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Christian Atheism

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 29, 2022 9:00 am

Christian Atheism

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 29, 2022 9:00 am

This message looks at the final chapters of the book of Judges. It’s a time when the Israelites turned their backs on God’s leading. They still acknowledged him with their lips, but they’d become, in essence, a nation of atheists.

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Today on Summit life with Jeannie Greer got his money moves like an atheist view of them always result in strong across the week and despair when God is absent week or abused the inevitable result of casting off the rule of God is defining morality in a way that benefits back to Summit life with. As always, I'm your host Molly benefits okay most of us know somebody who would call themselves, and yet right before you write that person off for their godless view of life.

It's quite possible that you may share something in common today we're looking at the final chapters of the book of Judges is a time when the Israelites turned their backs on God's leadership. They still acknowledged him with their lips, but they become in essence a nation of atheists and we often fall into that same trap today will shed some light on this topic as we near the end of our study in the book of Judges. Remember you can always reach out to or give us a call at 866-335-5220. Got lots of free resources available to help direct you in your journey with Jesus. But for now, here's Pastor JD with a new message. He titled Christian Bible.

Now you gotta take it out and once you open it to the book of Judges judges every good book every good TV series. Gotta come to an end, we come to the end of our study on the book of Judges.

I honestly am not sure whether to be sad or relieved. It is been AWOL and challenging book. Judges 17 may give you a warning as we begin. These are some of the darkest and most gruesome stories in the Bible, like a Quentin Tarantino movie there all darkness and seemingly no hope to be risqu, but the stories are just disturbing. I could find. By the way, very few sermons that have been preached on the shoppers and I think you'll figure out why.

Here are just a few moments, like maybe when I get done to be like.

I wish you had preached a sermon on the shoppers, but I felt like there some things are really important and I know they're in the Bible for a reason. They depict a state that I like to refer to as Christian atheism Christian atheism.

These people in these stories believe in God but practically speaking, as I'll show you they live like atheists, try to show you that we have a lot of people in our culture and maybe some of you that fit in that same category as I tell the stories they may remind you of of kind of the time of the age that we live in it. What I've picked up is that most of us, regardless of which side of the political aisle that you sit on, most of us are genuinely concerned about where our country is headed.

Seems like every time I turn on the news. There's some mass murder gun violence or racial turmoil seems like it's as bad as is been in my lifetime people are asking legitimate questions about our justice system and whether it treats people of color fairly.

A lot of Christians feel like the sky is falling morally. We watched as Bruce Jenner who is changed to be taken.

Jenner got the SB award for courage.

ESPN's annual awards in his his speech. He basically says you know we gotta get beyond what we say that any issue of sexuality as a matter of right and wrong. We just gotta treat this as it is. Everything's okay and all play stands to their feet in applause, standing ovation on the message seems be pretty clear that if you don't accept this is normal then you have no place in the longer and civilized discourse. It seems like the one thing that both right and left have in common is that both alike, this country is in turmoil and it's in trouble. Judges 17 to 21. These five chapters are to describe an age very similar to ours, and I hope that it will not only show you that there is nothing new under the sun that we were living in is not a new age, but it shows you where our hope lies in how you and I were supposed to respond in an age like this one. Judges chapter 17 Sampson the last judges just died so chapter 17 opens up with a story of a seemingly random man named Micah who overhears his mom under a curse on the person that stole her money well was Micah. Mike is the one who stole his mom's money and he believes in God, just enough to be scared of the curse. So he goes to his mom's like a mom. Sorry it was me. Please use your money. Please they got back curse and so is mom is so grateful to get the money back that not only did she lift the curse.

He says works for I solemnly consecrate the silver to the Lord for my son Micah to make an image overlaid with silver and other words I say thank you God forgive me back the stolen money by making a statue of God, not notice.

This is not a statue of Baylor asked her father, a Canaanite God.

This is a statue of Jehovah, Israel's God verse five. So Micah makes a shrine and he installed one of his sons as priest.

In those days Israel had no king. Everybody did what was right in his own eyes.

In other words, they had no ruler everybody has become his own ruler. Christian atheism nearly ardent characteristic number one Christian atheism redefines God rather than submit to God. What this woman did was in direct violation of the second commandment that we not make any images, graven images or likenesses of God, help me stop here for just a minute because a lot of believers say you know I get the first commandment that we shouldn't you have other gods besides God. But what's the big deal about making an image of God. Maybe it helps you worship or make you feel good or whatever. Here is why God gave us that commandment, an image of God cannot possibly capture the full range of God's glory so inevitably in your image that you make you will highlight the parts of God's nature that appeal to you and you will conceal the parts that don't. For example, you will magnify his strength, but obscure his compassion, or you will celebrate his grace while ignoring his purity and his justice and what you end up with is a distortion of God God not as he actually is but a God as you would prefer him to be which is not really God in all it's really just a deified version of you. It is a rejection of God and a choice for yourself. Hand-in-hand with that always goes a redefinition of morality receiver six, when there was no king in the was no rule everybody did what was right in our own eyes just as you redefine God, you will redefine right and wrong according to your preferences as well. Now, in many ways this is the primary sin of our culture is not. It's not that we completely reject Jesus. We just want him to be a certain way. I will essentially make same as I will my Jesus is like this and I would never believe in a God who would say this for a God who would do that.

The problem is that the full-scale rejection of God. Try to illustrate it to you before like this if somebody came up to you and said hey I find you to be a fascinating person and I will write a biography about your life you would be flattered while here I am pizza Monday night dead yes mom was write a biography, I say yes, but let me tell you in this biography you're a strict vegetarian, you are me unicycle about it and you always vote independent and you're angry about it and you try to be an astronaut but you failed out of it and you're a loser and you are lonely and eliminating gas and you're like, well, a dozen conniption person, but another thing to truly am scared of heights and I don't vote independent and united lots of me them and this okay yet, but I'm a vegetarian, and I'm independent and I really want you to be there things was a make you more interesting. Naturally, would be insulted because they are rejecting the real you for a version of you that they find to be more palatable more interesting when you and I begin to redefine God and say God you offend me.

When you say this I'm my God is good to be this.

It's not really got it all, all it is is a deified projection of your self. When that happens, you will inevitably begin to redefine morality as you prefer it to be as well. As a worshiping of your own preferences and by the way, when I say that I'm not just talking about the pundits on MSNBC doing this, people in churches like ours do it when they decide, for example, that there been asleep together before they're married.

Even though God's word very clearly says that the sexual relationship is reserved for marriage. Some will even have the audacity to say that we prayed about it and God gave us a piece as if that has any relevance at all. Just admit to yourself that what seems right in your own eyes has more weight to you and what God says you say as I am a Christian and I believe in God are practically speaking, you are an atheist because you reserve the right to define what God says is right and wrong according to your own preferences. Let me continue on with the story and show you the second thing the Christian atheist. Do verse seven.

After Micah makes a statue puts it in his house. He needs a Levite. They are part of the priestly class traveling through town and Mike's is all good look a priest. I got some extra money for my mom I can hire him to be a priest for my statue of God. And so the priest says, well, you technically do that, but how much you pay. Mike is a lovely light come on, give me a lot of money and the free says.

Money prayed about it.

My so I got a call me to say yes.

Verse 13 Micah said now I know that the Lord will be good to me since the Levite this Levite is become my priest and I got on the look now. He's obligated to be good to me.

Second characteristic of Christian atheism.

Christian atheism uses God rather than worship Sam she Micah assumes two things here. He assumes first that his God exist to serve him and secondly he assumes that if he does the right things in this God is obligated to bless him. I told you this before but the great substitute for true faith in God is this kind of religiosity is not faith in God at all and it is built on two premises from someone is a God exist for you.

Number two.

If you do the right things. God is obligated to bless you he owes you.

By contrast, true faith, says God, I exist for you. You don't know me anything I owe you to religion will ask questions like how can I get God to help me out in my business. How can I get God to give me good family. How can I get God to keep me healthy. And when you do whatever you think it is he is telling you to do and those things don't happen. You look at God and shake your fist in his face and say God I did everything that you asked I gave the money here and I went here this many times and I said the things that I behave and obeyed these things and you let down your part of the deal.

True faith never make statements like that truth. They says God, it all belongs to you what you want to do it and when God sends pain into your life or frustration you you end up saying is that my God I still can't believe I get a chance to know you and be saved. How can I glorify you to this day. False religion seeks control of God.

True faith surrenders to God. Religion seeks access to God to get him to do what you want true faith gives God access to your heart so that he can tell you what he wants is my question for you. What kind of relationship with God are using that question. What do you want your relationship with God to look like under that for just a moment as we take a quick break from her teaching here on Summit light linear mind you real quick about our latest resource created exclusively for arsenic like Emily in his latest book on his questions quick answers. Pastor Ginny tackled big questions related to our faith with short concise answers is a kind of responses you can get when chatting at the coffee shop with a friend or maybe even a stranger use it as a launching point with someone who searching for Jesus giving them confidence that there are solid answers to life's question. Equip yourself right now by giving us a call 866-335-5224.


Now let's rejoin Pastor JD for the conclusion to today show you what happens real quick. When you shrink God down to a size you can control in the next chapter. Chapter 18 it is good to be another group of Israelites show up Micah's house mail more money than Micah does today. Hi, they convinces priest to go with them and they still statue into the priest is that you leave a Micah went to morning figures out what happened. So he was chasing after him and he's just yelling at them as I got to bring back my priest in my statue and they're like oh but hang on bro don't get bent out of shape will place the money for whatever what's wrong for 24 Micah says but if you take the gods that I made last you take these gods where I got nothing left. You see when you shrink God down to a size you can control. You will always live in fear of losing him, when you have surrendered to the true God, you quit worrying about losing him because you know that he'll never lose you. Listen, I honestly tried this week to come up with a story that would better illustrate this than this one about to tell you only had some things happen to me throughout my life I can't just make stuff up right so you can take some missing stories you know couple times so this one that because it just so perfectly captures this sentiment here, it took place in a report which most muscle racing to take place in airports in Atlanta airport. I'm in the waiting room because that's what you know, Delta, Stanford doesn't ever leave the airport and I'm just sitting there and that in the waiting room and the waiting area and on a side of his conversation with this woman, finds I'm a pastor, which always leads to interesting places and she's lumber a religious leader to. She says what I do is I have a shop where I sell.

I collect different religious 10 artifacts in different religions and I try to think the best of every religion in my shop is how what religious smorgasbord you come in to skin a bit confusing, but your own religion and pump like you don't got I got I want to be that guy likes our pre-scenario sounds like fun, be polite and and yes were on time for her turn the conversation when the people right across the aisle from us is an older couple and they were talking to each other but they were cut at the age where they think you're talking to each other but the really talking to the entire Atlanta airport and she half the woman is read the newspaper and she says her husband. She's like, I'll let you know the horoscope says that if you're a tar ass then you have safety today and she says I am a Taurus so that means that our plane is going to be safe from this now, and I listen to was woman.

She, she perked right up and she says that's awesome she reaches into her bag and she says I've got this little thing that I call a rosary ring. This is what I get from the Catholics is my favorite part of the Catholic religion. She says this is a rosary ring is got all these beads around it and Jesus crucified and and if you hold onto it when you fly many guarantees that you will be safe. And so the older couple time shaking their heads and she's like this is my favorite thing.

Well, you know, I watch and and get them to start process when all of a sudden the person next to the older couple you know he's in the conversation he suddenly perked up, unzips his carry-on bag and pulls out a statute a little statue of St. Christopher.

He says this is St. Christopher, the patron saint of traveling. I always travel with him in my carry-on before we take off. I rub his head and that means that I'm going to be safe. And I'm like what episode of Star Trek that is to be denser.

How did these things happen and so I'm going to days and nights are calm is a means woman walking on the jetway_like Dale witness mail and this woman was just him son of her pocketbook and she says you don't have have two of these and and she says, and that the people behind us and she says you yelled. You are also lucky we are. She's the horse gives is to be safe. I got a rosary ring he's got St. Christopher and get a Baptist pastor with us on this flight it's going to be awesome and she says here's this rosary.

I got two of them. She ends when the me and she says I'm sincere Christian. I know that you want to have this she said on the field, hold it when we take off on the land and everything will be okay and call after I don't want to be that guy and I'm like I Micah be that guy and so I said ma'am I say I know since he was really sweet gesture. I will gladly receive your gift but I guess so you see the sky got crucified on top yes and that's the God of the universe and he spoke all these things we see into existence and the reason they haven't crucified a Bears because is because when he saw that we were in danger and we saw that we were perishing. The actually came himself to give his life to die for us and see when I trusted him as my Savior, John chapter 10.

He said that he literally put me inside of his aunt.

What that means is that when this plane takes off it. If there were a dozen from Atlanta if it ever takes off, to be in his hand, and when we land where were going I'm to be in his hand, and if we blow up in midair. I'm still going to be in his hand, and no offense to you and your rosary ring. But if the God of the universe hold me tightly in his hand. I don't have to hold so tightly to him in my what your C listen is a picture of how different you can approach God differently there.

Some people were always concerned about my doing the right things to get God's blessing and it always ends with you being very anxious, doing this or that.

The other ways you surrender to God and you say God I belong to you cannot surrender myself to your love because you save me you died for me and there's this feeling of peace and safety that come in. That keeps you from being someone like Micah here is the question. Which way do you try to relate to God which way are you seeking to relate to God the next several stories are going to show you what happens when you redefine God.

And when you try to use God. They show you what life looks like on a cultural scale and on an individual scale when God is absent.

I will try to summarize them as best I can to move the will, but you not to hang on you ready chapter 19 verse one. Now another priest differently by different God took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah got your bonsai to fake wife and so story got off the bat start, but she was unfaithful to him, she left them and went back to her mom and dad's home in Bethlehem so he goes and tries to convince her dad to make her come back with him.

You know, since you purchased are fair and square. And so she make a long story short, he commences her dad to let her come back and he puts on his donkey and start the journey back up to where he lives. Well, as the sun is about the set as their traveling. They get near this town called tibia and the tribe of Benjamin. When they stop there to spend the night they go out of the city square because that's what you did before Embassy suites shooting on the city square and some I invited you to come and stay with them have anointed them into the night discount rate.

Finally, an old guy shows up and he says for 20 you're welcome at my house, the old man said, whatever you do not spend the night in the city square whether settling in for the night when suddenly verse 22. Some of the wicked men of the city's around the house pounding on the door. They shout to the old man who owns the house bring out the man who came to your house so that we can have sex with him will the old man and the priest now scared all throughout the concubine and say why don't you take her leave us alone. You have her write her instead.

Verse 25 to the Levite took his concubine and center outside of them and they raped her throughout the night.

At daybreak the woman went back to the house for her master was staying and she fell down with her hands outstretched on the threshold of the door and she lay there until daylight when the master got up in the morning and open the door the house and stepped out to continue on his way. Apparently with no thought for her at all their lay his concubine falling in the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold. Many said her get up. Let's go.

There was no answer when the man put her on a donkey and set out for home. For 29 when he reached home, took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb into 12 parts and sent them and all the different areas of Israel. Verse 20 then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba came together as one and assemble before the Lord in a place called Mizpah and they said to the priest Levi tell us how this awful thing happened to the Levite explains the story conveniently leaving out the part where he said his concubine out to get Ray to save his own skin. While the story provokes moral outrage verse 11 so the Israelites get together and unite as one against the city may amass an army of 400,000 soldiers to march against the Benjamite and they demand that the Benjamite surrender the men of the city did this thing. But the leaders of Benjamin will do it to this massive fight breaks out at first the armies of Benjamin or Winnie verse 26 all the Israelites, the whole army goes up the Bethel where they sit weeping before the Lord and the Lord response to them go again, for tomorrow I will give them in your hands, and God did it was around verse 48 minute Israel put all the towns of Benjamin to the sword killing the animals and everything else they found they didn't leave a single thing alive. All the towns they came across a set on fire. Only 600 Benjamite escape and are all male soldiers. They bullion and they go hide in some caves in the mountain.

Chapter 21 the Israelites going to be 600 have escape take about they say, not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite of these guys ever emerge well few months go by temper school.

The 600 Benjamite come out from hiding, and I say look, all of our wives and daughters rolled dead were a bunch of guys and so we have nobody to marry and have kids and continue on our lineage of our tribe.

Well, now they're in a pickle because all the Israelites have made this vow that nobody can ever marry a Benjamite, but now they pulled down.

They don't want this tried to go extinct. Is it part of their heritage servers to the people go up to Bethel again where they sit before God until evening weeping bitterly, Lord God of Israel. They cry wise this happen to us. Why should one try be missing from Israel today as if it's God's fault. What you can do God, why did you let this happen while they not God. They come up with a plan birthday. They say what it was there any tribe of Israel, that when we sent out a summons to go to war was and it probably didn't show up any region. The didn't send representatives to figure out those as one region called Davis Gilead. The didn't send anybody to the Ward Council much airflow they do verse 10 today sent 12,000 of their best warriors to Davis Gilead didn't send any representatives with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. This is what you want to do kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin, so they do that but they keep alive 400 virgin girls to serve as wives should be Benjamite but that's not enough, there still 200 short so verse 20 they tell the minute Benjamin, there's this other region in Israel, where they have a tradition where every fall they come out before the harvest, and they do this ritual dance but they don't bring them in with them to want to go hide in the woods. And when these women were 21 we see the young women come out for their dances and rush out from the vineyards in each one of you can take home one of them to the land of Benjamin to be your wife. We call that kidnapping and so they do that and then the book of Judges, just dance. Verse 25. In those days Israel had no king. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes/verse when God is absent.

:-) Lives like an atheist. Atheism always results in two things, always strong to press the week and despair when God is absent, the week are viewed as the inevitable result of casting off the rule of God is defining morality in a way that benefits strong you believe in God is the good news of the gospel infiltrating every part of your life, because the gospel isn't just the entryway to Christianity. The entire path and our goal at Senate life is to help you live out the gospel with every step of your spiritual journey. Tomorrow will hear the final message in this compelling study called broken saviors. Don't miss the last couple of days to get our Senate light exclusive book called honest questions and quick answers. Volume 2. You can make a generous one-time gift or sign up to be a monthly gospel partner and request your or give us a call at 520 8633 pounds 52 training don't want to miss out on this exclusive resource to be sure you call us today and while you're on the website.

You can sign up for our weekly email messages, transcripts, or subscribe to the great resources available I'm only benefits join us again tomorrow when pastor Jeannie clear aging study of the subject is eight years.

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