Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Why are Young People Deconstructing their Faith

February 06, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 6
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Why are Young People Deconstructing their Faith
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 3:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, February the sixth. I'm Mark and I am holding a wonderful cup of coffee. I have my Bible open to the book of, that's a little bit of a change for us, isn't it? And I wanna say a few things about the sermon yesterday about young people deconstructing their faith, lots to work on, lots to think about. We had all that icy weather last week. We're done with all of that, I hope. And we're ready to have a normal week in Bible reading, a normal week in Bible classes and a normal podcast that begins by thinking about the sermon yesterday. Let's get started. Yesterday I preached the sermon about young people deconstructing their faith, young people leaving the Lord because they are questioning, they are coming to have doubts about the very foundations of Christianity, questions about the existence of God, the Bible, and particularly some stances that Christianity takes towards the evils of this world that for so long have been absolutely taken for granted. Even though there are many different viewpoints on a number of critically important issues in Christianity, I'm using Christianity there in a very broad sense. But there's lots of different viewpoints on salvation, on in time, eschatology issues, the work of the Holy Spirit, all you can get everything out there. There are some basic fundamental things that through the centuries, anybody who claimed any kind of Christianity would've agreed on. And all of that is up for grabs. All of that is up for grabs today. Young people turning away from faith because they don't want to be associated with Christianity anymore because of Christianity. Stance on homosexuality or transgenderism or on evolution and creation. We talked about that yesterday. I just want to add this to everything that we worked with in all. I hope you've listened to that sermon or that you will go and listen to that sermon, especially if you have teenage kids or if you're a grandparent, you got teenage grandkids. You need to be thinking about and understanding where young people are, what is threatening their faith today. I want to add this then to everything from yesterday, and that is social justice matters so much to young people. Social justice issues matter so much to young people. I I can remember growing up, there were things that were of concern to me as a teenager. Social justice was not on my radar. That was not something that I was thinking about. I can remember some things about the Vietnam War. I'm not quite old enough to get involved in all of that, but I can remember some of that's still working. We had some other issues going on in the early seventies, late seventies, but social justice was not the big thing that it is today. And so if you have a teenager, you know, a teenager, you're praying for a teenager, you need to see how critically important that is in their eyes and help them. See, that's not the work of the church so much today about Christianity has gotten bent over into the church is a do good agency. We're gonna need to help young people like never before. See, yes, social justice matters. Yes, God cares about the weak and the impoverished, the those who are being oppressed. We talked about that last two weeks working through Amos. However, that's not the work of the church. Maybe an illustration helps us here, the American Lung Association, great organization, you go to them, you say, Hey, I have kidney problems. I need dialysis, I need a kidney transplant. What's the American Lung Association saying? We appreciate you. We see that you got a problem. We're not trying to minimize your problem. We are not the kidney people, we are the lung people. The church can't do everything. The church can't do everything. And we are not the Fixit society. We are not a welfare organization. We are the gospel people. Now the church certainly has a benevolent obligation towards Christians. I understand that you understand that. But in the New Testament, that's a very limited obligation and that is certainly not the primary function of the church, primary function of the church. It's a mission missionary organization. It's an education, educational wow, really struggling here. It's an educational, there it is educational institution. We are here to teach people about Jesus to Christ so they will obey Jesus to Christ. That's what the church is all about. And feeding somebody, clothing somebody, those things can be important. But if they don't know about Jesus, ultimately those things are not as important. Which brings me to the second thing, which is while that's not the work of the church, it is certainly the work of individual Christians. Galatians six 10, James 1 27. You need to show in your home that we have a regard for the week. We care about hurting people. That isn't something that the church is gonna be doing a ton with, but we can do something with that in our family. Christians care about the weak. They just don't institutionalize that responsibility. I can't believe I got that out without just totally murdering that word. We don't institutionalize or pass the butt to an institution for that responsibility. We roll up our sleeves and do that ourselves. That's the good Samaritan getting off his animal, getting in the ditch, seeing about that guy helping that guy. Last thing I'm gonna say about this, we absolutely cannot, cannot be ugly and mean spirited to those we disagree with. Particularly those who are hurting or those who are living a lifestyle that we believe the Bible condemns. There is no if, ands or buts about it. There is no place for homosexuality in the life of those who are seeking after God. Romans one for Corinthians six. A ton of passages talk about that, but I cannot refer to those who I differ with on matters of sexuality matters. These gender issues, transgender, transgender issues. I cannot refer to them with all kinds of smears, all kinds of ugly talk, all kinds of epithets, all kinds of ugly labels. I can't do that and then turn around and say, but you know, I love them as a Christian. No, that's never gonna work. That is never gonna work. And our young people see the hypocrisy of that. Be careful how you refer to those that you disagree with because if we are using hateful labels, people are going to say, you know what? I think those Christians are involved in hate speech. I think they're homophobes. Where'd that come from? We fed that because of the way we talked about those issues and people that we disagree with about those issues. Be careful. You don't want to contribute to a young person who's deconstructing their faith. Hope that helps you as you continue to think through the sermon yesterday. Hope that'll be of help to our teenagers. Hope that'll be of help to our teenagers parents and their grandparents. Let's open up then our Bible and let's get involved in daily Bible reading. Time to talk about the book of Jose. It is Monday and today we read the first chapter of Jose and wow, we gotta talk about this. We got to talk about the book of Jose. Let's just set it up. Let's make sure that we have the facts and figures for the book of Jose written in our Bible. Ready to go. Jose is prophesying somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 55 to 7 25, 7 22 bc. He may be the prophet who goes all the way to the end, 7 22. The Assyrians take the northern tribe, the 10 tribes in into captivity. So somewhere in that 7 55 to 7 22, uh, somewhere around in there that makes him contemporary with Amos. More than likely we've been reading Amos, now we're reading Jose. Jose is prophesying to the northern kingdom. His subject is going to be idolatry. While Amos addressed social injustice that was going on during the time of Jbo II's Kingdom, Jose attacks the spiritual adultery that is rampant. And he does this in a very unusual way lives. His message is the victim of adultery. And it is in some ways a hard read because you can't read this and not put on Jose's robe and sandals and stand there and think, whoa, this would be tough. It would be tough, but I don't think there's any way that we can somehow make this into a parable or some way. Call this an allegory. Early church father saw it as an allegory because they did not want to believe that any prophet could marry a woman of har harlotry. But what good is an allegory to the people around Jose? Can Jose say to them, Hey, I want to tell you a story. I wanna tell you an allegory. He is living this. They are watching this. That's the power of Jose's message and over and over again, what I'm gonna say, abouta is that this book illustrates maybe like no other book of the Bible that unfaithful breaks God's heart. Israel's unfaithful is breaking God's heart. Now, let me say a word or two about Gomer and this woman of Harlotry or this woman of Jem or this woman of prostitution, depending upon what you're reading from, particularly for our parents who may be reading and doing Bible reading with their family, and you've got some little kids. And of course, what's the very first thing you're reading, Jose One. And in a heartbeat, a kid's gonna say, what's a child of Jemiah? One, two, what's Jem? What is that daddy? And that gets awkward because we're not sure exactly what one say about all of that. Hey, let's be candid. The Bible's not always G-rated. Lots of things happen in the Bible. People get killed, murdered, assassinated heads cut off. It's pretty bloody. It's pretty gory. There's seduction and adultery in the Bible, and then there is Jem and prostitution in the Bible. And we need to be age appropriate with our family as we're working with all of that. But of course, we want them to understand the pain of Isaiah because that's illustrating God's pain when God's people sin against him. So what do we say about that? Well, let's try this on for size. If you've got a better definition and you share that with me, and I'll be glad to pass that along to podcast listeners. It's a, it's a tough deal, but this is what I'm gonna use. What's a harlet? What's a harlet? A harlet is a woman who will act like she's married to you and pretend she loves you for money. A harlet is a woman who will act like she's married to you and loves you for money. SOA is married to a woman who then goes with other men and pretends that she's married to them, pretends she loves them because they give her money. I think that's a pretty good definition. I think that will help our young people to understand what's going on. And it does seem that Jose's first child, verse three is his child. But all of the kids after that, it's all questionable. All the kids after that have significant names that seem to say they are born of an adulterous relationship. Their names are very negative in regard to God and to Israel. I don't think this passage, uh, this chapter, today's reading is difficult to read or to understand. The military power of Israel will be broken. Verse five, verse seven seems to be a reference to a Syria coming up against Hezeki and Judah and failing because Hezekiah and Judah are trying to do what's right and God protects them. But instead, Israel will not be protected against the Syrian Impala power. They will be taken away the number of the children of Israel. Verse 10, like the sand of the sea. Hey, hey, hey, there's Genesis 12. There's that promise to Abraham. You are not my people. You are not my people. But, and the chapter of division, here's terrible. Two, one ends with the promise of hope and a better day. There's a play being made here on the name Jeri and the name not children, not my people. Those names are being played here and that's what is going on in chapter one. See, tomorrow we'll talk more about this in chapter two. It is Tuesday. And today we read 13 verses of Jose, the second chapter. In some ways, this is an extended commentary on chapter one and verse two, more discussion about this situation between Jose and his adulterous wife. God plays or portrays Israel as his adulterous wife. And just that language right there is incredible and amazing that God loves his people the way a husband loves his wife. And that of course underlines then the feelings of God that his wife has treated him in this way. As a result, he pleads with her, pleads with her to stop this terrible behavior. Stop whoing, put your adultery away unless I have verse two. Unless I have to bring judgment upon her, have no mercy upon her because she continually, verse five goes after other lovers just utterly unrepentant, not even caring. I'll do this. You can't stop me. I'm doing everything. Verse six to try to stop her, but she pursues other lovers. The only hope verse seven is that if I can stop her where she will not go after them anymore, not find what she's looking for anymore from them, then she shall say, verse seven, I will go and return to my first husband for it was better for me than now. So now we see why God brings famine, for example, and drought upon the people, particularly because bale is the storm God. So if it quits raining, people will feel like bale's a failure. Maybe they'll come back to the one true God. She did not know verse eight, that it was I who was blessing her. We saw some of that in Amos. This is Jbo, the second reign, a time of great economic prosperity. People are doing really, really well and they don't give God the credit. Instead, we'll see in tomorrow's reading, they actually credit bail. They actually give bail the credit for all the good things that are going on. But notice right here at the end of our reading, notice at the end of our reading verse 11, I will put an end to all of her murth and her feast and her new moons. We saw in the book of Amos, they're still going to church, still going to church. There's some idolatry going on. We're getting more of that in Isaiah than we got in Amos. But they're still worshiping God and thinking, Hey, everything's fine. Because you know what? Hey, we still pay some attention to that. God. Okay, so he's gotta be okay with all that. We took care of that check, went down there to the temple check, went down to Dan, went down to Bethel. I guess they're not going to the temple in the northern kingdom. I went to Dan, I went to Bethel. I worshiped the God that brought us up out of Egypt. So everything's gotta be fine. No things are not right. There's gonna have to be a punishment. Verse 13, for all of this following, following after bail. And here it is plural. And that's because the people often name their individual shrines after the city. And so there are a bunch of bales. There are many bales being worshiped in many, many places. More on this idolatry in tomorrow's reading and some truly shocking statements. See tomorrow, we'll finish Jose in the second chapter. Welcome to Hump Day. It's Wednesday and we're finishing Jose chapter two. This is in my estimation, one of the most powerful sections of the book of Jose. Make sure you're spending your time here, chapter two, verses 14 to the end of the chapter, verse 23. Just love it, love it, love it, love it. It's an incredible section because here God speaks to his people from his heart with great love. Behold, verse 14, I will allure her. I will speak tenderly to her. God is intent on winning his people back in. So verse 16, he says, in that day, you will call me my husband, and no longer will you call me my bail. What a terrible passage. This is the people of Israel are so confused, so religiously, askew, astray, lost in apostacy, whatever you want to say that they call God bail. They don't even know who God is and how to refer to God. They give bail the credit for all the good things that are going on in their life. No. Verse 17, I'll remove the name of the bales from her mouth and they shall be remembered and they shall be remembered by name, my name, no more. So God is going to stop this reference to bail and this desire for bail. His people will return to him. I will make for them a covenant anew. They're gonna return to God betroth you. Verse 19 to me forever. A new marriage betrothed in faithfulness. And what really helps us here is to see you shall know the Lord. Verse 20, look at that real relationship with God. There's heavy mercy language here. The love language here is that Hebrew word, hassad, which is steadfast covenant love. And there is all of this. Just breathe the hope of R of reconciliation. God has not left his people, they left him. God is pursuing his people. I will have mercy. Verse 23 on I will have mercy on. No mercy. I will say to not my people, you are my people. And you will say, you are my God that is picked up and used in the New Testament in one Peter chapter two, verse nine. In 10 of Christians, especially Gentiles, outside of the covenant. Now inside the covenant we were no people. Now we are God's people choose a beautiful way in Peter, but especially here in Jose, it says so much about how much God cares. And as you're working those questions and as you're thinking through that, what you need to be thinking about is here's Jose, here's Gomer. She's been unfaithful again and again and again and again. Isiah taking her back. Would you do that? Let's read. Let's read Jose three tomorrow and we'll talk more about it. See you tomorrow. It is Thursday and we're reading an entire chapter today. But don't let that throw you because Jose, the third chapter contains five verses. That's all just five verses. But what verses these are God commands, Isaiah to restore his adulterous wife, Gomer, showing God's unending love. And there's so much language here in this very first, very first verse that speaks of God persevering, going the extra mile, just being unwilling to give up on Israel. So Jose goes, buys Gomer out of slavery. She's just sold herself into probably temple prostitution here, 15 checks of silver. The experts say not very much money, so she's just degraded. Nobody wants her. Nobody cares about. Hera says, I care about you. I care about you. I'll rescue you. I'll save you. I'll buy you back the way God cares about his people. And this just says so much about God as a personal God that God cares about his people. One writer said, sin doesn't just break the law of God. It breaks the heart of God. That is so true. And no passage is showing us. No book of the Bible shows us that. Quite like the book of Jose. Yeah. And I, I really want you to think more about sin being unfaithfulness to God. We have a lot of definitions about sin. Sin is missing the mark that comes from a Greek word. It's used in the New Testament. Sin is trespassing. There's, there's sin is rebellion, sin is wickedness. But in the book, OFA sin is unfaithful and it hurts God. And God takes the initiative to restore the sin. That's the message in Jose, the third chapter. And there's even some messianic language here. David, there king in verse five. That's Jesus. The emphasis here is on the steadfast love of God. It's so impressive. It's an amazing five verses to read. Jose is a tough, Booka is a tough book, but it just draws us to the Lord because it portrays God's love for you and for me, for the people of God, even when we are not what we ought to be. See you tomorrow. We'll finish the weekend, Jose of four. Welcome to Friday. And we're reading Isaiah the fourth chapter today. This is maybe some pieces of Jose's preaching, maybe an entire sermon or some pieces of several sermons put together here. All of this is about how God indicts Israel of unfaithful. The emphasis at the outset of this is kind of lawsuit language. Legal controversy is a legal term in four one and may say something here about the idea that God has a suit against his people. We think about that with suing for divorce. Notice the 10 commandments are referenced in verse two. And especially what stands out to us as verse six. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because you've rejected knowledge. I reject you from being a priest. To me, the priests have failed the people. They're not teaching the people the law. The people don't know God. They don't know God's way. We saw some of this in the book of Amos and where there's the discussion of a famine of the, of the Word of God. And now people here destroyed for lack of knowledge, don't know God's word. You can't know God. We're talking so much this year about drawing close to the Lord, understanding God, loving God, giving God our heart. And all of that matters. But the route that you have to take to get there is the word of God. We never wanna let this become some kind of esoteric, better felt than told experience. That's not the way to know God. My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. That's the problem here. That's the problem. They just increase in sin. I love some of the language. In verse 12, my people inquire of a piece of wood and their walking staff gives them Oracles Bail is often seen as a wooden pole, a carved wooden pole. And the prophet here says, it's like talking to a walking stick. And then verse 14 brings temple prostitution into the picture. That was a big part of the worship of bail. And so 16, the people are stubborn. They will not return to God. They are not interested in the Lord. Maybe one of the things that we need to think about, we want to talk more about is what would draw people into the worship of bail? Why would people worship a fake God? Particularly people who knew the real God and who had a longstanding history with the one true God and had seen his power. Prophets are here preaching what's drawing people into the worship of bail, and part of that's got to be verse 14, verse 15, the fleshly appeal, very tangible way of going to church. There's nothing, nothing very spiritual about that. There's nothing about be quiet and and think somber thoughts about, no, no, no. This is crazy, outrageous sexual perversion, fleshly lost. I think that's part of it, but but is that all of it? Just think a little bit about that. Maybe we'll talk more about some of that next week as we continue to work along in the book OFA, that says so much about how this spiritual adultery, this idolatry, is breaking God's heart. Well, thanks for listening to the podcast. If you like what you're hearing, we certainly would appreciate it if you would subscribe, rate, follow, and give a review on whatever app you're listening on, and especially can you tell someone else about the show. Jose is an incredible book of the Bible to read, but it is a book that may leave people scratching their head a little bit. Whoa, is this guy really having to do that? Why would God ask somebody to do that? Hey, send somebody a link. Tell somebody, Hey, let's listen to this. Let's read Jose together and learn about God's love for his people. So until next week, I hope your coffee is delightful. I hope you're having a great Friday. Hope the Lord will be with you today all day. Hope to see you Sunday at the West Side Church of Christ, and of course, I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark. For more information about west side, you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP, B E A T, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,

Sermon Notes
Monday Hosea 1
Tuesday Hosea 2:1-13
Wednesday Hosea 2:14-23
Thursday Hosea 3
Friday Hosea 4:1-11