For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. [NRSV]
We live in a world with a growing distrust of the faith we share.
- Feed the hungry school children is important because of fairness rather than as an act of love of God and neighbor.
- Caring for the sick has been identified as a human right instead of as an act of love of God and neighbor.
- People want to live a neighborhood where folks love their neighbors but don’t make it a religious thing.
- Business rally to support the Red Cross but not UMCOR and the church
- I don’t need God or the church because I have government and laws instead
- I don’t need Jesus because I can live with a different reality of what pleases me.
- I trust what is preached in the name of “news” but not the “Good News”
- NOTE: We waste precious time assigning blame, so may we encourage one another to be faithful to the task.
Blame: Because a few have been foolish
We must take responsibility and ownership, confess our sin and remain faithful to God.Before we share our faith: Our task is to be clear about our faith, hold to it, through the storm.
Foolishness and Wisdom
The Problem: Culture says, “When I can get enough people to agree with me that YOUR wisdom is foolish, we can call our approved-proofed foolish pure “Wisdom” and truth.
The Reality: Wisdom and Truth have not changed. But the pillars of our faith have been discredited by unfaithfulness, exploited by those who are threatened by the Christain Faith and our believing/wanting more than God as our hope.
The reason why it is foolish to use social media to persued beliefs is: Anyone with any purpose can log on, speak what they call truth, wisdom, and salvation, but that does not make it wise, true nor the hope of our salvation.
Our charge is not to be ignorant, stubborn or inflexible, rather relying on SCRIPTURE, understood through Tradition, Reason, and Experience to inform and encourage us and God will not fail or forsake us.
- Tradition tells us the successes and failures of the past: learn from mistakes and successes.
- Reason tells us that God has purpose, order, relationship and love hard-wired into us and the universe and expects us to use the mind and reasons that set us apart from everything else in creation.
- Experience is the direct effect of God, Jesus, The Spirit, and the church that reveals something that tradition and reason cannot.
- Being faithful is not a political position. My ultimate allegiance is to God, not any government. (We are called to participate in our civic community, but it will never be our hope, purpose or salvation.)
- Love cannot be summed up by ideas, scientific study, research, and theories.
- Blame/Fault does not mend spirit, heart, minds: This is God’s work in us.
- Being faithful is not something someone else can do for me. Faith is our way of life. with every breath, our task is to grow closer to God and one another.
Wise Acts of Foolishness
- To assume God and religion were created and thus we can create something we like better.
- To believe that the majority of voices of self-focused blindness can see better than God.
- To believe the Bible is only a history book rather than a living point of access.
- To let the world define
- you and
- your mission
- your identity and
- your value.
- It is foolish to write off God and the church because you have been hurt, judged or offended by someone in the name of God.
- It is foolish to think we have told our story once and that is enough.
Foolish acts of Faithness
- To forgive
- To trust
- To give our gifts, tithes, support
- Devoting time to prayer and acts of service
- The study, exploration, and celebration our faith milestones: Staying current with our examples as witness and testimony. Don’t just tell the big story, also tell today’s story of faith.
- Be diligent, committed, intentional to hold, grow and share your faith
2. Trust God will guide us through the most twisted and backward reversal of what is good and evil, right and wrong, true and false, wise and foolish.
3. Test it: Take something you hear our culture say and ask what does God say? What do God’s people say? What Scripture says? What is God trying to have us hear/know/experience now compared to times in the past?
4. I mean we are called to wrestle with the hard stuff in our lives, in our families, in our word and trust God will guide us through. When we do this for the world to see, we are sharing our faith in everyday ways.