Burbank Faith Sunday Sermon: 4/3/22

(Sermon Notes: Talking Points that I work from. They’re not perfect transcripts, they have not been spell-checked, and have been organized to fit how my mind works when I preach. If you need some clarity or have questions—fire away. God Bless, Pastor Joe T.)

Sermon: April 3, 2022

Text: Genesis 6:1-4

It’s important for us to understand that what we’re seeing in our world today is not a decay in our values and beliefs. But an assault on our values and beliefs.

Decay can mean just wasting away…But assault can mean purpose, plan, a concerted attempt to do something…(Hitting the flanks.)

This is why I’ve used the expression Intelligent Evil.

We don’t fall into evil, or stumble into evil, nor do the skies open up and rain evil. Evil has intelligence. It knows what it’s doing. In other words, evil has a plan.

And plans carry on and continue to work…as long as those they’re being executed upon fail/refuse to recognize it.

Examples:

21st.Century Church (Unofficially Christian-Atheism)

First Season of Survivor (No alliances…?)

Neville Chamberlain (“Peace in our time!”)

Genesis 6:1-4 is a recognition of evil working with intelligence. 

Polemic:

A strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.

the art or practice of engaging in controversial debate or dispute.

The President gives a State of The Union…and the opposite party hits back with a response/polemic…Biden is countered by Fox News/GOP… Trump is countered by every other media outlet/DNC.

This passage Genesis 6:1-4…Is a polemic…a Biblical response to the culture it was written to…As well as for our benefit.

Genesis 6:1-4

1—When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,

2—the sons of God saw the the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose

3—Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”

4—The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Notes:

A.) First thought—oh, crud, this? You’re crazy to talk about this? Two years ago in January, before the pandemic, I shared on this passage and took heat for doing it.

“It does nothing to advance our faith.” 

What it doesn’t advance is 20th Century churchianity…Which requires a burying of our head in the sand.

And to ignore a passage like this does everything to advance our ignorance in the times we’re living in.

B.) If we’re going to be good stewards of our generation spiritually and Biblically we better get off your figurative keisters…acknowledge what we’re seeing and what the Bible says about it…and that means stretching beyond and through the 20th Century restraints the church strapped us into.

C.) Opening Salvo:

There were three rebellions in the first 11 chapters of Genesis.

The Garden

Genesis 6:1-4

Babel (Genesis 11)

What is the purpose for all of them? 

Answer: To separate us from God.

D.) The first—death enters the world. Those who weren’t meant to die, now die.

The second, this passage we’re studying today…about corrupting the image/status we were created in.

The third, (Babel) dictating to God the terms of our relationship with him. Like the place where he will meet us.

(The “finger”—homey don’t play that.)

E.) The World Today

We dispose of life out of the right of convenience.

We dispose of life to advance our ideology.

We dispose of any identity beyond the chains of this earthly realm. 

So we’re eliminating life before it is born. We’re eliminating life after it is born. And we’re eliminating the identity and hope we were created in. We’ve made gender a social construct…(goes together about as well as Christian/Atheism—a form of “Christianity” that rejects the theistic claims of Christianity, but draws its beliefs and practices from Jesus’ life and/or teachings as recorded in the New Testament Gospels and other sources.)…and limiting our hope to the strength of mankind…by listening to the crowd that believes something came from nothing.

We are self-terminating…and we don’t even see it.

F.) This is why Genesis 6:1-4 needs to be read, and understood in our generation.

G.) To its first audience it is a polemic speaking against Mesopotamian beliefs and narratives. The gods coming down, mating with women…but in the Mesopotamian culture they were described as heroes both good and bad.

H.) This passage is a polemic that says it was all bad. That this rebellion, this violation, had corrupted all of creation. And was assaulting the image/status God created us in.

It shares God’s response…If you read the rest of Genesis 6 this is the reason for the flood.

I.) Remember, in 2022, the Bible wasn’t written to us, but it was written for us.

It wasn’t written to create a culture…It was written in response to the culture.

So to that first audience, Moses (the credited author) sets the record straight. “Let me make clear to you—Hebrews—what happened. And what God did, and why.”

Essentially saying, that the Creator takes a very dim view of those who pervert his creation…especially those made in his image/status.

J.) Have we not all had a moment…where we knew if someone else touched/harmed someone we loved or responsible for…that we weren’t going to abide by any Queens Rules? 

K.) Sons of God—is a term that denotes divine beings…How other cultures are going to define that is up to the culture.

Marduk—Babylon—head of that pantheon.

Zeus—Greece—head of that pantheon. Hera, Aphrodite, Hermes, Poseidon, Apollo etc. etc.

And all the demigod (half human/half divine) that are in every culture…stem from somewhere…

Greek:

9—Bellus/Pegasus

8—Jason…of the Argonauts (Some questions)

7—Orpheus

6—Helen of Troy

5—Perseus

4—Theseus

3—Arcas

2—Achillies—(Also a Roman, son of Jupiter)

1—Hercules

Sumerian

Gilgamesh

Norse—Gods

Thor, Oden—most popular in the pantheon.

Demigods

Saemingr

Sleipnir— (Son of Loki)

This is where the pantheons come from.

The stories of the gods/pantheons are not fiction…but based on some form of reality. What is actually told about them is subject to culture, and biases..But they’re based on a knowledge of superior beings having interacted with man.

The Bible acknowledges their existence.

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.”—Exodus 12:12

To say Pagan religions are falsehoods and pure fiction…is talking like an evolutionist…

Moses gives us this polemic, inspired by Yahweh, to share the truth with us and for us.

L.) Breakdown. A couple of things we do.

Sons of God…not the Sons of Seth…

Sons of Seth is the line that has been sold…and bought because it makes us more comfortable and less weird.

Eliminating the supernatural…by creating something that doesn’t exist anywhere in scripture.

When you look at the language…this is Bible Study stuff…you get a clear indication that the humans were participating and not merely victims…

M.) “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”—Genesis 6:5

N.) So what does this mean for us?

1.) To recognize what we’re seeing today is not decay…but an assault. With the intention of our termination.

2.) To recognize that instead of being lulled into a comfortable zone…we need to be actively on our knees in prayer.

3.) To recognize that the Bible gives us insight to the battle we are in.

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