JR. Forasteros - March 8, 2020

Pergamum: The Compromised Church

Under Pressure

How often do we examine the roots of our values? Why do we really care about the things we care about? How did we decide what our vision for the Good Life is? Christians in Pergamum had the same problem we do – they assumed the values of their culture were compatible with Jesus’ vision for their lives. Jesus warns them – and us – that’s not the case. How can we know what Jesus wants for us?

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I was visiting my dad a few years ago and decided to make myself some breakfast. You know how that goes when you’re in someone else’s house, right? My parents were already at work, so I was at their house alone, and just sort of scrounging for whatever I could find.

Luckily, I found a carton of eggs and a little cheese, so I decided to scramble some eggs. I broke the eggs into a bowl, sprinkled in some cheese and went back to the fridge for some milk.

There was no milk.

If you want really terrifically fluffy scrambled eggs, you have to have a dash of milk. I was about to shrug it off and consign myself to fine eggs (rather than terrific eggs), when I spotted some coffee creamer. BOOM. Half and half is a great substitute for milk – probably make those eggs even a little richer.

I grabbed the creamer and poured in just a dollop while congratulating myself on my culinary ingenuity. The mixture went into the pan, and in no time, I had some beautiful scrambled eggs to sate my morning hunger. I dug in fork in hand, scooping the first bite into my mouth.

Uh oh.

Something was… off.

Just a little.

I took another bite. Smaller this time.


It’s definitely not… quite… right. It’s… a little too sweet? I think?

Is the creamer bad?

I run to the fridge and grab the creamer, scan the label for the expiration date. No, it’s definitely not expired. I flip it open to smell it.

There it is. That sweet odor. That’s what was in the eggs!

I look at the label again and… it’s vanilla flavored creamer.

Welp. So much for my kitchen ingenuity. How about some dry cereal?

If you spend any time in the kitchen, you likely have a story of a similar mixup. You grab the salt instead of the sugar. You mix up baking powder and baking soda (how different can they really be?)

But cooking is a science as much as an art. Ingredients combine and react with each other in specific ways, to create those delicious, delicious flavors we crave. The little things make a big difference, and substitutions aren’t always wise or acceptable.

Let’s explore the composition of our faith. Interrogate with me what we’re mixing our faith out of. Because it’s a lot easier than we might think to think we can substitute other things for the way of Jesus, and while in the moment it seems harmless, the end product is a faith that isn’t much of a faith at all.

The best way for us to come out with a strong faith is to follow the recipe, so to speak. To keep our eyes on Jesus, the one who saves us and who calls us and the one we are called to become.

Join us Sunday as we learn how to distinguish between Jesus and our culture’s values.

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