Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Thanksgiving = Pie time. I know, apple pies are not traditional Thanksgiving pies, but I heard this illustration using apple pies a couple weeks ago at College Ministry, and I really liked it. And I expanded on it a little. Apple pies are a lot like our spiritual lives. Really, they’re like our lives in general, but I’ll stick with the spiritual aspect of it for this illustration. I’ll just speak from the perspective of baking an apple pie, and instead of insulting your intelligence by making all the connections for you, I’ll let you do that on your own. I’ll interject where I feel like an interjection may be necessary, but for the most part, you should be able to see the connections.
In order to make an apple pie, we need specific ingredients, right? Right. Specific ingredients are essential to a fulfilling and satisfying pie. For example, apples. Apples are definitely necessary to make an apple pie. Sugar. I don’t know about you, but an apple pie without sugar (or any sweetener) would not be satisfying. In fact, it’ll probably be disgusting. Butter, flour, etc. etc. I think you get the point. There are essentials to a fulfilling and satisfying pie.
Then, there are the things that will definitely be terrible to add to the pie. For example, the pie would literally be ruined if you were to add a pound of mayonnaise to the pie. Why would you even do that? Or, what if you added pickles in the filling? That’s just gross. Or spaghetti sauce? Yum, right?! Ok, I don’t think I need to beat this dead horse any more. Certain things can definitely ruin a pie and make it unsatisfying, if not completely inedible.
Then there’s the cooking method. Who in his right mind would microwave an apple pie? NOT ME! I mean, microwaving could be a tempting cooking method. After all, it’s quick, easy, and it might work. But deep down, even before you put the pie in the microwave, you know it’s not going to be as good as if you just put it in the oven and wait. Be patient and wait for the process to run its course. *Interjection*(Sanctification is like us baking! It takes time and it takes patience.) To take a short, sort-of detour, sex outside of marriage is kind of like this whole “microwaving” process. Yeah, it’s quick, it’s easy, it requires no patience, but essentially, it’s not nearly as fulfilling as sex inside marriage. Or so I’ve heard. I wouldn’t know seeing as I’m not married.
Now, this is the part I added.
Although certain ingredients will definitely create a fulfilling and satisfying pie, and certain things will definitely create a pie that will not be fulfilling, there are also the optional ingredients. The gray areas. Although every apple pie has some of the same essential ingredients, most of them differ in the amounts of these ingredients, and some of them may even have additional ingredients. For example, some people may want to add cinnamon to their pie. Is it essential? No. But does it make it worse? No. Or, some people may want a latticed top. Others may want a solid top with slits in it. Does it really make a difference? No. And this is usually where arguments arise.
We need to realize that all the essential ingredients are the same in every apple pie and stop fighting over whether or not the pie needs cinnamon.
Here’s the sermon on which I based the majority of this. Just look on the left-hand side and click on the podcast from 11/06/2011 entitled, The Empty Church: Stir It Up. http://www.gracepoint.org/index.cfm/PageID/2155/index.html