Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sun. May 8, 2011 (Karl Brown)

Last Sunday, Karl Brown asked us, "What if we're all wrong?" Our lectionary readings for the day retold the death and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2), how we are therefore to live (1 Peter 1), and that if we do those things we will go to heaven (Luke 24). However, the Koran tells its readers to do certain righteous works and they too will go to heaven. But what if everybody is wrong? Thomas Paine, for example, published a criticism of religions generally. He believed there was a caring, loving God, but in his "The Age of Reason" argued that religion was not reflecting this God. He saw that contemporary religion in his day was evil, for none of us has a special connection with God or influence over God. He wanted worship without formalized religion, so he proposed "Deism". He did not recognize any miracles some have attributed to God, nor did he ever see God intervening in history or appearing in visions. All of those would break God's laws of physics, nature, etc. Instead, Paine wrote that God gave us our powers of reasons and we can learn to use it. As for Jesus, Paine concluded that God would never create a man just to kill him. By contrast, one modern (and very popular) preacher teaches that it is misguided to think that a few of us will go to heaven and all the others will suffer. Studies suggest that, in spite of what specific churches teach, most members believe that most people will go to heaven. In fact, institutionalized religion tends to focus on small current issues of the day (e.g., mode or timing of baptism, sexuality) and overlook ethical essentials. How do we know who is right? [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, May 8th, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home