This week I have been reading a fascinating book by Ross Douthat, “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.” Douthat documents the decline of the church in American culture and contends that the problem is not that we have too little religion in American but that we have to much bad religion. There are forces on both the left and the right that are corrupting the church from the inside.
Douthat, an op-ed writer for the NT Times and conservative Catholic states:
“The future of American religion depends on believers who can demonstrate, in word and deed alike, that the possibilities of the Christian life are not exhausted by TV preachers and self-help gurus, utopians, and demagogues.”
If you are interested here are links to a number of reviews of the book:
I found Douthat’s critique helpful as we moved in the second week of our series, “Rejoicing Our World.” Proverbs 11:10 states: “When the righteous prosper the city rejoices” and this morning we explored three characteristics of the righteous. The righteous possess: a Godward orientation, a spirit of humility and an eternal perspective.
We closed with a song from Matthew West called My Own Little Word.” I especially love the bridge and closing chorus:
Father break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me
What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
that I could be living right now?
I don’t wanna miss what matters.
I wanna be reaching out
Show me the greater purpose
so I can start living right now
Outside my own little world
My own little world, My own little world
Enjoy the video:
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Open the Eyes of Your Heart (Sonic Flood version)
- Welcome and Call to Worship (Based on Ephesians 1:15-19)
- God Is With Us (Trent, Vineyard)
- Your Love Never Fails (Jesus Culture)
- Hosanna (Hillsong)
- Announcements and Offering
- Message (Rejoicing Our Word 2)
- My Own Little world (Matthew West)
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced in worship this weekend at The Worship Community.