How Does Religion Bounds Us? - Matthew 12:1-14
Sermon by Pastor Benjamin Chen
Passage: Matthew: 12:1-14
Pastor Ben shared in his sermon to the 1.5 Generation congregation at EFCI Christian Church on the topic of How Religion Bounds Us? He raised the distinction between following a religion versus having a relationship with our creator. “True religion is about our inner hearts”, he declared.
Back in the days of Jesus, the Pharisees were the most respected Jewish religious leaders where they obeyed the religious laws down to a T. However, the danger of such practice is that they inherited this believe of an expectation of perfection where if other believers fail by the Pharisee’s standards, they are condemned.
Pastor Ben explained the issue of following religious laws blindly from the passage where the Pharisees challenged Jesus that his disciples violated the Sabbath by picking up the grains from the field and drawing a parallel to our modern day church. One example he raised was that often times, some members have an expectation of how others should dress or speak in a church setting and would judge the people who do not follow. Pastor Ben cautioned that when we look at what we can or cannot do, we often times diminish the element of grace.
The Second issue that Pastor Ben raised was when we expect perfection from others, it’s easy for us to categorize others as either good or evil without accepting one another. A danger of these expectations is that expectations tend to lead to disappointments, then followed by anger. By going through this thought process, it gives us an excuse to condemn others.
In closing, Pastor Ben challenged the church members the following question:
When we see a person, do you see the opportunity to help or do you see an opportunity to judge?