Cafeteria Spirituality, A Wild Lion, & the Death of Death

February 20, 2013 — 2 Comments

After almost three years of being out from behind a pulpit, this weekend I get to share with my home community here in Portland: Theophilus Church. We are nearing the end of our journey though the book of Hosea together and AJ has asked me to keep us moving forward by sharing out of Hosea 13. If you’ve not read that chapter recently (or ever) you should take a minute to do that.

Man, this chapter seems like a really Debbie Downer of a passage, right? Check out this imagery:

[T]hey will be like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears,
like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,
like smoke escaping through a window.

. . .

I will come upon them like a lion,
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
I will attack them and rip them open.
Like a lion I will devour them: a wild animal will tear them apart.
You are destroyed, O Israel,
because you are against me,
against your helper.

. . .

Pains as of a woman in childbirth will come to him,

. . .

They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open.

Hosea 13:3, 7-9, 13a, 16b

This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God, right?

So, where am I going to go with this passage? Well, if you’re in the Portland area on the evening of Sunday February 24, you should come find out. I’ll give you the working title for the message is the same as the title of this post, so maybe that will give you a clue as to what I’m thinking: “Cafeteria Spirituality, A Wild Lion, & the Death of Death.”

What would you draw out of this chapter? Or, even better, what would you want to hear talked about from this chapter?

Anderson Campbell


  • John Stauffer

    Andy, You have scared us all, well not really, but you have cause reason for provoking thought. I admit that I have never even considered delivering let alone creating a sermon or five minute talk on this chapter. I have read and re-read the passage trying to come up with a comment worthy of what you must have developed. What I can take away without going to commentary and other books is that specifically the Scripture is speaking to a head in the sand nation of people who do not want to believe that the impending destruction is coming. Application for me and those to whom I minister may be to act now on the need for repenting of sin. Now I know that is simplistic, but I am a simple man. All to often we who call ourselves Christians find it very comfortable to not do what Scripture leads us to do in obedience to God’s will not to mention instruction and command. Wish I could be there to hear. Hope you will send me the message.

    • Anderson Campbell

      Thanks, John! I think you’re right about the “head in the sand” bit. James Luther Mays’ commentary on the opening verses of this chapter refers to Israel as “zombies . . . the walking dead” who go through the motions of religion without paying much attention to what any of it means. And this was decades before AMC’s show!