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On Easter Sunday, April 1, at 8:00, 9:30, 11:00, and 4:00, South Bay Bible Church, 578 Montauk Highway, East Moriches, is challenging our community to Losing Your Religion?: What If You’ve been Looking for God in All the Wrong Places? You see, religion can get pretty strange pretty quickly. Mystical. Superstitious. Legalistic. Judgmental. Hypocritical. But religion isn't going away.
The human race has an insatiable curiosity regarding the divine. Since the beginning of time, men and women have established elaborate rituals and traditions in an attempt to bridge the gap between the seen and the unseen; between the sacred and the secular.
And while each of these systems provided formulas for communicating with and securing the blessings of a particular deity, none provided the one thing humankind most desires—assurance. But with the birth of Christianity, all of that changed.
In this 4-part message series, Pastor Hawley explains how the message of Christ serves as the fulfillment of religion.
1. Reflections of a Zealot (Acts 26:9-18) – April 1: Religion exists to control you. Jesus came to restore you.
Losing faith is part of the human experience. We all know someone who lost faith. And if we're honest, we'll agree that there are many reasons to lose faith--from all the harm that has been done in the name of religion to wondering if God really hears our prayers. But, what if we lose faith for the wrong reasons? What if we have been looking for God in all the wrong places?
2. Just In Case (Acts 17:16-34) – April 8: Jesus did not show up to give answers as much as to be the answer. Religion asks, "Who's right?" Christianity asks, "Who's Jesus?" Religion asks, "What's true?" Christianity asks, "What happened?"
Religion can be weird. Odd cultic behavior. Faces of religious icons appearing in random places. Fanatical rules and restrictions to follow in order to be "good." Are these all misguided attempts by religious nuts to connect with God? Are we trying too hard to make sense of something so big and mysterious? How is what Jesus offers any different?
3. The Eight Commandments (Romans 8:1-4) – April 15: All religions aren't wrong. They’re just incomplete. They lead to our need for a Savior.
A famous Christian author wrote that the world's major religions have eight major themes, eight commandments in common. That list included loving others ... respecting others ... and being honest ... among other ethical standards. So in light of those eight commandments, what makes Christianity so different?
4. Unfair and Uncomfortable (Romans 5:6-8) – April 22: Fairness isn't an argument.
Every religion recognizes our failures. In fact, we can label our failures as "mistakes," but there's no denying that everyone falls short. Maybe it's unfair that we don't measure up, but it's true. Maybe it's uncomfortable that we needed help to get out of our mess, but it's true. The reality is this – we live in a broken world, and we're a part of it. So what did God do about that?
To find out more about South Bay Bible Church and their upcoming events, please visit http://www.southbaychurchli.org/.
About South Bay Bible Church: South Bay Bible Church is a non-denominational Christian church known for Biblical messages applicable to everyday life. The church meets at 578 Montauk Highway in East Moriches, NY. The church’s mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Our service schedule includes five convenient times: Sunday morning at 8:00, 9:30, 11:00; Sunday afternoon at 4:00; and on-line anytime. A nursery and children’s church are available. For more information, go to southbaychurchli.org, call (631) 909-8241, Facebook, or Twitter @sbbcli.