Identity Theft, Part 2 – Know Who You Are Becoming!

This was the last sermon from Chris Barras from Velocity Church, who is planting a new Christian Church in Carytown – Area 10 Project!

Many things around us have image problems – just look at McDonalds and what happened after the “Supersize Me” fiasco. They used to sell those enormous 1+ liter drinks and now after the movie that Morgan guy did from only eating their food for 30 days, they decided to change their image and now only are selling with small/medium/large sizes!

Like that, Christianity definitely has an image problem. Chris points out and I definitely concur that when you tell someone that you are a Christian, various assumptions can be made – that you are right-wing, fundamentalist, homophobic, etc., etc. But what if we use another term instead of Christian? What about what the original Christians went by – “followers of the Way”? Well, say that to anyone and they probably will think you are in some cult! What about “Christ follower”? That seems a little better.

1. Getting down to the core of it, what should our identity be? Let’s dig into the Word and see:

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.

Leviticus 18:1-5

What’s it point? To be SET APART! If you continue on reading Leviticus, you will see the Lord continues to be specific in exactly how he means to be set apart, including do not steal, lie, defraud, rob, etc. But when you get to Leviticus 19, it gets a little weird: “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head”, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves”… But let’s be honest here – these specific situations are not the issue – the historical context must be taken into consideration. Tattoos relate to Baal worship. God was saying to live differently!

2. OK – you get it, but how are we supposed to live differently?

I can’t recall the specific verse Chris brought up but it is in Jeremiah… Chris spoke about when he and his wife were contemplating what to do they were somewhere I believe in Church Hill area overlooking the city and saw a Bible verse that specifically answered their contemplations (I believe this was it):

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Jeremiah 29:7

Chris’ concern and love for our city is one of the driving reasons why he wants to plant a church in that area.

On an unrelated topic to the sermon, I was looking around the Internet on his sentiments, and came across an interesting book that seems to relate to that topic – The Suburban Christian, and apparently the guy who wrote it has a blog


One response to “Identity Theft, Part 2 – Know Who You Are Becoming!

  1. Nice recall of my message Chris. Good stuff. The video I showed is on my blog. Look under the article about Velocity having a baby. There is a link in there to the video.

    For the record, I’m not into the global warming thing either. Check out and read his speeches about it. Very interesting stuff. He makes more sense than just about anything I’ve read. I agree with you though, that warming aside, we should do what we can to be stewards of the environment.

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