February 9: Believe What – Doctrines or Values?

Believe What—Doctrines or Values?    A biblical faith is an inclusive one.  We explored this last week as we considered the indiscriminate goodness of Creation.  Though God’s people lost sight of the call to “be a blessing”, Jesus reminds us of this original commission – we are called to serve, not be served.

In this second message in the series “Believe What?”, we look at yet another tension in the Scriptures that clue us in to what we must believe as Christians.  What is more important for us: doctrine, or values?  This tension is most powerfully stated in the prophets by Micah.  It is referenced in the gospels (see for example Matthew 23) and alluded to in the Epistles.  For the prophets, for Christ, and for St. Paul, values trump doctrine.  Consider the question Jesus puts to the religious people of his day: Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?  We must believe in the values of justice, mercy, healing and humility such that we are willing to pour ourselves into the work of bringing them to pass for all people.

How is this a foundational tenet defined in some exclusive way by the Christian experience?  St. Paul addresses this question when he speaks of our being “rooted and built up in Christ”.  It is this rootedness in both the person and the teachings of Jesus that give definition to our understanding of “justice”, “mercy”, “freedom”, “humility”.

Just as Jesus’ disciples said: Lord, teach us to pray …  So too, we can say: Lord, teach us what it means to be merciful, just, humble, healing, and free.

Micah 6:1-8       Colossians 2:6-12                        Matthew 23:23-28

Message:  Believe What – Doctrines or Values?



Contemporary Creed – Rev. Deborah Beach Giordano

The Dangers of Certainty            The link to the video used in the sermon today is found in this article.

I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.