Matthew 5:17-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,[a] not one stroke of a letter, will pass
from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks[b]one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches
them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the
scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
LAWS LIES AND LIABILITY
(Disclaimer – Being that this homily is being posted publicly, I have omitted real names)
In today’s world, there is TOO MUCH TO ABSORB–
We are deluged with TOO MUCH going on around us
Too much information
Too Much MISinformation
Who do we believe?
Who do we distrust?
What is real?
What is fake?
THEN what are we to do about it?
Can we determine truth over fiction?
Can we continue to hear falsities until we take them as
How do we know what to believe and then how do we respond?
I hear many of you say that you only watch one news
report a day to avoid all of the cacophony of NOISE/LIES
- How do you know which NEWS will give you the facts?
- Some of us never pick up a newspaper – because it
- isn’t unbiased.
- Some of us accept FACEBOOK postings as FACT – and
- then proceed to SHARE these postings without regard
- to verifying them first.
The catalyst for my words today is two-fold. ONE – a statement
made by XXXXX XXXXX pastor of XXXXX Christian Center in XXXXX, Florida,
Who told CBN that if Jesus “had broken the law then He would be sinful
and He would not have been our Messiah.”
This statement caused a firestorm of conversations on
social media. Those who argued in concurrence with
Xxxxx xxxxx, and more who argued against her statements.
Had Xxxxx xxxxx been just a person on the street, voicing an opinion,
probably nothing would have happened.
BUT XXXXXXXX is the head of a very large church and is a televangelist.
THUS – listeners assume she has the educational credentials and
her statements are based in reflective theological study.
This is NOT the case with XXXXX XXXXX –
White has been criticized for being introduced as having, or claiming to have, a doctoral degree, when she has no college or seminary degree.
This is a solid example of questionable theology –
The second part of this catalyst for today’s message comes from what happened in Helsinki this week.
President Trump- said he saw no reason to believe Russia would interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.
When the nation/world responded so vehemently against his statement, the President announced that he had MISSPOKEN –
and meant to say WOULDN’T –
What are we to believe?
One of the buzz words today is FAKE NEWS –
FACEBOOK and other forms of social media can circulate information around the world in seconds,,,
FACEBOOK was used to disseminate erroneous information that affected the election –
It spreads bad information and easily as good – because there is no way to completely guarantee the facts have been checked.
As a former University Reference Librarian
I taught students how to research and be sure to use
Legitimate scholarly sources.
It was much easier in then than it is today because all information resources were publications and easily verifiable-
Today, the internet provides monstrous amounts of information at a keystroke…
Information that can be downloaded by ANYONE –
but how do we know it is reliable?
This pertains to spiritual information too.
We hear from our Sunday School teachers – and minister what the Bible says…
And When we read the Bible, we can only interpret as deeply as our own knowledge—
Our interpretation may not provide a full understanding of the story…
To better understand
We have to study the context of the time the scripture was written… the culture of the times… the social norms…the laws… the government.
Disciples of Christ pride ourselves on our freedom to interpret scripture for ourselves. And in community/church we also have the arena to share and discuss our interpretations
It is our responsibility to seek out the most reliable and verifiable information we can –
Remember the Protestant Reformation was the result of the printing press –
Putting the scriptures into the hands of the people – who up til then had to depend on Priests to interpret and explain scripture.
Once the people had access to the original information – things changed…
This is why I remind you often you are not to take MY word for it…
Look and learn for yourself.. I only wish to offer more possibilities…
Information is power –
Now, back to the first catalyst for today’s message…
Xxxxx xxxxx professed that Jesus did not break the law — because if he had broken the law then He would be sinful and He would not have been our Messiah.”
Her interpretation sounded right – but wasn’t…
Did Jesus break the law?
Was Jesus killed for breaking Roman law?
What laws did he break?
Healing on the Sabbath
Conversed with women
Conversed with Gentile woman
- Overturning the money tables at the temple.
- Eating with “sinners”, people of dubious reputation.
- Not ritually washing hands before eating.
- Jesus’ commitment to non-violence
Forgiving people’s sins and thus bypassing the temple sacrifices.
Jesus adhered to the Hebrew laws that were just and humane –
But not if the law came before the wellbeing of a person.
So, Xxxxx xxxxx’s proclamation was not based on sound information – or real study of scripture.
We cannot base our beliefs and knowledge on what we are told – or read online.
We cannot sit back and accept what others tell us… like Doubting Thomas, we have to have a first-hand experience – or at least have the news from a reliable source.
WE must be actively involved in the world around us – seeking valid information and not accepting some POST that FACEBOOK uses FORWARD—
That is why I shared a list of reliable news sources so we have a good start at obtaining FACTUAL information ,,,
Scripture warns us of false prophets —
1 John 4:1-6 NIV
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
Matthew 7:15-20 NIV
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16 By their fruit you will recognize them.
Thanks be to God