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Landslide: Week 1

Landslide: Week 1

Matthew 7:24 (NLT) Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

Colossians 2:8 (NLT) Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Definitions:

  • Worldview
    • a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world (English Oxford Dictionary)
    • how we view, process, and therefore act in the world (whether we know it or not)
  • Universalism
    • Christian Theology: the belief that all humankind will eventually be saved. (Merriam Webster)
    • Other: Universalism aka “The Universal Truth” is the awareness that all things flow together. That all pursuits should be for the good of people to preserve the natural order of existence. (Urban Dictionary)
  • Pluralism
    • A condition or system in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources of authority, etc., coexist. (English Oxford Dictionary)
    • We live in the days of pluralism, when all faiths and religions are of equal worth.
  • Big idea: All paths lead to the same end/heaven/God.
  • Synchronism
    • the combination of different forms of belief or practice (Britannica)
    • spiritual buffet: illustration: basket – Jesus in and old stuff out (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Made in the Image of God – Designed but Distorted Desires of Universalism/Pluralism

  •  Equality in Value
    • Human equality / Treat each other equally
    •  Romans 2:11 (NLT) For God does not show favoritism.
  • Fairness in Justice
    • Equal opportunity: the desire for people to have equal access to the truth or equal opportunity to come to know the truth (fairness). (Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Secular Gods)
    • God’s heart is for ALL to be saved.
      •  1 Timothy 2:3-6 (NLT) 3This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. (see also 2 Peter 3:9)
  • Community in Unity
    • Equally united: A admirable motivation that can lead to an attraction to pluralism = a longing for unity with other people, a longing for community. (Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Secular Gods)
    • Relationship / community
      • “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” -traditionally attributed to Augustine

1 John 3:16-18 (NLT) 16We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Slippery slope of Universalism / Pluralism

  • Freedom of Choice
    •  We go so quickly from “we don’t want to choose so as to exclude others” to, before we know it, “we aren’t allowed to choose.”
  • Unjust justice system
    • If there are not “wrong” answers, then there are no “right” answers, so each does as he desires in his heart. This actually counters the second human desire: Justice.
  • Judges 21:25 (NLT) In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.
  • Fluid Authority
    •  Every voice or opinion carries the same weight of authority.
    • I believe this is the one we are most susceptible in the church.
  • Weighing the counsel/advice of friends and family against God’s word.
    • Sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes out of arrogance or all out rebellion.
    • Whose voice carries the most weight? The most authority?

Where are these great qualities to be found?

John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Colossians 2:8-10 (NLT) 8Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

  • Jesus is God in the flesh….all that God is, is in JESUS.
    • HE has no favorites.
    • HE judges righteously by the law HE not only decreed but that HE upheld and fulfilled to the letter; no one is more qualified to Judge.
    • And in all this, HE loves us unconditionally, and His love is so sufficient that His love overflows in our lives to those around us, enabling us to unconditionally love others so we might experience true, meaningful communion/community.

Next Steps

  • We, as a church
  • You, as an individual

Questions to meditate on & discuss:

1. What stood out to you from the message?

2. What is your perspective on Universalism? Pluralism?

3. In what ways do you see these worldviews sneaking into the church?

4. What areas of your life have you been synchronistic? (A little bit of Jesus and the world’s way of thinking.)

5. What are you going to apply to your life from these passages and from this message?

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