This sermon is part of the sermon series "American Idols". See series.
I was reading an article from Newsweek recently: "In Search of the Spiritual." Apparently, the religious website Beliefnet sends out more than 8 million daily emails of spiritual wisdom in various flavors to more than 5 million subscribers. Generic inspiration is the most popular 2.4 million emails, followed by inspirations from the Bible with 1.6 million. But there are 460,000 subscribers to the Buddhist thought of the day, 313,000 Torah devotees, 268,000 subscribers to daily Muslim wisdom, and 236,000 who get spiritual weight loss messages.
Even nature worshiping pagans are divided into a mind boggling pan plea of Wicca, Druidism, Pantheism, Animism, Teutonic Platonism, and the God of Spirituality folk. And in case you can't find one to suit you on that list, there's Eclectic Paganism.
If I were to walk through Beliefnet's website, I would draw this conclusion: we are very religious people. In fact, 79% of people in the U.S. under the age of 60 would categorize themselves as spiritual. Not religious, but spiritual. Two-thirds of all Americans claim to pray every day. We don't know to who or what they pray, just that they pray.
I am without question reminded of Acts 17 when I read this information, and that is the text we're going to use to start with here. We're going to take a little time to try and figure out what seems to be the case in America that we are very spiritual people—or are at least interested in spiritual things, however we might choose to define that.
Idols of Athens
Paul's statement is so clear about the kind of world that he lived in, and it is very similar to ours. He's in the Greek city of Athens. Athens was the place of the Acropolis—the home of the Areopagus, or "Mars' Hill," where ...
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