September 08, 2002

Mark Greenstreet - “Why and What We Believe”

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This was our PGIMF service honouring new and returning students, and the start of our new Sunday School, complete with barbeque and potluck lunch. After a puppet show about Noah and the ark, Mark Greenstreet spoke on Romans 1, a pragmatic letter by someone who was soon going to Rome as a prisoner and would soon be relying upon their hospitality if he was to have any food and company. This intriguing chapter speaks of the self-evidence of God through nature (a topic of interest in itself), but Mark's primary focus was on Paul's brief discussion of worship. Paul concludes that people will worship either God the Creator or things which have been created or made possible by God. Paul writes that if people worship God the Creator, the consequences will be in accord with the order of nature, but if they worship things, this natural order will be upset and consequences are then logical, if not inevitable. Those consequences are not punishments, only the natural course of action. His main example was drawn from the worship of gods in the Roman Empire. Romans could grab land or sex anywhere they liked because that is what their gods did (gods were made in people's images). For example, by espousing Roman idolatry, certain consequences naturally seemed to follow: ritual sexual acts were carried out between the two genders (and within each gender) in temples constructed for those purposes, with people whose lives were devoted to this behavior. Mark asked whether people today are tempted to worship things other than the Creator ("worship is not an option--we all do it", but "worship is most dangerous when we don't know we are doing it."). For example, many have faith in science and technology, relegating God only to small corners of the universe which they assume are not yet explained by science (as opposed to seeing God as the Creator of natural order which enables science to be possible). We may believe in the pursuit of money, or believe media's insistence that sexual relations lead to better personal relations (rather than the other way around). Paul's challenge still stands, but it is best to decide what to worship if you are among Christian believers who have similar values to you and honour God. Mark then challenged students to visit various churches, to encounter a variety of worship experiences and groups, but most of all, to be aware of what they are worshipping (God, career, intellectual pursuits, sex, good causes, fun?) [JEK]


Passage: Romans 1
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event: Student welcome potluck
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Mark Greenstreet
Worship Leader: Cynthia Friesen
Song Leader: Nubia Martens
Pianist: Deberah Shears
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers:
Coffee Helper:
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer: Angela Ekkert

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