"If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?" a teacher asked the children in her Sunday school class.
"No!" the children all answered.
"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?"
Again the answer was, "No!"
"Well," she continued, "then how can I get to heaven?"
A five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"
Sermon August 6th 2017
A glitch in God’s Program
One morning God announced
“I am going to create a special world!”
And the angels in heaven responded
“We’ve got an app for that!”
If you have a smart phone or an iPad or any tablet
computer you know what an app is. To put it simply
we used to call it a computer program. Then
computer programs got bigger and could do more
than one thing so we called them applications. Then
computers got smaller and we needed applications
that would do just one specific thing. So smaller
computer, smaller applications, why not just make the
name smaller too and call then “apps”
The problem is no program or plan is 100% perfect;
once you release it to the user there is always the
possibility of a glitch. For example it takes about one
hour (at legal speed) to drive to Salmon Arm; but you
could run into a construction delay or an accident.
That would be a glitch, an unexpected event that
changes things. In the old days we would fix these
glitches in a computer program by installing a patch.
Naturally, the public understood that to mean we
made a mistake and had to fix the program, so we
changed the name of the patch to an update, that way
you might be fooled into thinking we were just adding
something new instead of repairing an error. All done
in the name of marketing, because if we called it an
update then we could charge you for the “update”
without too much complaining on your part.
OK, now lets get serious about something more
important. I am sure God did not use the angels app;
Since He wanted an interactive program, I am sure
He wrote His own. Interactive means the user can
change the outcome by adding his or her own input at
specific times, and once human users are involved
glitches are the unavoidable next step.
According to Genesis chapter one; In the beginning God
created the heaven and
the earth. And the earth was
without form, and void;
and darkness was upon the face of
the deep. And the Spirit
of God moved upon the face of the
Six days later God saw every thing
that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And on the seventh day
God ended his work which he had made; and he rested.
And I really doubt that God has had a complete day of rest
since then! That was undoubtedly also the last time He
would find everything was “very good”. From that moment
on everything started to go side-wise! The “freedom of
choice” he had given humanity was about to backfire on
First, Adam and Eve sinned and as punishment were
banished from the garden of Eden. Adam blamed Eve for
this and women in general have been punished for it ever
since, even though if you actually pay close attention to
what it says in the Bible, God put the blame solidly on
Adam. Major glitch in God’s program number one.
Cain kills his brother Able, Major glitch number two. The
very first murder in God’s new world, but it would not be
the the last. A new type of sin! Something I am positive
that would have caused God a very great degree of
distress. His world was not even one full generation old,
and things did not improve as the number of humans
Mankind continued to ignore God’s instructions and it
finally got bad enough that God was forced to give Moses a
set of laws for the people to abide by. Until then God had
been able to maintain an acceptable semblance of control
by a system of rewards and punishments. It now required
ten separate commandments to keep humanity obedient to
God. Each and every law written in simple language that
everyone could understand. Compare that to today when
we have thousands of laws written by politicians in a
language that even lawyers cannot agree on the meanings.
Major glitch number three.
Fast forward to major glitch number four, to Abraham. God
had promised Abraham a son who would be the patriarch
of a great nation, but Abraham became impatient. Since
his wife was getting old and the promised son did not
arrive, an agreement was made between Abraham, his wife
Sarah, and Sarah’s handmaiden Hagar, for Abraham to
produce a son with the handmaiden. The son, Ishmael was
born as hoped for; however later Abraham’s wife Sarah
also bore a son that they named Isaac. Jealousy quickly
ruined the relationship and Hagar and Ishmael were sent
away. Controversy over who was Abraham’s true heir
resulted in a split in the family tree. God’s people are now
divided, still worshipping God but really disagreeing as to
who were the real people of God. The Israelites or the
Glitch number five
The rejection and crucifixion of Jesus. The Jews are now a
divided race. Some accept Jesus as the long promised
messiah, others do not. Jesus teaching infuriates both the
Jews who reject him as the messiah and the ruling Roman
authorities. The result being the execution of Jesus as a
rebel and a troublemaker. To complicate matters even
more, those who accepted Jesus as the messiah started to
include Gentiles in the new religion started by Jesus’
disciples that ultimately became Christianity. Hostility
At this point in time we now have three totally separate
groups of people all worshipping the same God, We have
Jews, Christians and Ishmaelites, with radicals in all three
attempting to annihilate and destroy the others, with the
Jews usually being the underdog so to speak. All three
relying on what we now call the old testament, with only
the Christians and Ishmaelites also accepting (at least in
part) the new testament as sacred scripture.
Major glitch number six.
Enter the prophet Mohammad to the descendants of
Ishmael. Mohammad was born in the year 570 in Mecca,
Saudi Arabia, he Died
June 8, 632 (aged 62) Medina,
spent 32 years in seclusion writing what
he described as the true word of God. The book he
produced is known to this day as the Qur’an, and is the
holy scripture of the Islamic religion. Islam also
recognizes the old testament as well as the teachings of
Jesus as the basis for their faith with the believers called
Today’s conflicts between radical Islam and everyone
is one of the most common news story. But like
radical extremest group, religion is often just used to
justify actions that are unacceptable to most people. Too
often the real reasons for religious and racial intolerance
are hidden behind corrupted interpretations of scripture.
Terrorist groups like ISIS are no more Muslim than Adolph
Hitler was a Christian.
I want to quote three verses from the first book of the
Qur’an that you may find interesting and surprising.
1. We gave Moses the Book and
followed him up with a succession of
messengers; We gave Jesus the son of Mary, Clear Signs
him with the holy spirit.
There is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. It
sent down to thee step by step, in truth, the Book, the Law of Moses
and the Gospel of Jesus as a guide to mankind,
3. Henceforth, there is only one religion acceptable
Anyone who submits to God and
devotes the worship to
God ALONE is a "Submitter."
Glitch number seven, known as the East-West Schism
(or Great Schism) of 1054,
Eastern Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics are the
result, when medieval Christianity split into two branches.
Churches, unlike the Roman Catholic
have no Bishopric head, such as a Pope, and hold the belief
that Christ is the head of the Church. However, they are
each governed by a committee of Bishops, called the Holy
Synod, with one central Bishop holding the honorary title
of "first among equals." In any event, the schism that
divided Christendom right down the middle exists to this
Although both sides accept the validity of each other’s
orders and sacraments, no inter-Communion exists
between the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox.
That means that normally speaking, Roman Catholics
aren’t allowed to receive Holy Communion in Orthodox
Churches, and conversely, Orthodox should not receive
Holy Communion in Roman Catholic Churches.
Major glitch number eight.
Martin Luther, a reformer, who attempted to change the
way the Roman church was operated.
Like Jesus, his
objective was not to start a new religion, but to change
what he felt were objectionable practises in the existing
split into Roman Catholic and protestant
Christianity was initiated by his followers and other
approximately the same time. The split
resulted in very violent reactions between the two groups,
often ending with the brutal
death of the leaders on
sides. When we
were in Great Britain in 2010 we saw a
marker in the middle of a street where a Bishop had been
burned at the stake because he would not recant his belief.
Major glitch number nine.
Since the reformation, starting a new denomination of
protestant church, has become almost a fad more than
anything else. Sometimes with the declared intent of
becoming non-denominational, other times just because of
a minor dis-agreement in doctrine. No other religious
group is split into so many different factions, with many
claiming to be the only true one.
Glitch number ten.
The sabbath day; ordained by God as a day of rest. God
himself needed a day of rest, so it was only reasonable to
assume that humans and animals would have to rest as
well. However, our greedy quest for the almighty dollar,
put an and to mandatory “time out”. Regardless of the
“legal” reasons that have been given for repealing the
“Lord’s day act” and allowing all businesses to remain
open on Sunday, the result has been devastating to both
church attendance and family life.
God has been forced to work overtime for centuries just to
try and maintain some semblance of order in His world. I
don’t think any kind of patch or update will fix all the
glitches that have developed over the last few millennium.
Lets go back to the beginning just for a moment. What was
the very last thing God did just before He declared that
everything was very good?
Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image,
according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over
the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and
over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’
So God created humankind in his image,in the image of
God he created them; male and female he created them.
He created us!, and made us responsible for everything
that would happen after that. And we have worked hard for
thousands of years to destroy the unity in God’s world that
He left in the care of our hands. We, as members of the
human race, have been responsible for all the glitches,
including the ones I have not mentioned and the ones still
to come, and I think it is our duty and responsibility to
come up with the necessary updates to reverse the
divisions we have allowed to take place in our world and in
our worship. We cannot do this by ourselves, but with
prayer, and with God’s help, maybe, just maybe, we can
start to bring some unity back to our crippled world.
We without God, cannot!
God without us, will not!