Audio, Church Life, Culture, Podcast, Purpose

TTWMN 158: Myths & Misery, or Truths & Freedom?

Halloween is right around the corner, and that puts many Christians into a tizzy with the arguments between those who say “it’s harmless fun to dress up and give candy to kids” and those who say “it’s evil and satanic—have nothing to do with it.” And in between is a broad spectrum of opinions including those who hand out candy with tracts, using the day as an opportunity to witness, churches who have ‘Harvest Parties’ to give a non-demonic alternative for kids to dress up, or who host “trunk or treats” where they have members hand out candy from their cars in the church parking lot. And if you think this is a big fuss about nothing, just wait—Christmas is right around the corner, where Christian opinions range from “Christmas trees are idols” to James Dobson’s doing the “Santa” thing with his kids! Here with us today to help us sort all this out is teacher and author of the book Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.

 

Table Talk Notes

Every culture has its myths

  • Tooth Fairy
  • Easter Bunny
  • Santa Claus
  • Clean underwear
  • Seems harmless enough until you read Jn 8:32 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

The whopper of myths

“It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere.”

 

‘PC’ and ‘tolerance’ are its watchwords

You can be sincere, but sincerely wrong. To live life to its fullest (Jn 10:10 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.) takes more than sincerity, it takes truth.

“Don’t impose your values on me!”

 

Reality check #1

I make the choice to believe what I do. Romans 1:25 tells us that “they exchanged the truth for a lie…”

  • Don’t blame others
  • God tells us to “choose this day….”
  • We can replace a false (ungodly) belief with the truth – the Word of God

 

Reality check #2

Beliefs determine my behavior. Proverbs 4:23 says to “watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life.” Everything we do has a belief behind it.

  • I’m unlovable / I act unlovable
  • Others can’t be trusted / I put up walls
  • God is unconcerned / I don’t pray
  • God is out to get me / I’ll avoid God

 

Reality check #3

The world has taught me many false and ungodly beliefs. John 8:44 says that the devil “ is a liar & the father of lies” who plants ideas in our mind like…

  • Ignorance is bliss
  • You’re only human
  • What you don’t know can’t hurt you
  • I’ll believe it when I see it

 

Talk show mythology

  • All your problems are somebody else’s fault
  • Man is basically good & unselfish
  • You’ll be happy when u get what u want
  • All beliefs are equally valid
  • World owes you happiness
  • Answer lies within you
  • Many ways to God, Jesus is just one.

 

The challenge

“Lord, show me where I have believed a lie….”

 

The encouragement

Jn 8:26 “…He who sent Me is true, and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world…”

 

What we have learned so far

Every culture has its myths

Whopper myth: It doesn’t matter what u believe as long as you’re sincere

In order to live life to the full (Jn 10:10) we need to be more than sincere, we must be truth seekers and truth revealers.

 

Reality checks so far

  1. I choose to believe what I do
    1. God said “Choose this day….”
  2. Beliefs determine my behavior
    1. Every action has a belief behind it
  3. World has taught me many false beliefs
    1. The world lies in the power of the evil one who is a liar, and the father of lies

 

Cultural myths from talk shows

  • Your probs are someone else’s fault
  • You’ll be happy when u get what u want
  • All beliefs are equally valid
  • The answers lie within you
  • Many ways to God, Jesus is just one

 

Reality check #4

  • Untrue beliefs can cause emotional turmoil/unhappiness
  • Stress, anger, fear, worry, insecurity, perfectionism
  • We must clarify the unbelief behind those emotions
  • Emotional health is available to anyone
  • 3John 2 and John 8:32 (32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” )

 

Reality checks #5

Romans 3:4 | By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

There is only one source of truth – the Word of God (Jesus Christ)

  • Who/what is the authority for my life?
  • Man’s knowledge is increasing/always looking for what works
  • God’s knowledge is absolute/wise
  • Dr. Spock said, “Oops, I was wrong”

 

Reality checks #6

  • Building your life on God’s truth is key to spiritual, emotional and  physical health & well being
  • Jesus said 80x, “I tell you the truth…”
  • He said 20x “Now you’ve heard it said…, BUT I tell you….”
  • How “stable” are you?

 

Build your life on the right foundation

Mt.7: 24-29 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

 

Make a personal commitment to truth

Romans 12:2 – do not conform, be transformed

 

Commit to seek truth

2 Tim 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

 

Commit to living truth

Read Ephesians 4

2 Cor 4:2 | But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

 

Commit to believing in The Truth

Read John 14.

 

The challenge

Do you know Jesus? Are you willing to make changes so that you can BE changed? Change brings to light the secrets of our hearts – exposes our idols, our secret lives & motivations

 

The encouragement

Eph 4:14 “We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by the craftiness in deceitful scheming, but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him …Christ”