To play out like a courtroom scene, immediately before a sermon that exposes the misquoted verse about God will never allow more TEMPTATIONS than we can handle.
This is one of four dramas for a "Putting Bad Theology on Trial" Sermon Series:
- You can’t be sure of your salvation
- God promises to guide and prosper us in all our daily living
- Reverence must mean silence
- God will never allow more trials than we can handle.
Judge: OK, our first case for the morning is a complaint from a student that their teacher is giving them too much homework. Would the student please take to the stand and deliver their statement.
Child: Thank you, your honour. I have been attending school most of my life now, and I cannot remember a time where I’ve had as much homework as I do now! I hardly have time to help my mummy with dinner, or read my Bible. One night I was asked to feed my puppy, but I had too much homework, so my puppy had to go without her dinner that night.
It is clear to me that my teacher either doesn’t have the skills, or more likely hasn’t the time to complete all her work on her own, and so I suspect she is handing it onto us kids to complete. It is more than we can handle and that is why I’m here today.
Don’t get me wrong, my teacher is lovely, but… I’m requesting that you order our teacher to give us less workload – so I can start helping mummy in the kitchen again, have time to read my Bible, and be able to start feeding my puppy again.
If my teacher can’t reduce the burden she’s putting on me, I would like to have my teacher replaced with one that’s more reasonable.
Judge: Thank you. Would the teacher please take to the stand and deliver their Statement.
Teacher: Thank you, your honour. I am sorry to have to agree with my student. I am so overworked that it is true, I cannot complete all the homework on my own and I have had to share it amongst my students to help me complete it each evening – or it would never get done! It’s not that I am not skilled enough to do the homework myself, in fact I’m quite good at colouring in between lines, it’s just the quantity of work.
As the saying goes, “Many hands make homework” and, like all teachers, I have my class helping me out each evening complete the day’s tasks. In my case, I didn’t think it was more than the students could handle. I wish there was a way I could lessen the load, but it’s just the system we’ve inherited, where pain and misery gets passed down to ALL students. I don’t believe another teacher will help the situation and I would really like to stay on, for I love my students.
Judge: Thank you. In light of all this information, I suggest that the student feed the homework to her puppy. That should fix everything.
OK, our next case is an accusation that God is giving us more than we can handle – contrary to the Bibles claims that He won’t. Would the accuser take to the stand and deliver their Statement.
Accuser: Thank you, your honour. It’s commonly shared among Christians in times of trials that the Bible says “God will never give us more than we can handle.” But today I’d like to suggest this promise has been neglected millions, if not billions, of times.
For example, what about the apostles of Jesus being martyred, surely their early deaths were more than they could handle. And many other Christians, though followers of God, have been killed for their faith. Surely their deaths were more than they “can bear”.
And how many people have had mental break downs from extremely traumatic life events or unhealthy workloads. And in extreme cases many are ‘broken’ to a point of no return? Surely THAT is life circumstances more than one can handle.
We really don’t need to go into details, especially with the children present in the room, but let’s just say, there is too much evidence of people indeed having more than they can handle, and this includes Christians too, who clearly God should favour.
I put it to the jury, that there is either no God that is capable of fulfilling such promise, or he’s a liar. There’s no other explanation.
I would like to have a court order put in place to have all Bibles of the world recalled and have a ‘Fiction’ label applied to the cover. For this example makes it clear, it doesn’t deliver on its promises.
Judge: Thank you. Would the defendant please take to the stand and deliver their statement.
Preacher: Thank you, your honour. I agree Christians need to stop sharing this promise around, for one simple reason….
Judge: Is this going to take long? I’ve got a drumming lesson I’m running late for.
Preacher: I think you need it, clearly your timing is not great….
~ AFTER SERMON - last in the 4 part series ~
[immediately after last part of the service]
Judge: ORDER, ORDER!
Unless you’re running to the bathrooms, please be seated!!!
I’ve heard that every hearing this month the jury has left the building before the judge has returned.
Members of the jury, would you please send forward your group representative.
[Pastor walks to stage]
This month we’ve put 4 theological concepts on trial.
First, that you can’t be sure of your salvation,
Second, That God promises to guide and prosper us in our daily living
Third, That reverence must mean silence
Fourth, That God will never allow more trials than we can handle.
On these four counts, the church leadership here has argued these are not actually what the Bible teaches and distorts our picture and expectations of God.
Have the jury come to a unanimous conclusion on whether these four concepts are in fact false, and recognise that these and many more miss-interpreted biblical concepts are circulating, and for many continue to hamper an accurate understanding of a loving God.
Pastor: Unanimous? Not entirely, your honour. While many agree with all that has been said, some still have doubts and questions that trouble them.
Judge: I see. In light of this.
For those with questions that trouble them, continue to study for yourself and with others, and in all your deliberations, use 1 John chapter 4 as you starting reference point: God is Love.
For all those who see the light in this month’s messages, continue in your personal study of the Bible also, and repeatedly discover more ways that God is love, and how this affects EVERYTHING!
For the accuser, for sneakily twisting God’s word and creating unhealthy myths regarding his Word, in an effort to destroy the reputation of God’s character and cause division in His church family, and with the ultimate goal of leading members of God’s family away: You are here by sentenced to 1000 years jail, followed by consumption by fire.
Members of the Jury, those present and online:
The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.
Performance: Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church Oct 28, 2023