Category Archives: Talks and Sermons

Where Do We Find the Faith?

afaith.jpgFaith was never meant for easy times.  It is rarely necessary then.  Faith is reserved instead for the hard times — those times when we are outraged or in agony, when God seem absent or apathetic, when no cliche will encourage and no sacrifice brings real comfort.  We need it in isolation, we need it when we find ourselves lonely in a crowd, we need it when all we really want to do is quit, give in, roll-up in a ball and go to sleep with the hope that we’ll never wake up to this current nightmare.  It is at THOSE times, when we dig deep and find our Faith — our hope, our confidence, our reason for continuing.  And then we blow off the debris of our sin and circumstances, the milieu of a fallen creation and the tsunami of debris that the Fall has created for all who live.  No, Faith is not for the easy times and rarely is it easy to have faith.  Faith is for the hard times.  Sometimes allowing Faith to be “enough” is difficult.  But without faith, it is impossible to really know him and the hope that only He provides.   –DLB

Amazing Grace — It’s Personal

About a year ago, Laurette Theriault visiting Life Fellowship in metro-Charlotte, NC (Davidson/Cornelius/Huntersville/Lake Norman area) and God began a miraculous change in her life.  Shortly after her first time attending, she trusted Christ as her Savior and she has found her purpose in life.  Her’s is a story of a life filled with pain, challenges, offenses and even desperation — until she found the grace that only God can give.  I would challenge you to watch her brief testimony which was recently shown at the conclusion of our morning worship services.   Regularly, we like to share the stories of people in the LIFE family who have seen their life challenged and change because of TRUTH.  Ours is not a church of professional “Christians”, religious ritualism or convenience and comfort.  It is, however, a body that is committed to substance over style, depth over breadth, transparency over illusion and authenticity over role-playing.

LIFE means four things for us who call this their church home:

LIVING in community
INVESTING in growth
FINDING our purpose
EMBRACING our mission

Our mission is to “Pursue at all costs, the passionate, God-centered LIFE!”

I’d urge you to come pay us a visit sometime.  We meet in the Community School of Davidson on Griffith Avenue in Davidson next to the Harris Teeter.  We have four morning worship services available and a fully-graded teaching ministry that covers infants through adults.

Whose View Have You? (Part 2)

This is a continuation  of the text from a sermon/lecture I give around the country on Worldviews.  If you have not read the first part, click HERE.

————————— 

So, Whose View Have You? 

moralcompass.jpgThere are only two views available to us and their roots are found in the book of beginnings – GENESIS.  From the moment Eve (and Adam) decided to listen to Satan and take “Truth” into their own hands, there have been two views of Truth.  Every false, pagan, confusing, changing or flawed worldview is born of the lineage of the Fall of Man.  Those views — whether viewed collectively or singularly — run against the absolute reality of Metaphysical TRUTH — there is a God and He matters and He IS Truth.  And whether or not we know it, acknowledge it, believe it or obey it — is irrelevant.  Truth is not dependent upon the beliefs of creation to exist.  It.  Just.  Is.

Every decision you make, where you will spend your eternity, how you live this life, where you place your trust, what you spend your time doing are all a reflection of your view of TRUTH.  Sadly, even among those who call themselves Christian, too frequently demonstrate that trusting Christ and walking in practical/functional Truth are not synonymous.  Indeed, if we were to examine the lifestyle, relativism.jpgdecision-making processes, conduct, choices, priorities, goals, attitudes, values, ethics or outcomes of the typical self-identified “Christian” — we’d see that many — if not most — live out the Worldview of moral relativism, not Biblical absolutism.

Warren Wiersbe put it this way – “Your behavior is a reflection of what you believe.” 

So let’s examine those Worldviews, beginning at a very rudimentary level. Two Views – The ABSOLUTE VIEW — The Absolutist believes that there exists in the Universe the presence of immutable, definitive, constant Truth.  From the teleological perspective then, we must ask from whence comes Truth?  What is it’s origin?  Where does it begin?  For the Absolutist, it all begins with the first verse of Scripture.  “In the beginning God…”. From there, we build out our response to Truth by remembering these things…

ü  There is a God
ü  His Word is true
ü  We are accountable to Him
ü  He does not change 

The RELATIVE VIEW — On the other hand, the Relativist believes that Truth is a construct of man or culture or society.  There is no absolute source, it continues to evolve, it is constructed to help in our evolution, it does not necessarilymoral-relativism.jpg apply the same in all places or to all people or at all times.  What may be “true” for you, may not be necessarily “true” for me.  What is “true” today, may not be “true” tomorrow.  What may be “true” in America (or even on earth), may not be “true” elsewhere.  The origin of this thought can be traced back to Satan who seduced Eve by questionning whether or not God was trustworthy.  “Did He really say what you think He said?”  “You don’t really think He meant it when He said you’d die?”  “Could it be that He is holding something even better back from you?”  Of course Scripture tells us that the root of such thinking is PRIDE and when go back to the days when Satan was a powerful angel and decided that HE had the right to be God.  Literally the fall that came to man began with a fall that began in heaven.


So, for the Relativist, Truth comes down to this….


ü 
There is no God and if there is, He doesn’t matter
ü  God’s word is not necessarily true
ü  We are accountable to no one but ourselves
ü  Truth is evolutionary, changing and relative  right-way-wrong-way1.jpgWe can also call these views by other names…

Absolutist vs. Relativist
Theistic vs. Humanistic
Christian vs. Anti-Christian (or Biblical vs. Non-Biblical)
Spiritual vs. Secular
 Idealism vs. Pragmatism
….and many more…  

But summed up, whatever you call it – it all comes down to this — either God is Truth or God is a Liar — and we must decide which view we are going to hold, because it is the key to how we live and ultimately where we go when we die. 

When it comes to Truth, being dogmatic is unavoidable.  Our culture despises dogmatism and those who are dogmatic.  How dare you say that there is “one way” or “one standard” or “one truth”!  How narrow!  How intolerant!  The mantra of today’s culture is “Who am I/you to say?”  Thus, everyone becomes right and the only one who is wrong is the one who is willing to say the everyone can’t be right.

But for those who believe in Absolute Truth, it is really quite easy to respond to those who believe that Truth is relative and that there are no absolutes.

Let me give you some examples of non-truth statements and how an Absolutist can respond.

The Relativist says, “There is no such thing as truth!”
The Absolutist then responds, “Then is that true?”

The Relativist says,
“You can’t know truth!”
The Absolutist then responds, “Then how do you know THAT?”

The Relativist says,
“All Truth is relative!”
The Absolutist then responds, “Is that a relative truth?”

The Relativist says,
“There are no absolutes!”
The Absolutist then responds, “Isn’t that an absolute truth?” 


The Relativist says,
“It’s true for you, but not for me!”

The Absolutist then responds, “Is THAT just true for you, or is it true for everybody?”

 

The Relativist says, “NO ONE has the Truth!”

The Absolutist then responds, “Does THAT truth include you?”
 

The Relativist says, “All truth depends on your perspective!”

The Absolutist then responds, “Is that YOUR perspective?”
 

The Relativist says, “You should doubt everything!” –

The Absolutist then responds, “Should I doubt THAT?”


The Relativist says,
“You ought not judge!” –

The Absolutist then responds, “Isn’t that a judgement?”


About then, their head simply explodes.


(For more ideas on responding to those who reject Truth, read “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Athiest” by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek.)


Copyright 2011 — by Dan Burrell.  All Rights Reserved


To be continued…..

“A Tale of Two Men” — Now Available at ITunes

lifelogo.PNGLast Sunday morning, I was privileged to speak at my new church, Life Fellowship, in Cornelius/Huntersville, NC as Pastor Bobby Conway was out of town.  I start there as their Executive Pastor in April.  I preached on Psalm One — “A Tale of Two Men”.  If you’d like to hear the sermon, it is available via podcast at ITunes.  If you’d like to download it for free, you can click HERE.