Damariscotta Baptist Church
Friday, July 20, 2018
Growing personal relationships with God and community

07/29/12 Sermon

2 Samuel 11:1-15
 

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord our strength and our Redeemer, Amen

 
 
 
 

Most of us know the old nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty:

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Could not put Humpty Dumpty together again.

This nursery rhyme is the story of King David in our scripture today. As we read, King David was up on top of the wall so to speak; on the roof looking around (actually a peeping Tom).

 

In his idleness, he’s looking for some pleasure and just so happened to see the beautiful Bathsheba, bathing.

 
 

We know the rest of the story. David sends for the married Bathsheba, he sleeps with her (which in reality was more like rape because of her powerless inability to be able to say no).

This adultery leads to her be with child and in order to hide this sin he continues the fall thru deceit, deception and the eventual murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah.

 
 

It can be disturbing story to us as people of faith---- I mean David, who’s known as a man after God’s own heart takes a mighty fall. What a poor example for a man of God. What a hypocrite.

 
 
But in reality, the honesty of this account is very significant.

The writer of this account didn’t sugarcoat King David’s life. They told it like it was.

 
 

And this story is an important story for us to talk about both inside and outside the church.

 
 

Because this story gets to the truth of Christianity that we people of God, who follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior fall off the wall as Humpty Dumpty’s.

 
 
We fall off the wall with many sins especially sexual sins.
 
 

And there are different kinds of sexual sin that cause us to take a tumble.

 
 
For one, many fall off the wall like David did with adultery.
 
 

Of course our culture tries to soften and sugar coat the word adultery by calling it an affair.

We even romanticize adultery on TV or in books as we weave an acceptable storyline such as 2 star struck lovers whose destiny was meant to be.

 
 

Other ways that people fall into adultery and seek to justify it is by blaming our spouse.

 
 

We say that we were pushed into another’s arms by a spouse who has failed to live up to their end of the marriage.

 

Of course many of us can honestly claim to have never had an affair. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t committed adultery.

 
 

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he made it clear that adultery is committed in our hearts as we look at another with lust (Matthew 5:27-28).

 
 

So the click on our computer at pornography or the long gaze at the woman or man walking along is an act of adultery…………..

 

Still besides adultery there are other sexual sins that cause us to fall off the wall.

 
 

Fornication is a popular one in our culture. Fornication of course is defined as 2 people having a sexual relationship outside the covenant of marriage.

 
 

It’s interesting that we as a society don’t view this even as a sin anymore.

 
 

But you know, there was a time when a sexual scene between 2 unmarried people on TV would elicit shock. But now we simply hope they are using contraceptives.

 
 

I saw this week where Dartmouth University did a research study that shows that for every hour of exposure to sexual content on screen, kids between 14 and 16 were more than 5 times likely to lose their virginity within six years.  

 

It also reported that more than a third of G-rated movies were found to contain sexual content.

 
 

All of this has conditioned us to forget about fornication as a sin and just try to limit the casualties by passing out birth control at school.

 
 

We even tell our own kids to make sure they use birth control because we know the culture has won this battle.

 
Clearly we are falling off the wall when it comes to fornication.
 
 

Of course, there’s another sexual sin that has taken center stage in our society today. The sin of homosexuality.

 

It too like fornication is seeking to be an acceptable sexual sin in our culture.

 
 

Of course the proponents of homosexuality and gay marriage are very adamant in proclaiming that homosexuality is not a sin.           The argument is that homosexuals were born that way.

 
 

The Christian response is actually in agreement with that last statement----We’re indeed all born that way----a way of sin. All of us were born with a desire to act out sin that feels natural to us. Just ask David. His desires were natural to him.

 
 

I mean if men were really honest we probably would all desire to be polygamists (not me Cindy!). That’s the natural desire.

Some have a natural desire to overindulge in alcohol or drugs, some have a natural desire to overeat. Some have a natural desire to gossip---a sin is a sin.

 
 
But following that natural desire is what leads us to fall off the wall.
 
 

You know the more I reflect on the issue of homosexuality and the volatility of the same sex marriage issue I think at the very heart of this is the whole rejection of the idea of sin.

 

There seems to be a correlation and uniting between those who support gay marriage and homosexual behavior and those who resist the whole notion of sin.

 
 

For example, Unitarian Universalists are very supportive of gay marriage.

 
 

They are also very well-known for rejecting the reality of Satan and Hell. They also reject a doctrine of a fallen creation in sin.

 
 

And so it makes sense that when you call homosexuality a sin that they would be outraged and attack with claims of bigotry and hate.

 
 

We saw in the news this week that the Mayors of Boston and Chicago want to prohibit Chick Fil A restaurants from coming into their cities because of the CEO’s interview in a Baptist magazine that he supported traditional marriage and felt same sex marriage was a sin.

 
There was indignant outrage.

Again when you don’t have a belief in sin and someone says your sinning you would take it as being judged and condemned.

 
 

But what these folks fail to understand is that when Christians call someone a sinner, it’s like sayin “howdy brother or howdy sister”.

 
 
We’re all sinners----our scripture today reminds us of that.
 

We’re all Humpty Dumpty’s who fall of the wall in one way or another. And no sin is greater than another.

 
 

But I do have to say that proponents of homosexuality have a point when they speak about Christians being judgmental.

 
 
Our churches have failed to make it clear that we’re a bunch of Humpty Dumpty’s.
 
 

We have for far too long come to church and tried to put on a show of how good and righteous we are.

 
 

Church has been a place where you clean up, put on your Sunday best, and act as stiff and unnatural as possible.

 
 

Heaven forbid you would actually share with someone else your problems or your sins that you struggle with.

 
 

You know, I truly think that churches need to be more like the AA groups when we come together and worship. Each of us should get up, say our name and proclaim that we’re a sinner.

 
 

If that is who we would truly be, then perhaps when people hear us say that those who practice fornication or adultery or homosexuality or any other sin they would know we’re not condemning but rather inviting.

 
 

If we would be honest as this scripture is honest we would be known as a place where all people are welcome to get on the journey of becoming.

 
 
I put on the sign this week three words: Belong, Believe and Become.
 
 
I think that’s what best describes what our churches should be about.
 
 

We are a place where you are welcomed and belong before you even believe. 

 
 

Then as you feel the belonging and seek to grow and learn you might come to believe.

 
 

And then as you believe you don’t remain where you are---you get on the journey of becoming.

 
 
 

And that becoming is a journey of repentance and grace. We seek to become more and more who God wants us to be while we are still sinners who fall off the wall.

 
 
David is the model for us here too.
 
 

He acknowledged and repented of his sins when he wrote the words of the 51st Psalm that we’re going to read together in unison.

 
 

We Christians are broken people who fall off the wall. And so being called a sinner is not something to get defensive about; it’s something to embrace.

 
 
Christianity is based on both sin and grace. They go together.
 
 

God’s grace was in sending His son to free us from our sins and put us back together again and make us more whole.

 

And so as we get on this journey of becoming; of seeking to be free from sin we find new birth and resurrection.

 
 

God lifts us up and puts us together again in a more complete way that we even knew was possible.

 
 

Eugene Peterson in his book Practice Resurrection tells a true story of a woman in her late twenties who wanted to become a Christian but had no idea of what becoming a Christian involved.

They talked and prayed and she made a commitment to follow Jesus and presented herself for baptism.

 
 

She wanted to continue to meet with Peterson and they did. Well one of the things that puzzled Peterson was that she lived with her boyfriend and didn’t think much about it.

 
 

Peterson wondered if she knew that the Christian way had sexual implications.

 

One day, on an impulse, Peterson said we’ve been having conversations for seven months---would you do me a favor?

 
 

She said Sure, what is it?

 
 

He said live celibate refraining from having sex for the next 6 months.

 
 

Well she was surprised and said “Why would I do that”?

 

Peterson said just trust me, I think it’s important.

 
 

Well she agreed--------------- and  after one week the boyfriend moved out.

 
 

When she spoke with Peterson two months later she said I didn’t understand why you asked me to live celibate….but now I do.

 
 

I feel so free. I’ve never felt so ‘myself’ before, never so home with myself.

She said “I thought everybody did what I was doing---all my friends did. It was just the American Way--- But now I’m noticing so many other things about my relationships with others---they seem more clean and whole, and uncluttered. And you know what? I’ve been thinking that I might want to get married someday. Thank you.”

 
 
 

As we confess that we are sinners and get on the journey of turning away from sin, God comes to us and puts us together in a more complete way that we ever imagined possible.

In closing this morning  we’re being reminded in this frank and honest account of David’s sins that we’re all Humpty Dumpty’s who fall and who need God’s grace to put us back together again.

 
 

God loves us so much and doesn’t want us to remain in a “less than life” of living in sexual sin or any kind of sin.

 
 
God wants so much more for us than that.
 
 

As a church in this community our witness to others should be a witness that we aren’t perfect people judging others of their sins.

 
 

Instead we need to be known as a hospital full of sinners in rehab together. No sin is worse than another; we’re all in the same boat.

 
 

What might happen if people equated us as a bunch of Humpty Dumpty’s who admit they fall off the wall.

 

Perhaps then, when we say something is a sin they wouldn’t defiantly deny it or try and justify it.

 
 

Instead they might come and join us as one of us on the journey of receiving the free grace of God who wants to change us and put us back together again into the wholeness of who we were created to be.

 
 
 
 

Today if you are living in sexual sin or any kind of sin don’t deny it or be offended by it---instead come take your place with us-----as one of us:

 
 

Humpty Dumpty’s who fall off the wall with a God who will put us back together again.

 
 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen

 
 
 

*As a sinner---if you would please rise and join with me in David’s unison confession of Psalm 51 on #703 in your hymnal.