Don’t you have a daddy?
JULY 28, 2021
Don’t you have a daddy? Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at some astounding things that Luke talks about in the final paragraph of the second chapter of the book of Acts, which we are studying right now. And will, until Jesus returns, because this is a long study. But we’re talking about family, about brotherhood and how important and sisterhood and how important that is within the family of God. And, we’ve seen a number of things. In fact, we have seen four or five things already. We’ve seen the belief is so important. The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man is a nice saying, but it’s not in the Bible. There’s the creaturehood of man and the sovereignty of God and human beings are all valuable in his sight. And they’re created in the image of God, but brotherhood is based in belief. And we’ve talked about openness and we’ve talked about necessity and a number of other things. And if you were listening yesterday, we talked about joy being the sign of the family, verse 46, with gladness and we want to spiritualize what Luke said, and you need to know that was a party. They were having a party. And that ought to be central to the people of God. The world deserves to hear the laughter of the redeemed. And too often, they get the condemnation of the redeemed or the anger of the redeemed or the seriousness of the redeemed. They ought to, you know, we’re the only people in the world that have anything to laugh about. I get why, and they are, people who don’t believe in God or sour bunch, they really are. They don’t know how to laugh at a joke and they don’t know how to tell a joke. And I get that, I mean, if I were an atheist, I wouldn’t laugh very much. Wouldn’t have anything to laugh about, when you’re dead, you’re dead and there’s no meaning, so if you want to collect bottle caps or stamps, it doesn’t matter. Create your, that’s dark. That’s really dark. But if you’re forgiven, of everything. If you are loved unconditionally, if you’re going to live forever, get a party, create a party. That’s what the church ought to be, a place of great laughter. Now let me show you something else. And this is number six, if you’re counting. I would have you notice that the stuff of family is the Father. The stuff of family is the Father. It’s verse 46 in that last part of the second chapter of Acts.
And day by day attending the temple, together.
What were they doing? They were worshiping and meeting with the Father. You know, I’m old now, and one of the things that I find is that a lot of young people think of me as a father or more a grandfather. You know, I’m not only old, I look old and I am old. I’ve been around for a very long time. Used to be when I speak at the chapel at the seminary, some of the girls who were students there, would be looking at me funny. And I was kinda thinking, you know, they’re flirting with me. And one of my friends said, no, they’re not. They think of you as their grandfather. And they kinda like you, because of that. And sometimes I want to look younger, so I’m not playing that role anymore, but I read Henri Nowen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal. And if you haven’t read that book, you ought to get it. It’s just a wonderful book, but he talks about the different elements of that particular story, the prodigal who goes off to be with the pigs and the arrogant self-righteous brother who looked down his long nose at his younger brother who had sinned so terribly. And then there’s Jesus, who’s telling this story. And then there’s the father. And Henri Nowen and said something in that book that really has affected me deeply and profoundly, he said, if we’re older and we’re a part of the body of Christ, our model is the Father in this story of the prodigal son, his love, his wisdom, his acceptance of both brothers, the arrogant self-righteous one and the rebellious one who spent the inheritance with doing bad things. And the father loved, that Henri Nowen says is the role of those of us in the church who were older. And after I read that, I decided it’s okay for people to think of me as a father or as a grandfather. And if I could figure out how to love people who aren’t particularly lovely, to stay close to the wisdom that God has given in his word, to be kind and civil, to reach out. And that’s a good role to play, and I don’t mind playing it, but in that sense, the Biblical sense. I’m mimicking the father in the prodigal son. And not only that, I am using as the example, the fatherhood of the God of the universe. Jesus said, when you pray, pray our Father. I asked you a counselor one time, how you could be a real, a good father. And do you know what the counselor said? Her name was Lottie, and she said this, be still and think of how the Father, God has fathered you, then go and do likewise. You think about that. Amen.
We all know that God is our heavenly Father and yet every time I’m reminded of that, I think, you know, I needed to hear that. So, thank you, Steve. We’ll pick up our journey through Acts right here tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us again then. So, there’s a guy, Brant Hansen, you may have heard me mention his before. He was a guest on Steve Brown Etc last year. And on that episode, we discussed his book called The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are. It’s a surprising and also humorous look at how we fool ourselves. Take a listen to part of that conversation, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
But Fred said that everything about politics, about life, about educational philosophy, about theology, about our walk with Christ depends on which of two propositions you accept, we’re very bad with a proclivity toward good, or we’re very good with a proclivity toward bad. Comment on what Fred said, and then we’ll jump in.
I think it’s true. And, but what’s fascinating. And this is what prompted me to write this particular book, is if you read mainstream cognitive psychologists right now, like Daniel Kahneman or Jonathan Haidt, these people, they’re not writing from a Christian standpoint at all, but they’re talking about how beset we are with cognitive biases. Like we’re so biased, our brains are just full of hundreds of different kinds of little shortcuts that we use. And so many of them, you can trace it right back to self-righteousness and I’m fascinated by that, because here are these guys, who are saying, we shouldn’t even trust ourselves, we’re so delusional about how good we are and they’re not believers. And they’re agreeing with Jesus. I just did a radio interview yesterday with a guy and I liked the guy and everything, but he kept trying to spin my book back to, well, you know, some of us are good people, but none of us are good enough to go to heaven, I got it, but that’s not what Jesus ever said. You don’t compare yourself with people, what’s fascinating is they have these cognitive psychologists that come along and say, we understand now that humans are so capable of fooling themselves about their own moral goodness, it’s mind-blowing.
Christians who know the truth have to be careful too, because it’s addictive and you’re drawn to it all the time. I’ll bet you 15 times a day, I’m convicted about my own self-righteousness. I should know better by now. I really should. By the way Brant, you said the people in the psychological discipline agree with us, and they’re not even Christians. That’s not just true there. That’s true in the arts, it’s in fiction, good and profound fiction, it’s in film, it’s everywhere. And you would think, now I get that people aren’t Christians. I get that they don’t buy into our message. I get that. It’s hard to believe. But in this one place, you would think that self-righteousness would suffer a death blow, but it doesn’t. We continue with our canceled culture, the arrogance, the anger, the judgment, the condemnation, it’s everywhere and in every place and you can’t get away from it.
No, I think that’s really interesting too, I think a lot of people associate self-righteousness with religion. And we can certainly understand why, I associate it with Steve Brown. But the point is, the point is that while we can do that, and there’s a record for that, we understand that. You can look as we’re getting more pagan as a culture, almost more post-Christian, you don’t see us getting less self-righteous on Twitter. It’s not like, now we’re just magnanimous, like the virtue signaling and the canceling, like you’re talking about is going up. We’re getting more self-righteous, I think. The idea that we’re supposed to repent and that there’s something brutally wrong with us, is so obvious, yes. But we still resist it. You know, it’s so obvious. It’s played out every day on social media. You can see our problem. It’s on display, vividly. And yet, repenting is so weird and so odd, but Jesus said if just one of you will do it, we’ll all party. If just one of you guys would repent, all of heaven would break into a party. If just one of you, but it’s so unnatural for us to do something like that and get humble.
We have that whole conversation on a CD. And if you’ll give us the word, we’ll drop a copy of it in the mail to you today, for free. So just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you would like to mail your request, send it to
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