Beauty Never Dies

Fear

Honest: Expected Hilary - win. If I'm being honest, I really expected Hilary to win. This will go down as a unexpected win for most people.

I KNEW that either way this thing turned out that there would be a lot of fear in peoples hearts.

A lot of people who were expecting to be horrified find themselves pleasantly surprised.

And a lot of people who were expecting a pleasant win are finding themselves shocked and scared.


If you're a republican in the room tonight, you might be thinking "Why are these people so scared?!"

The answer: They learned it from you, over the past 8 years.

No matter what happens in a presidential election, there's always a lot of fear for like half the people.


As I've grown - hopefully in a way that looks like Jesus - I'm learning that feel sometimes seems ridiculous on the outside, when you're not the one experiencing the fear - but on the inside it's always awful.

You don't have to agree with someone to have compassion on them.


Fear is a big part of politics.

You might be saying "NOT FOR ME!!! I'm happy as a clam."

Well then keep in mind that the fear they feel now is the fear you felt 4 years ago or 8 years ago. And it wasn't so funny then.

And also, don't neglect the future - So even if you're feeling good now, chances are the tables will turn in 4 years or 8 years again, and so then you'll be the one all freaked out.

The fear thing just keeps playing out in the same way over and over and over.

Remember when all the conservatives thought that Obama was a secret muslim terrorist and was sworn in on the Koran and had an evil plot to destroy america?

Did it happen? No. Was it a real fear for lots of people? Yes.

Obama - "Suspended the election." Remember when the conservatives were so afraid that Obama was going to "Suspended the election." Did it happen? No. Was it a real fear for lots of people? Yes.

Kindness

  • Galatians 6:9 - Sows -- reap.
  • Matthew 5 - Merciful -- receive mercy.

IF you're scared. I have 3 things.

1. Our government is deliberately set up to not give one person too much power.

That was either good for you under Obama or it's good for you under Trump. Let's just say it's a good thing regardless.

Freakenomics I listen to this podcast called 'Freakenomics'. I recently listen to a podcast and the question of the day was this 'How much does the president really matter? Originally aired in 2010, but they rebroadcast it sometimes when people get all doomsday.

They interviewed an economist, a retired politician, and a constitutional scholar.

Their answer "Not as much as people think."

In a lot of ways their biggest influence is in their ability to persuade people.

The Closing Statment:

If you believe an economist, the president has a lot less power than most people think, especially when it comes to the economy. If you listen to a politician like John Ashcroft, the presidents most important job is 'To call people to their highest and best.' And if you listen to a constitutional scholar, every president comes into office thinking he's got the keys to the kingdom only to discover that every door is double locked with a deadbolt. But that's how we wanted it in this country. We got rid of a King and built a democracy, that works a lot like a market. Like any market, it's a dynamic ecosystem with lots of inputs, lots of outputs. Are some people much much more powerful than others? Of course they are. And the president is a very powerful individual. BUT he's an individual. It's easy to overvalue his influence.

That's not to say the job doesn't have it's moments. If you're the president and you happen to be on a diplomatic visit to Prague (Prog) - the check president might invite you to a cool jazz club and give you a free saxophone because he knows how much you love saxophones and then you get to hop on stage with the band, and play some Gershwin. That's what Bill Clinton got to do back in 1994. Wail to the chief.


2. We don't put our trust in the Kingdoms of the World anyway.

That's easy when things are going your way.

Just like it's easy to say "Money won't make you happy." when you're the one that has money.

But it's true.

For the people who have said 'Christ is the King', well now's your chance to prove that.


3. This is not the end.

Politicians : "If … happens - End"

We've all thought 1,000 times before "THIS IS THE END!!!" and it wasn't.

  • I was 10 when Bill Clinton got into office. And people thought it was the End of America. It wasn't.
  • I was 18 when George W Bush got into office. And people thought that was the end of America. AND IT WASN'T
  • I was 26 when Obama got into office, people thought that was the end of America. AND IT WASN'T.
  • I'll be 34 when Donald Trump get's into office. And people think it's going to be the END OF AMERICA. And it won't be.

A big part of fear is pretending you know the future when you don't.

Fear is imagining there's only 1 outcome when, in reality, there's millions of possible outcomes.

Fear is almost always a liar.

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.”

We're all be able to say that someday.

Most of the thing's you worry about don't happen.

We have : FAITH.

Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

For us, the trust is not in something, it's in someone. And that's God.

Can you believe that God is at work even when things don't go your way?

  • The story's not over.
  • All is not lost.
  • The Light is Winning.

(Pray)


Title: Beauty Never Dies

I'm so eager to be over all this political stuff, and find ourselves once again interested in the things of God.

Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

David the psalmist says he has one desire - to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

David is drawn to beauty.

Famous Spanish novel Don Quixote - "It is the prerogative and charm of beauty to win hearts."

This is a lot like the phenomenon that we call 'Falling in Love.'

When we fall in love with someone, we fall in love with something beautiful about them.

And it's their beauty that wins our heart.


Why do we choose to become followers of Christ?

For the majority of you in here, have made or are making in some way a decision to become a Christ follower. WHY?

Especially when it's somewhat difficult. - If done right.

Is it because:

  • We think we're supposed to? Possible.
  • We're afraid not to? Possible.
  • We live in a culture where Christianity is the dominant religion? Possible.

Christians in the west may be Christians for the same reason that muslims in the middle east are muslims.


Whatever the initial reason, at some point, we hope that it has something to do with LOVE.

B/C everything in the Christian life is centered around love.

Love's a big deal in our faith.

In fact, we say that there's 3 things that last - Faith, Hope, and Love, but love beats them all.


When Jesus reappears to Peter after the resurrection, and asks him 3 times - "Do you love me?"

And AFTER he says 3 times that he loves him, Jesus says "Follow Me"

In other words: Only after Peter falls in love with Jesus is he really able to follow Him.

It is the Beauty of Christ that wins hearts.

If you are truly following Jesus in any real way, it's because you have fallen in love with something beautiful about Him.

You may have come initially to Christ because you thought you were supposed to, or because you're afraid not to, but the only thing that will make you STAY is to fall in love with something beautiful about Him.


Ancients civilizations

Ancients civilizations had what they called "The 3 prime virtues."

The true, the good, and the beautiful.

Christians would say that all 3 are found in Jesus.

  • The true: Jesus is the truth.
  • The good: Jesus is the good. Not only is he 'good' but he's THE good. Only to the proportion that you line up with Jesus and are you really good.
  • The Beautiful: Jesus is the beautiful. Jesus is beauty in it's highest form.

'TRUTH' of Christ

In the modern age, (the past 400 years), Christians have worked really hard to defend the 'TRUTH' of Christ.

And the TRUTH of Jesus has been challenged.

An atheist would reject our TRUTH claims about Christ.

So we've worked really hard to DEFEND the TRUTH of Christ.

Apologetics. A defense of the truth of Jesus.

There's some good that comes from it.

I'd say that a lot of just ends up being a way to comfort nervous Christians. "It's ok. Your faith is valid."


The good of Christ

Christians Defending: The good of Christ

We argue that the good is found in Christ.

"Christian ethics"

B/C of Christ, we know what's good.

He's taught us that loving our enemies is good.

He's taught us that selfishness is bad.


1,000's books - Christian apologetics / ethics.

There's been thousands and thousands of books about Christian apologetics and Christian ethics.

But Christian BEAUTY remains almost entirely ignored.

We believe - fighting for what's :

We believe that fighting for truth (Apologetics) and fighting for what's good (Ethics) is very important.

But if we talk about what's "beautiful" - We tend to think that's somehow less important.

Beauty of Christ -- win hearts.

Now more than ever it is the beauty of Christ that will win hearts.

Our secular culture will be deeply skeptical about our claims to truth, and our claims to what's good.

If the world is ever going to give the Christian faith another look, it will be because we've learned to display the beauty of Christ.

So when arguing about what's true and what's good has failed (as it's seeming), what we need to do is put on display the beauty of Christ.

When arguing about the truth doesn't cut it, when shouting about what is good causes people to stop listening to us, it's the beauty of Christ that will allow people to consider our truth and what we consider to be good.

That's why I've pretty much stopped arguing about the truth of Christ, or trying to force upon people the ethics of Christ, I'm simply trying to show people the beauty of Christ.


Psalm 27:4

Read - scripture again:

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)


  • God is truth.
  • God is goodness.
  • But God is also beauty.

The beauty of God is shown to humanity through the life of Jesus.

The beauty of Jesus has inspired millions and millions of works of art.

Paintings, Sculptures, Buildings, Songs

But the beauty itself is his LIFE.

The art is just trying to communicate the beauty found in the LIFE of Jesus.


It wasn't physical beauty, in fact Isaiah says he really wasn't all that physically beautiful.

If we were to have photos of 10 jews living in the first century, pick out Jesus, you probably couldn't do it.

"There he is!" - "Nope, that's Bar-ook"

In art, he's super gorgeous, that's kinda how art works.

It was his life. It was his story.

It IS beautiful (List)

It IS beautiful:

  • His birth
  • Life
  • Miracles
  • Teaching
  • Death
  • Resurrection
  • Ascension.

IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

I love that Jesus doesn't have any skeletons in his closet.

Think about Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, had like 40 wives.

Angel appeared - 3 times. -- 1st wife

He said that an angel appeared to him 3 times, and commanded him to marry more women. That's what he told his first wife.

Nothing like that with Jesus. His life was beautiful.

We don't have to try to MAKE him beautiful, just tell the story.


Is my Christianity beautiful?

Here's the question: Is my Christianity beautiful?

Truth does not imply beauty. Math is TRUE. But some of you do NOT think it's beautiful.

Goodness does not imply beauty. A prostate exam is good. But it's not beautiful.


Few things -- NOT beautiful:

Here's a few things we know are not beautiful:

Arguing

Christmas Think about Christmas. Christmas is a time where we all know that what we're going for is beauty. We chop down a tree and put it in our houses and decorate it. WHY? B/C it's beautiful. Now imagine a family that decorates their house and then spends all Christmas day arguing. Isn't that an awful thought? It's because we know arguing is not beautiful.

The Christianity that we've shown to the world in 2016, is far too argumentative.

Sarcasm

Friends - Sarcastic I have some friends (not in this room) who are incredibly sarcastic. They're just making cheap shots at people and making fun of people. And I don't like being around them.

Bill Maher When I think of the most sarcastic person I can, I think of Bill Maher. You can agree with him or disagree with him, but I think you know that his demeanor is incredibly ugly.

The Christianity that we've shown to the world in 2016, is far too sarcastic. Taking cheap shots at people.


Few things - beautiful:

Here's a few things we know are beautiful:

Forgiveness

Home Alone Think about the movie Home Alone. Or almost any feel-good family movie. It's about forgiveness.

Forgiveness is at the core of the Christian faith. If the Christian faith isn't about forgiveness, it's not about anything.

FORGIVENESS LIST

Lords prayer Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

On the cross: Father forgive them, they know not what they do. If I had to choose one moment as the center of the christian faith, it would be this moment.

On evening of resurrection If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Apostles creed I believe in the forgiveness of sins.

Kindness

Kindness is treating people well, wether the deserve it or not.

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. (Abraham Joshua Heschel - Jewish Rabbi MLKJ)

Kindness is in short supply these days.

The world teaches us to treat people like they deserve. To fight fire with fire.

But Jesus gives us another way.

Kindness isn't a "FEEL" thing, it's a "DO" thing.

When someone's unkind to you, how do you respond?

Ever seen those videos online of someone being kind to a homeless person. Or a police officer being kind to a little kid. It's beautiful.


As we prepare for communion.

Realign ourselves

Become beautiful Christians.

  • We want to know THE TRUTH
  • We want to be GOOD
  • But we also place a priority on being beautiful.

When people see our Christianity, we want them to say "Wow, that's something very different than the rest of the world."

The world will notice

Like Zacchaeus - They find themselves climbing a tree to get a look at Jesus before they even know what they're doing.