Yikes! And that church spends money to put this on a website?
What to do to improve?
Issue: A man leaves his wife for another woman after having cared for his wife for the last several years. His wife has Alzheimer’s.
What do you say about this? Has the man betrayed his vows? Or is he meeting his needs?
Based on 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25, the sermon at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Aptos August 21, 2016 is about the Greek world view versus the Hebrew world view. And how these two world views — Greek and Hebrew — collide today, both personally and politically.
The Greek world view: The Rev. Anne Mcanelly quotes from a book by Elizabeth Gilbert titled Committed: A Love Story p. 250 (on Amazon for $16.09 or Kindle for $11.99)
that “the Greeks gave us all our notions about democracy, equality, personal liberty, individualism …. and what we might call multiculturalism…”
The Hebrew world view: “And then there is the world view of the Hebrews … including the ancient world view that is all about tribalism, faith, obedience and respect. This way of thinking is clannish, patriarchal, authoritarian, moralistic, ritualistic and suspicious of outsiders…. The collective is always more important than the individual, morality is more important than happiness and vows are inviolable” (pg. 251 Unbreakable)
The preacher then asks, Which are you — are you finding yourself more in the Greek camp,
or are you more attuned to the Hebrew way of thinking?
To cover all bases she says, “Of course there is no right or wrong preference and when we understand how we see the world and maybe how our close relatives do as well, we might discover some insight how to get along better….”
The Rev. goes on to say, “A friend of mine told me about a family crises. Her father-in-law is leaving his wife for another woman…. the twist in the story is that the wife has Alzheimer and the man cared for his wife for severeal years but now has started dating someone else.
My friend felt betrayed… I reminded her that its his very Greek way of thinking he is simply looking out for himself. He is placing personal needs ahead of loyalty and faithfulness and that is not sitting very well with my friend. Now most of us would expect the husband to be loyal, but what is at issue is the world view more than moral fiber.”
“This Greek/ Hebrew dichotomy can also played out in the political realm, where some see every decision only in the way it would affect them — a very Greek way of thinking. While others see a more holistic , community and ask what might be be better for all concerned, thereby favoring the Hebrew way….”
Aptos Psychologist: Many sermons — including this one — just don’t ‘work’. As many sermons do, this sermon sets up a false this or that dichotomy (Greek versus Hebrew world view ). In reality, many people in the pews know that they are both … and more. Ho, hum. Snooze time……
Maybe what some Christian churches — for sure this one — needs is a FeedBack form for pew sitters. Let people comment right then and there as to what they heard and how helpful/ useful it is.
As part of the church bulletin on the back page put: Comments? On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 = Low and 5 = High And 3 = ??? What did I TakeAway from this sermon that I will/ can use? Encourage people to tear off the Comments? and put them in the basket along with their money.
As for Aptos Psychologist, for this sermon I would rate it a 3 — ???? Not horrible. But not useful.
Gilbert’s description of the Hebrew God as “clannish, suspicious, patriarchal…” (quoted in the sermon) seems similar to that as portrayed in A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out … by Wafa Sultan That book IS worth reading.