India, and I've driven by the temples in India. And I've looked up at the huge monkey god, bigger than our statue of liberty carved out of stone on the plains of South east india. Where there are visible idols and where people tell you the numbers of their hindu god on, therefore arms, i've been to these places, but we come to america. It appears that americans are not plagued with idolatry. A slight little chuckle through the congregation, a slight little wince of maybe not so so while you're not erecting typically in your homes, the high places i'd like to suggest this morning that the biggest challenge is coming out of this message are going to be between the church and the educational system they're going to be between family members who take their well being an encouragement from each other under a household in which the culture of the world is found its way into the culture of their heart and their home and their habits. I want you to think about this. If ever there was a day for leadership, it's today. There may be a little crisis, a little trauma in the home, because there may be a dad here, or a mom here who spine is stiffened by the holy spirit. And they say, you know what, this has been warring against the spirituality of this household for a long time. And it's got to go. And if you're afraid, that's ok, especially you ladies. Remember in 1st peter chapter 3, where god says you need to be of the order of sarah without fear. The good news is, the fear goes away as the faith comes in. But if you start out, afraid, don't be too worried about it. Most of us are and we need a little special boost, which is why before the stories over there is more signs and wonders, no gods not. And they happen to just don't want l signs all the time to where we don't have to use our brains or get down on our knees and pray. But if we're the beginning of a journey and we need a little extra encouragement, go ahead and ask for it. I got it on this jury. I haven't got to the hard part of the message yet, but I want to tell you, I want it out of the message. I had a person come and talk to me and they were concerned about what the title even said. And I wanted, I don't want to embarrass my congregants. However, my 1st duty is to honor the Lord. When I stand behind this pub, so you can make decisions. You can decide if it's biblical, what the pastor said, and then you can decide what god wants. You to do about it. But the truth of the matter is I wanted out of this message. And so on about tuesday of this week, somebody came by the office who almost never comes by and is not a member of this church. And he used to be fairly high up in the work of Education. And I thought, well, I'm going to tell this, may I want to preach about? I'm going to give him permission to put me on a different trajectory. The only problem was he didn't put me on a different trajectory. It's like he put rocket fuel in me and then started sending me information. So I could do my job in the name of the Lord. And not only that, he connected me to another person that had been high up in the work of Education. And then the next day, I'm in my office going through my piles of stuff. And I come across a paper by the deceased late dr. Kay. Who was one of our interim principals and a spiritual educator in our community and more than one place. And it's on the very subject matter that I have to preach on. It's like, what are the odds? They are odds, they're divine prompts. And that's why this morning we're going down this road. It would be nice. The last 7 or 2 before I go off to camp meeting to end on a gentler subject on a not so challenging subject. But god says no. And when you need that kind of encouragement, god will give it to you. The fact of the matter is he was afraid, but he did it any way. And on the bad side of it, it was turning out like he thought on the front verse 28. When the men of the city arose early in the morning. Behold, the altar of the bill was torn down and the ash for which was beside it was cut down. And the 2nd bow was offered on the altar, which had been built. And they said to one another who did this thing. And when they search it out and inquire, they said gideon, the son of Joe ash did this thing. Now I want you to imagine your saud has pulled over the altar of bale with your ox. And by the way, the bible says with the strength of an ox comes much increase. It's the old testament, john Deere tractor. And imagine that one of those john deer attractors, have been disassembled and set ready to burn. And the primary focal point of the community is now laid on its face and the ash pool behind it is the wood underneath the bonfire. That's ready to be set. It wasn't just that it went bad. It went much worse than gideon thought, because it wasn't just that he upset the community. He upsets him to the point of murder. Bring out your son, burst 30. They said to joe ashe, for he's torn down the altar of bail, and indeed he cut down the ash which was beside it. Now, this is an amazing moment, verse 31. And what a wonderful thing that a younger person could stiffen the backbone of an older person. That's exactly what happened. That's why power right to timothy. And he said, let no one despise you, but be an example and speech and in conduct and all of these other things. Joe ash stiffened up and he says, all this stood against him, verse 31. Will you contend for bail? Or will you deliver him? whoever will plead for him shall be put to death by morning if he's a god that content from sell because someone's torn down his alter, the integrity of one son creates integrity in the heart of the dead. And something good is starting to happen here. A man that was letting the community go the wrong way. Has a son who has a divide encounter after a profit gives a divine message. And this one son stiffens the backbone of the dead, who put these values in him? But he drifted from. This man says he's not going to die, but any of you that lay a hand on him, you can die. He's done the right thing. It's not written in the scripture quite like that. But that's exactly what's going on. It just takes one person. It could be a husband, it could be a wife, it could be a son, it could be a daughter. But when god direct somebody to do something, they're sure they're not acting in spiritual pomp and circumstance. But they're actually acting in the humility to be confident and obey. God will continue to do good things. That's exactly what happens. God is the one behind the pulling down of the altar. Now, I'm convinced this morning that the alters to bail that I'm about to lean on, and then I'm asking you to lean on with me are alters that need to be pulled down. And I don't use the word cancer carelessly. Members of my family have been afflicted with it and delivered from it. Praise the Lord. But I'm about to give you the chance to move with gideon to prepare for deliverance. Our schools and our churches are dying. This is the fact. It's not just that they're not doing so well. No, it is a generational down trend. And when I put the statistics on the screen, it can't be denied. It's not a decrease birth rate over the last 30 years because the birth rate has hardly budge in the last 30 years. That decrease in birth rate was in the sixty's in the fifty's. We're now living with the birth rate of about 1.9. And that's been pretty constant relatively, so with a little deviation for the last 30 years, slight object actually in the last few years, we're not just dealing with strategic issues and problems. We're dealing with the fact that the Lord is said, I'm drawing back a little bit, my glory. I'm not giving away for the corruption that's involved in some of these things. Strong words. Yes. So what's the 1st item that I want to hook the balls to and pull down. The 1st one is for all of us, i'm going to call it adolescent adventist him. Not a very, it's a good alliteration and it's a very boars. Very poor phrase, adolescent avenue. It's when people want enough of god to do things just like the rest of the christians in the world are doing and feel good about it. And they don't want anybody bothering them. And how do you know you're dealing with an adolescent adventist talk to them? And if they have a big explosion where they get mad enough at you to not want to talk to you anymore, you're probably dealing with an adolescent adverse. Now, I'm not saying that other maturation development might not be a problem. There could be relational, could be that the relationship is just wrong. I'm not here to oversimplify by him here to tell you this. We're dealing with a lot of people who don't want anybody to tell him they're doing what's wrong. But the bible says the way of reproof is the way of life. And I can't get away from it. I didn't get away from it as a kid, i can't get away from it as a older adult. And if I do get away from the prophetic voice is gone, and there's no clear clarion call as to where the path of life, which is the path of blessing exist. My job is too difficult to me to walk outside of that covering that covenant, covering of protection that god wants to give me. The bible says when I was a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. That's right out of the loved chapter. First corinthians 13. But we're living in a society that actually encourages people to remain adolescent focus on pleasure, focus on convenience, focus on opportunity duty, responsibility. Those things are there not to be talked about, guilt, shame, those are out of bounds. But the fact of the matter is those are spiritual symptoms of spiritual disease. And when they come to bear, it's only the fool that says it a. So yes, adolescence avenue chism may be the greatest blight on all that we're doing. It's time for us to recognize that christ is calling us into a relationship. That's not particularly convenient, but it's beautiful and joyful. Even though sometimes it's a bit hard. The 2nd alter that. I want to pull down this morning, is child centered parenting. This has been operative for a long time. It's self centered homes, raising self centered children. You get a few generations of that going on and pretty soon the church, which was so robust to go to all the world and about 3 generations can barely keep its own doors open. Something is majorly wrong. When I sat in the old griggs hall and andrew university where I got my undergraduate training, I can remember elder carl kaufman, who was the head of the apartment. Telling me, telling all of us in a pastoral practicum class that churches can be corporately self centered. And how many of them are as long as they're not too troubled, as long as things don't get too inconvenient. They just go on in the old adventist cultural way. And if you think it was ritual only for the jews, friends you need to think to the 21st century because there are many and advocates whose ritual mystically go into the club and enjoy their nice friends, which are a cut above the rest of the world. But beyond that, it's not very different from a typical membership would look like an organization that's really about benefit to its members, not benefits to the world. Yes, child centered parenting, focusing the indulgent energies of the parents on the naturally self centered human being. That's called their child. Now, I'm not out to turn homes into war zones. But you do need to remember that the practical himself left home because the dad couldn't change his 1st stewardship, was to the one who let him raise the child. And well, we need much wisdom and what we ought to practice as much togetherness as possible should be a warm and affectionate home. As far as possible. Any of us that have had a rebellious child understand that it's very difficult to have harmony when somebody is warning against parental authority. And yet some parents just get out of the way. Like it's ok for them to push on to self destruction. God. Once the parents to be the 1st teachers in the 1st preachers, now let's say a word on behalf of our university professors. I taught for an adjunct for 3 years when I was new in this community. And overall I didn't run into this, but rubbing shoulders with the parents. Or I should say the professors who were parents as well. I was a paul at the very idea the influential people who had never learned to grow up. And some of them was degrees in money would actually call up and wrestle m boy for better grades for their kids. Can you fabulous? It is absolutely appalling. And it is nothing more than the an accountable parent who's been used to getting his way and he's instilling it or she's and still in the life of their child. Listen. When I grew up, I got the exact opposite. And while every method of my mother was not to be replicated, there is something to her modalities. And I understood beyond the shadow of doubt. Trouble at school meant trouble at home. The teacher was her stand in and while they may not always get it right, the authority they represented was the authority on the scene. And that learning how to live inside and under authority was a big part about having a society that was worth living in. We are not to raise our homes. Let's go a little farther. Let's, let's just go a little bit further folks, if you've got a great home praise the Lord, every advantage you have is to be shared. So in some measure, sharing that great home with the larger church community in which some of the homes are so great is a part of your duty. And to the degree that you protect it is to the degree that you engage. But a home can be just as self centered as an individual, and it's even worse what it is. Listen when there's a work be at the church. Don't say I can't go because it would separate me from my children, bring your children and show them how to serve the Lord. Do the kinds of things that actually make the larger family, not yet war. With the nuclear home family. I'm going to go to another idol, i want to pull down. It is the absence of gospel identity on our campuses. Now we just spent 8 days dealing with a subject matter of Social and sexual in a relating in regards to moral purity. It was called, you matter, you love your love, your belong. I don't know what it might be. And of course this tends to project itself farther into the upper levels of adverse educators. But I do want to tell you that in this union and around this divisions, there are schools taking money from the government at academy level and even elementary level. And of course, it a collegiate level which come compromises their ability to have a gospel identity. Now the idea that coming out ministries is not warmly welcomed on our college campuses, stymies me beyond all understanding. And if it hadn't been for a mishap at one of our colleges earlier this spring, they probably would not as of yet been involved. But a mistake was made on one of our campuses this spring college campus. And because that mistake was made a rapid p R response, which was wise to do was enacted that allowed one number of coming out ministries to be on the campus as well. Now listen, we are not in a position where we need the government's money if it means compromising god's cause. And we need to be kind and we need to be loving. But the circle of accountability and communication between the rank and file that supports the whole system seems to have some element of chasm or break in it. And is exceptionally important that the identity of 7th day adventist values, the centrality of the cross, the call, the holiness. All of these things are embedded, woven through the fabric of all that our teachers are and all that they communicate. And we cannot be in a position where somehow we are over a barrel in regards to the essence of who god is. This is central to who we are. Let's go for another one. Critical race theory. The problem with critical race theory is that it is a social darwinism. What do I mean by that? What I mean is it is an evolutionary way of looking at social structure that automatically makes the discussion between who has power and who is oppressing and who doesn't. Now, authority and power is the stewardship given by god. And it is a sacred trust. And the failure of exercising it properly is a blight on the name of god and our institutions and plenty of mistakes have been made and they should be confessed and they are wrong. But that does not mean that we use christians embrace a worldly modality, which has no place, obscene, love, and goodness. In the social structure, we cannot look to the world to give us a structure to fix a problem that is in every single human heart. But of course, christians have been busy, amusing and entertaining themselves, not transforming society. So we have to turn over the transmit, the transformational effort to all kinds of secular entities who will at least do something. And the doing of something is important. But we can not believing in god give away the high ground for how to create harmony in the name of jesus. Social darwinism makes no room for god. And there's a problem with a theory that you never have enough consciousness to properly calibrate your conscience. I want you to think about that you can never be conscious enough to properly calibrate the conscience and you can never actually be good to do what's right. Because the dark cart without god will always look to leverage and benefit itself. Now think about this. I'm gonna use a big word. I'm going to use the word ontological, which deals with b. This is an ontological of theological and an illogical starting point for a christian. You have to believe that love actually exists. Though these problems are real and exist, that god actually has a way of creating harmony and hope, and unity where the world can only create frustration. Now I understand unconscious bias. It does exist, but it can be explored and it can be confronted. And there is a holy spirit who can lay the burden of guilt on those that are wrong, and the journey to liberty for the entire community and the entire group. Now I want to think about the 1619 project. There was a writer on the east coast. I don't know, was the Washington post in the New York times? It's been a while since I've delved into it. And the suggestion was that america is flawed from the beginning. Well, you know what america has been flawed from the beginning. The problem for the 7th day adventists christian is that you either have a trajectory of good to bad, or bad, the good. Of course, you could try to become better. The book of revelation chapter 13 tells us of America that she is a lamb before she becomes a dragon. Now what does this say? This says that its sins are likely to be sins of ignorance because it has an innocent z and the origin of its nation that is unique to other nations. It is a place better than the nations around it is a place of opportunity is a place of growth for all of its systemic. Since there is usually a voice of confrontation and it is usually the christian. We have not gone. We have gone from land to be like, not be like to land like now I'm going to spend a little more time on this one. And I'm just going to remind you all, I'm not going to take the time to look it up. You can get the sermon, watch it online. Matthew, 15 verse 26. Here's the question. Where jesus, 12 apostles bigots or broad hearted, broad minded people. How come here saw ensure? The answer is big. It. They were big, it Want me to prove it. Matthew, 15 verse 26. They're walking up in the region of tire inside and a woman finds out about jesus. She comes, they want to go away, send her away. Jesus is going to draw him in. He's going to reveal what's wrong with them by playing into into their hand. She is one of the most offensive people that could be in their presence. She's of a different race. She's canaanite, those were the people that were destroyed back in the beginning of the nation of israel. She is deprived and dark so they think, but the light is dawning in her heart and he says, it's not right to take the food off the table and give it to the dogs. You don't call people dogs unless something's wrong. But this lady reads the tone of voice in the body language. This lady got more going on and the 12 men walking with jesus have got going on and she sees what's happening. She says, the Lord is not wrong to let the dogs the food at the base of the table and then he totally changes his demeanor. He moves out of the roof and he says, woman, great is your faith. He honors her. How about those samaritans that didn't want to give the disciples food? You know, james and John, they go in, that's in look 9. What is disciple? James? And John saw that they wouldn't share this food. They said, lord, you want to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them. What jesus say, he looks at me says you don't even know a spirit is motivating you any moves on. How about the greeks in x, chapter 6, they weren't getting as much bread, allegedly as everybody else. You see, the church has always had the challenge that everybody else has. And that's learning how to make it work right for the honor and the unity and the one this of all men and all women of all races. The truth of the matter is, is that that overlooking of food according to acts of the apostles, was suppose it overlooking. But the church came up with a plan and put it into action. How about galatians? chapter 2. Peter, he doesn't want to deal with those gentiles, but he's converted even goes to cornelius house. But a little later on in his life, he's up in antioch, which is becoming the new head of operations for christianity. And he hears that the leaders from the jewish church are coming and he could sit with the gentiles. What's peter, do you know the bible is very clear. One of the most uncomfortable church services you've ever been at. Because paul gets up in the middle of the church service and he says, Why are you judy? I see and I want to tell you, if you were the apostle peter and you weren't converted, which he was. But even in a converted form, you can go back to the wrong way. You don't want to slide down in your pew and just be gone. Paul does it in front of everybody because even barnabas, he says, was carried away with this nonsense. And how about as chapter 21, you remember that that's where paul's been all over the world. He's hated by the many and loved by the View when he gets back to jerusalem and some of the leaders of the church still prejudiced against gentiles. They say, hey, I'm just going to read it for you. They've been, they've been informed the masses that you teach all the jews who live among the gentiles to turn away from moses, telling them not to circumcise their children live according to our custom. Now I need to ask you a question, was paul teaching them not to circumcise their children? Yes or no room you sound mixed the answers. Yes. Why? Because circumcision means nothing any more. It was a bodily right of passage looking forward to the progenitor, the descendant of abraham and of david that the senate is already come is, spiritually has no meaning any more. And Paul is actually teaching these things and now they want him to take a naz, right val and act like he wasn't teaching those things. And he's cool with the judy i see. And you know what spirit across, he's very clear, he went farther in compromising than he should have gone. He made a mistake. He so desired peace and to be accepted by the leaders of the church. Any administrative that here's this needs really be listening. People want to be accepted by the leaders that he does it. And when he gets inside the temple, they see him and they accuse him of bringing gentiles inside the temple court it systemized prejudice and bigotry. What would be wrong with a gentle coming inside the court? Nothing except that the jews had system a ties that and the apostles were not above and beyond it. And neither were the spiritual leaders of the church, at least at one point in time. Spirit bill? Yes, I'm here to tell you the world's way of solving the problem of differences in appearance and culture will not work, but god's weight will and it is love and dialogue and honesty and humility and sometimes apology. But we cannot embrace the world's secular. Suppose it gospel which continues to paint with broad strokes and makes some people guilty who are actually trying to effect change. And it's not Okay. Let's go to another one, the institutionalization of sport. Now I'm not about to tell you that it's wrong to play basketball. I'm not about to tell you that games are bad, but on my shelf somewhere in the various places my books are stored, i have a book called spore as religion in America. Now you should probably ask yourself before I go any farther in this message, do you think this secular art, this author got the title, right? And if he did, then maybe we as christians need to stop and think about what it is that we ought not to get into less we lose the blessing of the Lord walking down the wrong path. I still remember the pastor, the kokomo church, the singular, i won't say that Doesn't need to be said. I will say it this way though. It drew more emotional life out of me. I hope it's going on to be a happier, better church. But 30 years ago it drew more emotional life out of me than anywhere i've ever been. And I'm about to tell you partially why We had a head dick in there. As soon as monday night football started attendance at board meeting stopped. Now I want to ask you, what is so as this is more for the men than the women, what is so important about your football? Whether it's the kind you do like this, the kind you do like this. What is so important about this, that trumps the poor in our community. The needs of your own children, the needs of your church, the development of your person. I still remember the elements of my congregation. I still remember when that young family started skipping adventures. So they could put their kids in soccer or softball. I don't remember what it was. So now there's nothing about the spiritual programming for your kids that can equal the thrill of the sports game. And by the way, there's good things that come out of sports. I'm not here to paint the broad strokes, at least not too much. I've thought about the unholy emotion that develops in the intensity of some of these games. I could wish that there was never any on the holy emotion that developed with me. When I was in those games, i'm glad that I can say, I'm sorry, but I feel bad for the impression that's been left at different times. When I, as a younger athlete engaging was some of the athletes in Indiana academy Should find ourselves on the wrong side of appreciating each other. And what about when the principal at india academy actually and did the varsity sports program? I'm not sure I'm seeing more meanness in a community than when that happened. And I said to somebody who came and talked to me about they were concerned about what I was going to say in this service. I don't want to embarrass you as a church member, but you know what? I've got to hire calling. So I don't want to do an undignified way or a negative condemning way. But truth as it isn't, jesus is liberating. So this principle had gravel put in his cars, gas tank. Does it sound to me like maybe he tore down a high place and since they couldn't kill him, they thought maybe something else might get the point across that they weren't happy. I think I got a 5 page letter. I was a member of the K 12 board. I stood in perfect shoulders, shoulder allegiance with this individual. He happens to be our education superintendent in this conference today. You know, folks, when I was a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. The sports world is broken. The collegiate sports where I was broken. When I was a kid, you would never see somebody do a dance of self congratulation in the zone. I grew up secular. I love the teams. My dad love. I spent hours probably the accumulation of days, weeks and months in the median playing football. I was in Little league, i was in biddy basketball. I was not going to be, you know, an M B A superstar by any means. But I certainly wasn't the bottom half of athletic natural ability either. I love playing games. But when the games are in the way of the great commission and the passion of our children, they can get up at 5 AM in the morning to practice. But they would never come to a prayer service at 5 AM. Can you not begin to see without an education and psychology that the cancer on the passionate of our young people when it links up with the world is malignant to their spirituality. And God isn't going to stand around and say, do it like the rest of them are doing it. You know, it used to be the college sports hid behind the idea that the amateurish was purity and even the secular college sports world today knows that's a lie. College is getting rich off the athletic giftedness of their young men and their young women. And there's even an accountability system in the secular world today. Why are we borrowing their model? It's not good enough for recruitment. It competes with the dynamics of spiritual attendance. I have 12 things written by an administrator who was educating andrews academy while they were standing firm for this and praise the Lord. They have listening 12 things wrong. But you know, parents are create a bunch and they'll find a way to go around the institution. Could we have some moms and dads that actually read the bible principally, pray, powerfully and read the spirit of prophecy? And could we not see that the end goal is heaven and that the world is in love with this? And probably it has the ability to capture the passions of our kids to One more And that is the social studies and generational ism Back in 1928th, a man by the name of carl manheim wrote a book called the problem with generation. It's a fairly new study. Probably most of you sitting here nowhere. Yeah. I mean, are you the silent generation? Are you the greatest generation? Are you a boomer or you millennial or you're an x or a Y prime? Most of you know this. Why is it a problem? Because it appears as 7th day adventists that we don't understand the word distant big. You ation this ambiguous ation. You see to make generational sociology work. You've got to paint with broad strokes. So some broad strokes are really unbecoming, like all gen xers or you know, I won't even say you can get online and watch parodies of the different generations. Of course, most of the parody start with the boomers on down But when you do some big you weight data, you actually take the broad strokes away. And what administer need to understand is that we're to be part of a different big you ation. In other words, we are a subculture, in contra distinction to the larger culture. But when we use the generational ais thinking to create methods like methods of youth ministry that catered to on converted taste. When we develop secular methods of ministry that link on the unconverted levels, we are taking the data and using it to the destruction of our own kid. So because the data is now working to legitimate desires in the kernel heart with which we think we're going to build a bridge. And somewhere along the line, the appetites are just miraculously going to change. But they don't, not usually One lady wrote, since I'm a gen x are born in 1977. The conventional wisdom is that I'm supposed to be adaptable, independent, productive, have good work, life balance. Reading those characteristics feels like browsing a horoscope professor from the University of Virginia told one journalist that generational thinking is just to be 9 form of bigotry folks. We've tried the version of 70 m and youth ministry that shows movies and tell us and it doesn't matter how you dress and it doesn't matter what you listen to and what you watch. We've done that method. We've been doing it for 2 generations. I had a 9 quarter emphasis in youth ministry. When I graduated from the seminary back in 1991, we've been pushing the evangelical method of the cross las youth ministry model. So low that eventually we have a crisis. And the only way the crisis is going to be fixed is if the jesus who reached out to a rich young ruler who said no Can keep reaching out to young people saying, I said my blood for you would you follow me? It doesn't matter what society is trying to turn them into. Pavlov. And be a skinner, these behavioral scientists, psychological scientists. They did get some things right. But just because you can paint with broad strokes and suggest that this will work is no permission for 7 damn as pastors, parents or teachers to embrace the modalities of the world and institutionalize and reinforce the carnal desires of a young person's heart. I know 10 year olds that hear the voice of the holy spirit. I had 2 little girls come to me yesterday with a basket of money. They had decided to buy some popsicles on the last day of school and seldom. And they were collecting all the money for the new property for our new school. There are all kinds of young people sensitive to the impressed of the holy spirit. But if we give them permission inside the maloof of the church, the frame of the church, the structure of the church to do what, in principle and precept, the holy spirit says, don't do. You can almost guarantee that what you reap is what you so and if you want to reap appetites that lead them right out of the way and walk away from the cross, you can do it. But jesus said, I gave my life for you and I'll tell you what if I could have a church for hear me carefully. I'm going to get close to matthew 18 and I'll be done. You think of matthew 18 is the chapter on conflict. Matthew 18 starts by jesus saying, unless she becomes a little child, you won't see the kingdom if I could have a church full of the spiritual vitality of a spiritually touched 10 year old who wants to live for jesus. This church would move again. What's in the way folks These are things that relate to youth, ministry, and christian education. What else might be there? I don't know. But I know that when an institution loses inspiration and growth, it runs in reverse. This morning at the beginning of this summer. I'm calling every person listening to me to the foot of the cross. I may not have touched on anything even close to your life. You may walk out here like one man walked out here and said passenger, you didn't touch on where my idols at. Where I really want to touch your heart to follow jesus to the high ground and leave the world's high places behind. It could be your entertainment or your music or your dress. It could be anything that hasn't been offered on the altar. But this morning. I'm here to tell you the church is going to come back to life and the using an elite it but they gotta be rightly trained. You know, the mormons have something going on. All their young people have to go out for yourself. Our young people, we need a program like that for our church, but it isn't going to happen conveniently. We need that kind of program because our kids will be transformed as they are the conduit for the message of christ. This morning I want to end with 2 songs. One is one that the older people will know, but the younger people should learn. And the other is a him, we all know. So I'm inviting him this morning, let the master lead you wherever he wants to lead you. Because there's a battle to renew the society we're in, is sinking. And pretty soon they won't be saying, let's save the planet present. They'll be saying, we need to save society. We're not too far away. But there's a battle to renew. And the captain is only for you. And this morning I'm inviting you to make your time. Make gods name great and is stand together as we see in this media was brought to you by audio purse, a web site dedicated to spreading god's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for if you would like to listen to more sermon, please visit w W W dot audio verse dot org.

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