I will be preaching/ lecturing/ teaching/ speaking/ talking/ chatting/ jish-joshing at a local UMC church in mid-March. The topic will be based roughly on moving from fear (i.e., fundamentalism) to faith (i.e., reasonable Christianity). In preparing for my sermon series, 3 nights, I decided immediately to stick to the lectionary. I will use the Revised Common Lectionary covering two weeks (the second week begins on Sunday).
I want to address several issues during the series. I will cover the marks of fundamentalism and why they are dangerous. They are essentially:
I will not cover premillennialism because it is too tricky of a situation to tackle and it is a topic of doctrine, thus the pastor should handle it. The others I will easily cover and in doing so, hope to show why Christians need the institutional church rather than this idea of “me and Jesus.”
Thus far, I have selected the follow texts:
- Matthew 4.1-11 – Bread Alone, you say? Here, I will talk about the temptation in sola scriptura and how it separates us from the Great Tradition.
- Romans 5.12-19, with a focus on 5.15 specifically. I will talk about the extremes in American Christianity. The sinners and the sinless and how that which is in the middle is Grace. Fundamentalism is hyper-focused on sin and sees it everywhere. Is that healthy? Are we to live in fear? If sin is everywhere, then Christ is pointless. (Combine the extremes, and you will have the true center – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel)
- Genesis 12.1-4 – I aim to speak about why the Church is losing members and “why the United Methodist Church.”
One of the issues I am struggling with is how to connect and yet to make sure they are standalone.
More information to follow, of course.