"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

increased dramatically.

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, Saudi

Arabia. Mohamed 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 else

is one of the most common news story. But like any other

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 and strengthened

him with the holy spirit.

2. There is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. It is He

who 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 to God


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.

Orthodox Churches, unlike the Roman Catholic Church,

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

churches. The split into Roman Catholic and protestant

Christianity was initiated by his followers and other

reformers at 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 both

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!