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Crystal Cathedral

Main Service Times: Main - 9:30 & 11:00 AM | Evening - 7:00 PM | Arabic - 1:15 PM

Our Positive Approach

Children...Always the Future of the Faith by Dr. John M Soderberg, 2003

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Words from Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Founding Pastor

Born into a Dutch Reformed community in northwest Iowa, I was taught early and consistently as to what was a sin. It was a “sin” to fish or listen to secular radio programs on Sunday; a sin to dance; a sin to play cards made up of diamonds, clubs, hearts and spades. An unbelievable amount of energy by church officials was dedicated to discovering and defining which cultural and social practices were sins of commission.

But later in life, I noted that Christ, in the New Testament, shifts the focus from sins of commission to sins of omission. “A new commandment I give unto you … that you love one another” (John 13:34). So Christ shifts the heart of religion from the emphasis of living under the law to living under grace. Jesus did not make a list of “not to do’s” but of “to do’s.”

God called me to be a missionary to un-churched persons in the middle of the 20th century. I quickly discovered that the non-religious people turned off religion when I talked about “sins of commission.” So how could I deal with sin without insulting, embarrassing, humiliating or offending the person who lived an average “decent” life? I had to handle this problem of “sin” or “sins” without being my own worst enemy as I shared the basic tenets of the Christian faith.

To only preach against the sins of commission is to cause unbelievers to perceive preachers and well-meaning Christians as “holier than thou” hypocrites. I came to a conclusion that sin is caused by “lack of faith” in God and His ways. So my God-given mission became to build faith in the minds of doubters.

We must ask the question, “What does God want me to do?” It is not enough just to have peace of mind knowing that in Christ we are forgiven, that our guilt is gone. But we also need to leave church with a God-given dream. It is time to focus more on the sins of omission, to listen to the dreams that God sends into our imagination. For not to listen to them and not to try to turn them into achievements, could be the worst sin many people will ever commit.

Only when we repent of our sins of omission will we turn repentance into a positive dynamic force. We do that when we dare to make a commitment to try to do something beautiful for God -- even before we can be assured that we will succeed. So when we pray and do that which God has called us to do, believing in faith, then we are fulfilling the command of Christ: “If anyone would be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). In doing this, we live at our fullest potential, and bring the greatest glory to God.



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