Bumper Sticker Theology

6/1/2023 - 7/13/2023

In this sermon series titled "Bumper Sticker Theology," we will explore various statements commonly used by Christians that may sound good on the surface, but upon closer examination, reveal misunderstandings about God's nature or can cause hurt to others. We will take a critical look at these phrases and examine what they truly say about God and our faith.

Through the lens of scripture, we will examine phrases such as "God won't give you more than you can handle," "God helps those who help themselves," and "God needed another angel." We will seek to dispel the common misunderstandings and reveal the truth about God's character and nature. Additionally, we will offer practical ways to use language that is both true to scripture and helpful to those we seek to serve. Join us as we engage in thoughtful and reflective dialogue to deepen our understanding of God and our relationship with Him.

In This Series

  1. I Can Do All Things Through a Verse Taken Out of Context - 06/04/2023

    The Bible contains a vast array of teachings and messages, and it is essential for us to approach scripture with wisdom and discernment. Extracting verses from their intended context can distort their true meaning and lead to misunderstandings. Regrettably, this practice has even caused some individuals to reject scripture entirely.In our upcoming exploration of Philippians 4:1-13, we will delve into the meaning of a well-known verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." What exactly does this verse signify? Is it simply an encouragement to seek God's strength in accomplishing our personal desires and overcoming challenges? Or does it hold a more profound and God-centered significance? This week we will also explore other sections of the letter to the Philippians in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of this passage and what it means for our faith-filled life.

  2. Too Blessed to Be Stressed - 06/11/2023

    Somewhere along the way, it became popular to think that people of faith cannot endure stress, or anxiety, or be vulnerable in any way. The beatitudes turn the world right side up and announce that those who are truly blessed by God are not who the world believes are blessed.  In this, we find our hope that Christ is with us in the midst of our street, and our anxiety, and even blesses us in our vulnerability.  The task of Christians is not to let those feeling overwhelm us to the point where we are hopeless or immobilized.

  3. God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle - 06/18/2023

    This week will talk about a common phrase we often hear when we're going through tough times: "God won't give you more than you can handle." It's a phrase that is meant to provide comfort and hope, but can also lead to misunderstandings about the nature of suffering and God's role in it. The idea that God dishes out suffering for us to handle alone is a folly we must dispel. Instead, we turn to Jesus, who reminds us that in this world, we will experience suffering, but because he has conquered the world, we can have peace. Let's explore this together and find strength and hope in the midst of our struggles.

  4. God is My Copilot - 06/25/2023

    This week we talk about a phrase that sounds good on paper, but ultimately mistakes who is in control.  When we say "God is our Copilot," we think we are turning things over to God, but instead, we want to control ourselves and only want God to step in when it's convenient for us or when we can no longer do things on our own. Instead, we turn to Jesus, who reminds Peter and his disciples that he himself will endure suffering, betrayal, and death. Truly, he is in charge. Let us reflect on this and surrender our lives to the one who is truly in control.

  5. Everything Happens for a Reason - 07/02/2023

    This week we will discuss a phrase we often hear when we're struggling to find meaning in difficult circumstances: "Everything happens for a reason." While this saying can bring some comfort, it can also lead to misunderstandings about God's role in our lives. The idea that God is pulling strings, causing everything on earth, is a folly that we need to dispel. Instead, we turn to the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, which reminds us that there is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven, but that doesn't mean God is causing everything. Rather, God accompanies us in all things, in the joys and the sorrows, and helps us find meaning and purpose in the midst of it all. Let us explore this together and trust in God's loving presence in our lives.

  6. God Helps Those That Help Themselves - 07/09/2023

    This week we will explore a phrase that is often attributed to the Bible: "God helps those who help themselves." While it may sound like a wise proverb, it can lead to a dangerous misconception about God's role in our lives. The idea that God acts within the worldly hierarchy or caste system is a folly that we need to dispel. Instead, we turn to the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus teaches his disciples about true greatness and service. In Mark 10:35-45, we see that Jesus rebukes his disciples for seeking positions of power and authority, and instead teaches them that true greatness lies in being a servant of all. Truly, we see that God shows no partiality. God has no favorites, and we are all of God's beloved. Let us embrace this truth and serve one another in humility and love.

  7. Let Go, Let God - 07/23/2023

    Join us as we unpack the powerful phrase 'Let go and let God', and explore its dual implications. We navigate the positive interpretation of the saying, which invites us to place our trust in God's providence and hand over our anxieties to Him. Yet, we also discuss the negative interpretation that could encourage inaction, keeping us stagnant in hopeless situations. The key is finding the balance of trusting God while also taking decisive steps towards becoming a part of His redemptive work in the world. In the following segments, we delve deeper into our role in God's redemptive plan, emphasizing the importance of being active partners in His mission. God's call isn't to passive observance, but to meaningful action, working alongside Him even when we don't feel prepared. The final segment highlights the importance of trusting God's voice and how our willingness to partner with Him can lead to profound transformations. Listen in as we share our understanding of what it truly means to let go and let God.

  8. God Doesn't Make Mistakes - 07/30/2023

    This week, our sermon revolves around the profound statement, "God doesn't make mistakes." This phrase, often employed to bring reassurance and comfort, can sometimes be misused to enforce societal norms and expectations of what is considered "normal." However, as we turn to the words of Galatians 5:1-14, we are reminded of a deeper truth. In this passage, the Apostle Paul calls the Galatians to embrace freedom in Christ and to live by the Spirit rather than being bound by human categories and limitations. The main idea we must grasp is that God, in His infinite wisdom, surpasses all of our human characteristics and categories. He transcends our understanding, defying any notion of what we may perceive as mistakes or errors. As we explore this topic further, let us open our hearts and minds to the vastness of God's love and grace, recognizing that His divine plan extends far beyond our limited human understanding.

  9. All Part of God’s Plan - 08/06/2023

    In this upcoming sermon, we delve into the phrase "All Part of God's Plan" and reflect on whether God's plan for our lives is a precise blueprint or more of loving guidance. Based on Jeremiah 29:1-7, we discover that God's plan is not a rigid, predetermined map of our lives, but rather a dynamic relationship where He invites us to embrace the present and make choices that honor Him and lead to human flourishing. While seeking comfort in the idea of a specific plan, we learn to trust in God's faithfulness and provision even when His plans differ from our desires. Embracing the truth that His plan is about guidance empowers us to grow and flourish where we are planted, making choices aligned with His character, and finding fulfillment in His purpose for us. Join us this Sunday as we explore this concept and deepen our understanding of how to surrender to God's guidance, leading to a life of purpose and joy.

  10. Don’t put a question mark where God put a period - 08/13/2023

    Today we explore the phrase "Don't put a question mark where God put a period," which implies that we should not question God's plans or seek answers to life's uncertainties. However, when we examine the story of Job in Job 42:1-5, we discover a different perspective. Job, despite his suffering and ruin, boldly questioned God's activity in his life. His questioning was not condemned but rather led to a profound encounter with God and a deeper understanding of His sovereignty. This teaches us that a faith without doubt is stagnant, and we are allowed to invite God to show up and provide answers to our heartfelt questions. Let us embrace a living faith that engages in genuine dialogue with God, knowing that through our doubts, we can experience a deeper and more authentic relationship with Him.The sermon begins with addressing common questions and doubts about prayer and the Bible, and discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to bridge the gap between people and resources to learn more about the Bible. It ends with a challenge to make the church a place where such conversations can take place, which will draw people in and provide an opportunity for faith to take root.

  11. Love the Sinner Hate the Sin - 08/27/2023

    Join us for an engaging discussion as we unpack the popular phrase "Love the sinner, hate the sin" and why it's problematic, particularly when used in relation to the LGBTQ+ community. We dissect the dichotomy between the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the struggles this poses for modern Christianity. We take a closer look at the challenges faced when reconciling Biblical passages on homosexuality and queerness with the concept of universal love.Tune in as we dive into the potential pitfalls of "Versitis" - the practice of isolating verses from the Bible to form our own interpretations. We reflect on the dangers of creating a skewed picture of Jesus and how gathering in a community for Bible study can aid us in maintaining the context and the true essence of the scriptures. Finally, we reflect on the power of love, grace, and mercy as we navigate through the challenges of interpreting biblical passages. We tackle the issue of inclusion in the church, discussing the ways in which wrestling with scripture, our fellow Christians, and church leaders can help us to form decisions about inclusion and love. It's a conversation full of thought-provoking insights and perspectives you won't want to miss!

  12. When God closes a door, God often opens a window - 08/20/2023

    Ever found yourself standing at a crossroads of your life and wondered, ‘When God closes a door, does He really open a window?’ Well, we decided to unravel this adage through a hilarious incident involving our toddler, a locked door and an open window. As we unveil the humor, we also discover the deeper implications this saying can have on our understanding of the Christian faith. The closed door might seem like a setback, a derailment of your linear life path, and it might plant seeds of doubt, confusion and worry. But is it necessarily so?Life often presents us with a multitude of options, akin to the overwhelming menu at a diner. Decision-making can be tough and waiting for a divine sign might seem like the easy way out. But we argue that sometimes, it's about taking a leap of faith. It’s not about waiting for God to show you the way, but about trusting in Him and moving forward, even if it means shutting doors behind. An end is just a new beginning in disguise. We dive into how to navigate life's ups and downs, and how faith can guide us to the right door, even if it means having to close others. So, let’s embark on this journey together, exploring the hidden meanings behind closed doors and open windows, and learning to move forward with faith and trust in God's grand design.

  13. Normal isn’t coming back, Jesus is - 09/03/2023

    What if the greatest challenge facing the modern church isn't external but internal? In our latest sermon, we tackle the thorny issue of stagnation within the church and make a bold call for change. With societal trust in the church at an all-time low, we underscore the urgency of breaking from the status quo and forging a new path forward. At the heart of it all, we remind listeners that no matter what changes come our way, Jesus remains our unshakeable foundation.We also shine a spotlight on the transformative power of the Gospel and the urgency of sharing Jesus's good news with the world. Amid the fleeting accomplishments of humanity, we underscore the enduring value of spiritual pursuits. As believers, we have the privilege of being part of God's grand narrative and the Great Commission, and we echo the call to carry this legacy forward.

  14. Grief and Faith. Even Jesus Cried - 07/16/2023

    Join us as we explore the biblical stories of Job and Lazarus, shedding light on their faith and resilience amidst great tragedy. Job's profound losses and his response to them are deeply touching, while the faith of Mary and Martha, even as they grieve for their brother Lazarus, will inspire you. Listen in as we discuss Jesus' emotional response as he weeps at the tomb of Lazarus, underlining the empathetic heart of God towards human pain. As we move forward, we further explore Mary and Martha's faith, discussing their reaction to Jesus' delayed arrival and their steadfast belief that God would answer their prayers. Unravel the mystery of why, in times of grief and doubt, it is important to turn to God rather than away from Him. We discuss the moving moment of Jesus weeping at Lazarus's death and how these tears are a reflection of God's own sorrow when we suffer. Finally, find solace in Psalms 34:18, a testament to the comforting closeness of God to the brokenhearted. Don't miss this poignant discussion about the power of faith and hope in times of grief.