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December 3, 2006
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Pick My Brain

Sermon Outline



Preached By Dan Hinkle


Hillbilly Christmas Traditions


          1.)  Turkey vs. Spam

          2.)  Reg. Ornaments vs. My Ornaments

          3.)  Reg. Stocking vs. my stocking


We all have different commercial Christmas traditions.  Some open presents

on Christmas Eve, some waited until Christmas morning.  Some leave milk and

cookies for Santa others leave brownies and kool - aid because their parents

don‘t like milk.  Whatever your Christmas traditions might be, one tradition

has never changed throughout the years.  What is it?  Santa Clause.




This fat jolly old man has out lasted the test of time with his rosy red

cheeks and long white beard, and his belly that shakes like a bowl full of

jelly, like mine.   He is shared in almost every commercial Christmas

tradition.  About this time of year he will be found in almost every mall in

America and kids will be lined up to tell him what it is that the want for



I’m sure that we all have our own traditions that we do every holiday

season, but Christmas isn’t the only thing were our traditions might differ.

  Our traditions differ in the Church as well.


Traditions in the Church


What is a tradition?


Tradition is the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, or information from generation to generation. 


It is a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting.


Our Church traditions might have been handed down to us from our parents or

even the church we attend at some point in our lives.  They are what we are

use to.  


But, no matter how different our traditions in Church are, there is

one thing that has never changed throughout time.  What is it?  God.


1.)  Some might like the Pews others enjoy chairs.  But our God is the same God.

2.)  Some might like Hymns others like contemporary worship songs.  But our                          God is the same God.

3.)  Some might like to bow at the alter when they pray some might like to lay on                       their face and drool on the carpet like me.  But our God is the same God.

4.)  Some might like the calm speaking like I’m doing now when the preacher delivers the message some might like those preachers from way down south (hack).  But our God is the same God.


Our Holy Awesome God made the test of time.  He is shared in every Christian

religion.  He made my belly shake like a bowl full of jelly.  God is the

same, has never changed and will never changed.  He has been, is, and will

always be God.


So if God is still the same, why all the different denominations of

churches? Does traditions make a church a true church?  No.  But it does

play a part in the different denominations category.


The bible speaks of traditions in  Isaiah 29:13


          “These people come near to me and honor me with their lips, but their

Hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of rules

taught by man.”




















Beliefs in the church.


What about beliefs.


A belief is defined as something believed; an opinion or conviction.


Our beliefs are important to us, aren’t they?  They are what we stand for

and stand beside when we are tested.  So our beliefs must make a church a

church.  They must be to blame for different denominations.  Different

denominations - yes, at least for the most part.  Do they make a church a

church?  No.  How can they.  Not everyone in this room share the same



1.)  Some believe that the gift of tongue is a unknown divine language Spoken through a person by the Holy Spirit others believe it is the ability to speak a known foreign language.

2.)  Some believe that the gift of prophesy is God giving someone an insight of                          things in someone’s life or something that will happen to someone in the future others believe that it is the gift where Gods reveals a message for someone to preach in church.

3.)  Some believe Jesus had blonde hair and blue eyes, some believe he had brown hair and brown eyes (I’ve heard people arguing about that before!)


These are just a few of the beliefs that may differ from each others.



The Bible tells us what do with are beliefs in 1 John 4:1


Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see

whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into

the world.


We have to put our beliefs to the test.  We can’t just choose to belief

something and find one or two verses in the Bible that support our belief

and say, “I found it in the Bible! It must be of God!  My belief is right!” 

We also have to look for verses that prove it wrong.  That is how we test

our beliefs to see if they are of God.  If our belief doesn’t pass the Bible

test, how can we honestly say it is true.








What is it that’s makes a church a church?


So, if it isn’t traditions that make a church a true church, and it isn’t

beliefs that makes a church a true church, then what is it? 


What makes a church a true church is when God is worship, honored and respected in the Truth and Spirit. 


You want me to tell you my traditions and beliefs.  I will.  Just not up here.  Because this alter that I’m standing on is intended by God to only contain what we know to be Truth and Spirit.  My traditions have no purpose to be spoke up here, because I couldn’t guarantee

you that are of Truth and Spirit, because my traditions were handed down to be my parents and things I have experienced in my life.  They weren’t handed down to me from God.  What right do I have to tell you my beliefs, when they are my opinions about things that I have studied and experience.  God hasn’t showed me if they are of Truth and Spirit.  And with the same note, who am I to stand up here and tell you that your traditions and beliefs are wrong.  I can’t judge how you worship God.


1.)  Some raise their hands during worship and sing in a loud voice to God, some                      close their eyes and sing to God in a soft whisper.

2.)  Some raise their heads and pray to God in loud voice, some bow their heads                        and pray in their mind

3.)  Some may believe that God has given them a gift of the Spirit, some believe                         that the gifts weren’t intend for the church of today.

4.)  Some may believe that God still heals people through someone’s prayers,  Others believe that God blesses the doctors to make us fill better.


Who are we to judge someone else’s traditions by our own traditions?  

Who are we to judge someone else’s beliefs by our own beliefs? 

Who are we to judge someone else’s style of worship by our own style of worship? 


We do not come to church to focus on our differences.

We come to church to focus on what we have in common, and that is The Truth. 


What Truth do we share?


That Jesus Christ came into this world born of a virgin.  He didn’t come to

condemn it, but to save it, and by doing so, he was nailed to a cross and

died.  He didn’t even have a tomb of his own, but was placed in a borrowed

tomb, where three days later he rose again defeating death, sin and Satan

himself, and became our living sacrifice so that the doors that stood

between man and God would forever be opened to any man or woman who will

choose to walk thru them.


That is the Truth that we come here to worship.  That is the Sacrifice that

binds us together as a family.  That Is the Spirit that makes us a true



John 4:23 & 24 reads


          Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship

the Father in Spirit and in Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the

Father seeks.  God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and

in Truth.


We have our own traditions.  We have our own beliefs.  And we might worship

in different ways.  We might do things a little different then each other. 

But it’s what we share that is important.  We share the Spirit and the

Truth.  We share God.