How Does Superstition Affect Your Faith?
Let’s talk about some of the most common bad luck and good luck traditions that we have.
Bad Luck – broken mirrors, open umbrellas inside, walking under ladders, black cat crossing, spilled salt, placing purse on floor, saying something positive will jinx, itching ears is gossip about you, Next week we are going to talk about OJO! Get ready for that one!
Good Luck – rabbit foot keychain, picking up coins, 4 leaf clovers, wish on a falling star, wish on birthday candles (don’t tell anyone), wishbone at thanksgiving, itching palms means money,
Another tradition that we have in our culture is saying “Bless You!” after someone sneezes. Some people are automatic blessers. Others are familiar blessers. Others never say bless you. Sometimes I’m not sure if I will say it or not. Do I say it? Do I not say it? If the situation is reverse and I just sneezed, I wait to see if anyone will bless my sneeze. When no one blesses me… #smh
Superstition= a belief or notion (not based on reason or knowledge) in the significance (positive or negative) of a thing, action, habit, etc.
(A belief that you have that something is good or bad based on no reason or knowledge.)
Most of you probably aren’t sidetracked too much with the ones we have talked about already. So, Let’s broaden the spectrum a little bit.
While studying and researching this sermon series has been brutal! As soon as I feel like I have a grasp on it, it see slivers of superstition rooting itself all through our society. It is like a spider web sneaking across all parts of our lives.
Many unmerited beliefs are classified as “false religions”. We recognize some of these superstitious things as other religions. Some we would classify as witchcraft, weird, strange.
However, where it affects our congregation and San Marcos is where the influence of these belief systems have been integrated into the Christian church.
Throughout the centuries, people have taken the message of Jesus and allowed:
- Governments: Roman– Catholic British– Anglican US– modern church
- Politics: the thought that right people could craft the right laws or judgments
- Pop culture: the most successful, beautiful, talented people
- Mysticism/Esotericism: the idea that a small group of people know something and if we could only get our hands on that knowledge. People are searching for secrets. (illuminati, Masons, The Secret, Da Vinci Code, Bible Code)
- Gnosticism: The idea that our only hope is for our spirits to escape this corrupted world.
Many of these are contaminating or polluting the gospel of Jesus. With all of these influences, we create systems, customs, rituals, traditions, and practices that are not in scripture.
At some point, we need to ask ourselves the question:
Is Jesus enough? Does the man Jesus and what he accomplished on this Earth ENOUGH to handle the tasks we look for all these other things to accomplish?
I want to propose the idea that: Jesus needs nothing extra.
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. (to tell you God’s secret plan) 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Christianity does not need to resort to any form of superstitious behavior. Rituals and Formulas (secular & religious) that eliminate the role of faith/trust/belief in the Gospel of Jesus are from an “Anti-Christ” spirit.
Instead of solely focusing on a dictator that will someday come to power and represent the devil as the Anti Christ (person). We need to be more concerned of the same spirit that infiltrates our everyday thinking. Anything that takes our mind, heart, and focus from the truth of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is technically, “Anti-Christ”.
Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
John 10: 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (the most secure, sustaining, place of life possible on this earth)
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
We don’t need to add anything to Jesus. He is good enough. Trusting in Jesus means letting go of everything else.
James 1:6 … for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
If you are looking for salvation and are looking for just the right ritual to bring you salvation,
I have GOOD NEWS for you: Believe in Jesus! Trust in the ritual that he already performed for you. Salvation will come. Peace will come.
If you have confessed your sin and are walking towards him, but you are struggling in some sort of life crisis. I have GOOD NEWS for you. Believe in Jesus!
You don’t have to add anything to Jesus. Continue looking to him and he will continue to make himself known to you. Answers will come. Peace will come.
Paul basically says in Romans 10 that the people of San Marcos don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. They refuse to accept God’s way and cling to politics, popular philosophy, they look for some new fangled way, they think there is an ancient secret yet to be revealed. What they don’t understand is that Christ has already accomplished everything that needs to be accomplished. When they believe in him, they are made right with God.
Romans 10:8 and that is the very message of faith that we preach. 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved.”
1. The Holy Spirit Draws You
Salvation always begins with the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2)
2. The Holy Spirit sends You the message.
Romans 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching.
3. You hear and are given a chance to respond.
Now when they heard this (Gospel of Jesus), they were cut to the heart, and responded, “What shall we do?”
We proclaim that Jesus is Lord. What a liberating statement. Jesus, you are now in charge. I give up this domain of my life. Please take over! I believe that you are who the Bible says you are. I am not resting in anyone else’s belief. I am saying this for myself. Profession of Faith!
Turn from any life activity that does not line up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Any part of life that is not centered around the Good News of salvation through Jesus alone, should be released, because it is impossible to trust in Jesus and concurrently hold onto to other ways of life (salvation). We call this shift in direction or change in course: repentance. Repentance includes a prayer but is much more life encompassing than a short little prayer that you repeat. It is not something we enter into sadly or broken hearted. If that is the case, you don’t know Jesus. When you see Jesus, you say, I can’t wait to leave all that I have been carrying. All the baggage. Gone.
He who the Son has set free is free indeed!