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Half Truths

1/8/2017 – 2/5/2017
In our sermon series Half Truths, we will examine some clichés that you may have said yourself or had spoken to you. They are simple phrases. They sound Christian—like something you might find in the Bible. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. In this series, Half Truths, we will go beyond the everyday sayings and experience the full message of Jesus.

Based on a book of the same name by United Methodist pastor Rev. Adam Hamilton.

Jan 8 – Everything Happens for a Reason – Deuteronomy 30:19-20a, Romans 8:22-28
Jan 15 – God Helps Those Who Help Themselves – Leviticus 23:22, Psalm 121:1-2, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
Jan 22 – God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle – Psalm 46:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:13
Jan 29 – God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It – Deuteronomy 23:12-14, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Matthew 22:37-40
Feb 5 – Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin – 1 John 5:16-17, Matthew 7:1-5

love the sinner - hate the sin

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

The cliché “love the sinner, hate the sin” can lead to harm. Concentrating on the failings of others does not lift them up and does not feel like love especially when it looks like we are ignoring our own failings. And it is when we are hypocritical instead of humble that people are turned off Christianity. (1 John 5:16-17, Matthew 7:1-5)

god said it - i believe it - that settles it

God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It

“God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It” sounds right. If God says something, then of course we should believe it. But is it totally true? Did you know that God tells us where to go to the bathroom? That reminds me of when I was teaching some pre-schoolers a message about how God was with them everywhere they went. And one said “Even in the bathroom?”and I had to say “Yes!” and they responded “Ooo. Yuck!” (Deuteronomy 23:12-14, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Matthew 22:37-40)

god wont give you more than you can handle

God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle

Many years ago, when my twins were born, it was hard work and I was constantly exhausted. It was not uncommon for them both to be screaming at the same time and it was heart-wrenching deciding who to pick up and deal with first. Folk often said to me “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle.” And I admit it did spur me on and I would think, “alright, I can do this” and praise the Lord they weren’t triplets! At other times, though, it just made me feel a failure. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 46:1-2)

god helps those who help themselves

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

There is some truth to the idea that God helps those who help themselves. We are the instruments that God uses to change the world. As the prayer of St Frances goes: Make me an instrument of your peace. But in other ways the idea that God helps those who help themselves is also false. There are some physical circumstances or holes so deep that it is impossible to climb out on your own. (Psalm 121:1-2, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Leviticus 23:22)

everything happens for a reason

Everything Happens for a Reason

We live in a world of cause and effect. Actions create consequences. Usually though when we use this statement we are using it in response to suffering. When we try to help a person through a difficult time we seek to console by saying that God has a purpose for this event happening. But, is there a divinely ordained reason for everything that happens? (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a, Romans 8:22-28)