The Emotionally Healthy Church Notes


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The Emotionally Healthy Church Notes

  1. 1. Emotionally Health ChurchAKA How to be an Emotionally Healthy ChristianToo much individualismImprove personal = EH Church 1
  2. 2. I used to think GENUINE conversion = all problems vanishNO inner strugglesOLDER Christians DID struggle but COVER UPRepression = unhealthy emotions = stunted spiritual growthAuthors: John Powell, Rick Warren, Henri Nouwen, Gary Thomas challenged meSeminary: Peter Scazzero The Emotionally Healthy ChurchWhiz kid dynamic difficult Queens NY multi cultural church 60 nationalitiesState of the Art CORPORATE MANAGEMENT SKILLS = Rapid Church growth popular speakerWife Geri stopped and WANTED OUT OF THE MARRIAGESPIRITUALLY EMPTY, Emotionally drained and unhealthyHusband, leader of the church also SPIRITUALLY EMPTY, Emotionally drained and unhealthyPulled back, saved marriage and most of his church looked deep insideBOMBARDED by religious data from OUTSIDETotally UNAWARE of what was going on INSIDE HIS SOUL, beneath the surfaceGod was trying to speak to him INTERNALLY but he was ignoring itAllowed HOLY SPIRIT to illuminate Scripture and apply it personallyWrote the book The Emotionally Healthy Church and other sequels 2
  3. 3. Contrast King Saul, King David2 Books of the Bible: 1 & 2 Samuel Fasicnating storyStart New Year and congregation search for NEW DIRECTION and LEADERSHIPI commend study of SAMUELModern Church goers like SAUL Effective administrator, -- his own way and in his ownstrengthbut EPITOME of religious man who was EMOTIONALLY UNHEALTHYGod Frustrated: 1 Samuel 15 v35 “And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul kingover Israel” .As crime fiction novelist Catherine Aird said: “If you can’t be a good example, thenyou’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” 3
  4. 4. GIBEAH high plateau 8 kms JebusMostly foreigners. David later drove out and established Jerusalem as the Capital80 yrs prior to SAUL, no centralized governmentJUDGES, like Samuel handled disputes The Lord YAHWEH was the rulerLAWLESSNESS RAMPANTBook of Judges repeatedly EVERY ONE DID WHAT THEY WANTED BECAUSE THEREWAS NO KING IN THE LAND OF ISRAELElderly Levite near Bethel Argument with wife over another man She ran home toparents in BethlehemHe went after her. Inlaws were hospitable - stayed five daysHeaded home: wife “Lets stop in Jebus”Husband: too many foreigners there, lets keep driving 4
  5. 5. Arrived Gibeah near dark . All motels had no vacancy signsParked in Wal-Mart parking lot OOPS too modern! Actually town square.Farmer said this isn’t safe. Hospitality, bunk with meHorrible event! Worse than Sodom and Gomorrah Judges 19SHAME OF GIBEAH for centuries Hosea 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves,as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity. He will punish them fortheir sins.Gruesome message. Israelites of other 11 tribes OUTRAGEDIn Judges 20:12-14 (TNIV) 12 The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughoutthe tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that wascommitted among you? 13 Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over tous so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.” Butthe Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites. 14 From theirtowns they came together at Gibeah to fight against the Israelites.Gang mentality – bullies – protect the criminals.First Civil war of Israel 200,000 Israelites slew 25,000 men of the tribe of Benjamin,and their wives and children -- Burned CitiesTribe of Benjamin THE SMALLEST OF TRIBES 5
  6. 6. Turning point in the call for a King to protect the safety of citizens frominternal and external threats. PLEADED WITH SAMUEL TO ANOINT AKINGASTOUNDING: Samuel anoints a man from tribe of Benjamin, directdescendant of the wicked rapists of GibeahARK OF COVENANT stored nearby BECAME CAPITAL OF ALL ISRAELSAUL built his palace and fortress there. Ruins still there. 6
  7. 7. SAMUEL ANOINTED SAULSAUL Started off well – slipped back into bullying, force manipulation instead ofdepending on the LordNot self aware of family of origin influencesNo inner life never pondered reflected JUST GOT UP AND DID THINGSNo empathy CompassionWhy did God choose? Why no objection? (there were some)Poor memory of history1 Samuel 9 father Kish a MIGHTY MAN OF POWERLike Kennedy family in USA: Wealth and Power conceals bad character traits.Tall and handsome 1 Samuel 9: 2 says Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome ayoung man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller thananyone else.He looked like a King! (on the outside) 7
  8. 8. latest technologybronze agePhilistines Troy marauding pirates King of Egypts navydiscovered ironSaul had managed to befriend or trick them into making his an iron tipped spear whichbecame his “SIGNATURE WEAPON.”Compromise with the enemy 8
  9. 9. King Arthur had his Excaliber, James Bond had his Walther P99,Indiana Jones had his bullwhip,Luke Skywalker had his...Light saber.Saul defined by his Iron tipped spear and iron swordMore pride in possessions than dependence upon the Lord 9
  10. 10. Saul urged David to use armor David chose humble slingshot and the strength of theLord of HOSTSThe women sang:Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands.” (1 Sam 18:7)SAUL very jealousLethal weapon dangerous--- Saul depressed; tried to pin David to the wall.SAUL’s Pathetic death: suicide by falling on his own sword (1 Samuel 31:4-5) 10
  11. 11. Ruled like GODFATHER OF A MOBLike modern GODFATHER used cloak of religion to hide is insecurities and inner rage.Religious to a point of fanaticism1 Samuel 19:23 “So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of Godcame even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came toNaioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied inSamuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This iswhy people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 11
  12. 12. Before the crisis, compare David with SaulMy childhood - klutz – not athletic – 100lb weaklingDREADED Phys Ed. Two captains: Pick teams: BASEBALL – SOCCER – HOCKEYI was always last! And my team usually lost because of my screw-upsGod sent Samuel to Bethlehem to interview the sons of JESSESamuel liked ELIAB, the eldest tall and handsome1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.The LORD does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outwardappearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”A better way of assessing leadershipGOD SAID No to all seven sonsIs there anymore?Yes, but ONLY a boy tending sheepParents underestimate the leadership qualities of some of their childrenDAVID cameSamuel 16:12 “He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsomefeatures.” Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 12
  13. 13. Anointed secretly successor to throne of Israel – not Saul’s son JonathanLast one to be picked - had to wait 40 years -- running from a jealous and vindictiveKing SAULTime to smooth of his ROUGH EDGES: With a band of 400 transient followers LikeHell’s Angels – protection racketNo vindictiveness or treacheryUnashamed of his feelings: When Saul ordered his son Jonathan to kill David, theyoung men wept together, but the Bible says that “David wept the most.” (1 Sam20:41)When David’s wife was taken captive in 1 Samuel 30:4 “David and his men wept alouduntil they had no strength left to weep.”Despite opportunities to assassinate Saul in his Sleep, David was compassionate wouldnot “touch the Lords anointed.”David a dreamer and a poet. He captured his feelings in his Psalms. He wrote Psalm 51after being caught in a terrible sin. 13
  14. 14. 1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad Ive been; my sins are staring me down. 14
  15. 15. 4-6 Youre the One Ive violated, and youve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. Ive been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What youre after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. 15
  16. 16. 7-15 Soak me in your laundry and Ill come out clean, scrub me and Ill have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Dont look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Dont throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. 16
  17. 17. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and Ill sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; Ill let loose with your praise. 17
  18. 18. 16-17 Going through the motions doesnt please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love dont for a moment escape Gods notice. 18
  19. 19. 18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in, repair Jerusalems broken-down walls. Then youll get real worship from us, acts of worship small and large, Including all the bulls they can heave onto your altar! 19
  20. 20. Samuels’ job: Chief Judge and Prophet voice of God to people -- especially the King.Remember dedicated to God temple as a little boy (1 Samuel 1) and God hadregularly spoken to him?Transition Nation of Israel from a Theocracy to a Monarchy.SAUL INCREASINGLY difficult to work withAssumed leader had to be impressive and charismatic -- impressed by ELIAB God hadother plansDidn’t live to see David on throne.AT GREAT PERSONAL RISK OBEYED GODSamuel wanted to be politically correct and culturally sensitive but he was moreconcerned about obeying the voice of God. 20
  21. 21. SAMUEL SAW TROUBLE COMINGStrict instructions to SAULAmalekites in 1 Samuel 15. They had caused no end of grief for theIsraelites and Samuel told Saul to completely wipe them out: men womenchildrenCompletely destroy animals burn all their possessions.SAUL ONLY PARTIALLY OBEYED! Samuel cried all night1 Sam 15 verse 13: Saul lied and said he had done what the Lord said. Hethot Everything hunky dory 21
  22. 22. SAMUEL CONFRONTED SAUL WITH HIS DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LORDHere comes our text lets read it together:20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORDassigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought backAgag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder,the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to theLORD your God at Gilgal.” 22
  23. 23. 22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD?To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 23
  24. 24. 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’scommand and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave into them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, sothat I may worship the LORD.” 26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You haverejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as kingover Israel!” 24
  25. 25. 27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe,and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom ofIsrael from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to onebetter than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or changehis mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.” 30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders ofmy people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worshipthe LORD your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saulworshiped the LORD. 25
  26. 26. 32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.” Agagcame to him in chains. And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death ispast.” 33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so willyour mother be childless among women.” And Samuel put Agag to deathbefore the LORD at Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeahof Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again,though Samuel mourned for him.AND THE LORD REGRETTED THAT HE HAD MADE SAUL KING OVER ISRAEL. 26
  27. 27. 1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejectedhim as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending youto Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to theLORD.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are toanoint for me the one I indicate.” 4 SAMUEL DID WHAT THE LORD SAID. 27
  28. 28. ISRAEL lost a leader rejected by God because of pride andinsubordination.NOTICE HOW SAUL’S CONFESSION LACKS THE PASSION ANDBROKENNESS OF DAVID’S CONFESSION IN PSALM 51. HE JUST GOESBACK TO HIS SEEDY LITTLE TOWN AND NOTHING CHANGES IN HIS LIFEFOR 40 YEARS.DIDN’T ACCEPT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY Blamed people who wantedspoils of war.Placate God with a few extra sacrificesthe enemy King prisoner GLOAT poor man Emotionally sick people enjoylooking good at another’s expense.Samuel could see the downfall of Israel because of the confusion andcorruption of its commander-in chief.Samuel mourned and mourned NO hope for the future.SAUL suggested Religious ritual -- Good optics for his eldersLord has no patience with people who a RELIGIOUS FOR MERELY SHOW. 28
  29. 29. Closest companions thot EVERYTHING GREAT.GOOD CHURCHGOING RELIGIOUS MANCaptain of a ship knows the greatest danger in an iceberg lies beneath the surface.God sees what lies beneath our surface. CAN WE SEE IT? ARE WE EVEN AWARE?Integrate emotional health --contemplative spirituality. spend time in personalreflection and search his soul.ancestors in the wilderness suffered disobeyed God. But SAUL didnt think thatapplied to him.Evan Samuel hesitated at God’s command RATIONALITY AND LOGIC GOT IN THE WAY.TREASON? HIS own neck? ASSASINATION, Civil War?There is always a rational, logical reason to disobey the Lord.Isa 55:7-8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higherthan your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 29
  30. 30. different legacy King Saul and King David Both had faults:SAUL: “LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.”DAVID: Beloved King – model for Rulers -- Type of ChristNEW TESTAMENT: God considered David “a man after mine own heart.” (Acts 13:22)KEY to Obedience to God is staying in touch with yourself and removing barriers to completedependence on God.SILENCE – Prayer a conversation --- not gimme gimme listHow does God speak? Maybe your Inner emotions & feelings:ANGER at ex-husband or ornery colleague at work STUFFING IT FOR YEARSTime Dad broke your heart when he never showed up at your soccer tournament. …affectingyour behavior today?some shameful skeleton in your family of origin that affects your behavior today?You may be unconsciously repeating the behavior or on the other hand over compensating forit.Maybe just family tradition of KEEPING YOUR MOUTH SHUT AND STUFFING YOUR FEELINGSThis CAN BE A SERIOUS OBSTACLE TO OBEYING THE VOICE OF THE LORDCan YOU live brokenness and vulnerability?Or get what you want by bullying and manipulation?Prayer, ---tell God what is going on around us-- telling him what is going on inside of us?Jesus set us free: 10% outside, but the 90% of feeling thoughts and attitudes that lie buried onthe inside.Jesus cant deal with what we are not even aware of.SAUL never poured out conflicted inner feelings like DAVIDUnaware, unreflective -- on auto pilotJESUS came that we might live more authentic lives.KJV John 10:10.I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it moreabundantly.Church emotionally healthy: == emotionally healthy members You and meMay God Help us and free us to live life more abundantly, so that the world may see a Christlikechange in our lives and begin to want what we have. 30
  31. 31. May the Lord bless and protect you.May the Lord’s faceradiate with joy because of you.May He be gracious to youand show you His favorand give you his peace.Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,now and from ages to agesAmen. 31