This past Sunday, we continued our sermon campaign, Those People, in Acts 11. The Jerusalem Church heard that the Gentiles had received the word of God. When Peter arrived in Jerusalem he was criticized for eating with the uncircumcised Gentiles, but Peter stood firm and shared what the Lord corrected in his theology.
And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ Acts 11:7-9 ESV
Peter didn't allow cultural norms and traditions to dictate his theology. In his sermon, Pastor Boyd pointed out two pendulum swings in our city: Good Boy Religion and Postmodernism.
Good Boy Religion is what permeates the Southern Culture, and basically prescribes to a belief that as long as I do good things and flee from bad things, I love Jesus. This thirst for perfection counters everything the Gospel has accomplished. The Gospel says Jesus lived a perfectly obedient life, free from sin, and He took that perfection and nailed it to the cross on behalf of all our imperfections. This is what good theology looks like. We live with an understanding that we experienced grace based solely and wholly on Jesus Christ.
The other side of the pendulum is Postmodernism. Postmodernism has many different expressions like individualism, relative truths, and consumerism just to name a few. Pastor Boyd shared that one of the most prominent expressions is being anti-authority. Culturally, we celebrate and embrace the idea that no one has the right to tell an individual what to do. Again, this counters everything the Gospel teaches. The Gospel freed us from the bondage and condemnation of sin through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Now He reigns absolutely, supremely, and gloriously in our lives and it is our joy to follow Him as Lord.
Good theology is never driven by cultural norms, religious extremes, or personal preferences. Good theology is always derived from the Bible. As disciples of Jesus, we must allow the Bible to define our lives. Obviously, this requires us to read the scriptures to formulate a good and healthy theology.
Bible Reading: Philippians 3:1-4:1; Romans 6-7; Galatians 5:1-15
Sermon: "Don't Stand In The Way" by Pastor Boyd Bettis
Jeth Looney, Pastor of Disciple Making