Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jesus or Idols?

Jesus or Idols?

Matt.6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I Tim.6:7 - For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Phil.2:13 - For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

It is most astounding, and distressing, how the church is able to give lip service to the written Scriptures as God’s Word and openly defy its teachings. In fact, many churches “boldly” proclaim the Bible as “inerrant” while speaking and living at odds with its teachings. Can there be any deeper self righteousness than publicly embracing the Bible as inerrant as a sign of your spiritual integrity? The only sign of spirituality is how much of the Scriptures we reflect, not what we believe about the Scriptures.

We live in a culture consumed with pleasure and money. All elections are swayed by the present economic conditions, and I have often contended that Satan himself would be elected of he brought a great measure of prosperity. And while the average lost person moans and gripes about a bad economy, the church has followed suit. Preachers by the thousands speak against President Obama based in large part because of a bad economy. They point to the national debt while they themselves led the church to borrow great sums to build buildings.

But believers by the millions murmur and complain about many things from gas prices to house equities and food prices. And inherent in those complaints are three blatant sins against the clear teaching of Scripture. First is the sin of complaining, and second is the sin of worry, and third is the sin of greed. The complaints from American believers are usually not because they are starving. Those complaints are because the higher prices mean less money in their pockets, and many, if not most, of these complaints come from people who have personal debts.

The Lord Jesus Himself exhorted us not to worry about tomorrow, especially as it concerns our personal wealth. What kind of people claim to have life eternal secured, and yet complain about temporal things? Who could believe such a people? Our spiritual credibility is sorely undermined when we complain about temporal things and yet attempt to convince others concerning eternal things. Say what you will, but when a person flies an airplane into a building and sacrifices his own life, that does not prove the truth of his belief system, however it does prove his own commitment to his beliefs.

So what are we to say? When God tells us not to worry and not to complain about money and the economic conditions, how do we explain to God our unbiblical speech? And when we praise God for a good economy, but complain about a bad one, does that not place economics as our idol? We hate socialism but love capitalism. And why do we love capitalism? Because it carries the hope of personal prosperity. And what do we call that, class? That is called greed. That is unless you believe God desires to financially proper all His children.

You see, the only difference between the prosperity preachers and those preachers who are against the prosperity message is doctrine. But in practice they are more similar than many would like to admit. And when you steal but scold others that steal, what is that called, class? Hypocrisy. And when you rebuke the prosperity message but seek your own prosperity, what is that called, class? Hypocrisy.

So what has happened to the church? The church has fallen victim to the culture. Instead of aggressively seeking to remain apart from our culture, we have embraced it. Oh we retain our condemnation of homosexuality and drugs and abortion and drinking and cursing and adultery and other sins in order to present our orthodox hamartiology, the doctrine of sin, but we still cling to some of the deepest sins which are tethered to money. Yes, we are infected with the love of money which is the root of all sin.

So as the economy suffers, the world unconsciously watches to see how the eternal people react. And what do they see? They see a reactionary people and not a people of eternal action and commitment. And if the economy had taken a dramatic turn for the good in 20009, and if housing equities doubled, and if salaries skyrocketed, and if our national debt was eliminated, and if the stock market soared above two thousand, how virulent would the verbiage be against President Obama, or any president in office during such a great economy?

The church is married to this culture, and instead of maintaining a spiritual culture unaffected by the secular culture, the church has adopted the secular culture as its own. When Jesus says we are to not to worry even about what we would eat or wear, was He just waxing poetic? Are His words to be seen in the same light as the words of Confucius? Are they just nice suggestions and as uplifting as a Hallmark card? Or are His words filled with eternal power and are to be obeyed as if our earthly ears had heard the voice of God?

So the next time you are tempted to complain, or the next time you hear someone complain, remember, we are not of this world. This present world is passing, and all the great ideas of man cannot stop it from its ultimate demise. So in a way, complaining about the economic conditions of this world is like complaining about what God has already shown us. Not only did Christ command us not to complain, but He also told us beforehand that this world would become more and more wicked and would eventually meet the justice of God.

Now we are not to complain about that scenario or our present circumstances, but we are to run to the shelter provided by the shadow of God’s immutable wings. If you set your hearts upon things eternal, then the temporal things of this world will have no effect upon your hearts and lives.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

1 comment:

Steve said...

"The church is married to this culture, and instead of maintaining a spiritual culture unaffected by the secular culture, the church has adopted the secular culture as its own."


And our (or any other) culture is a human construct. It's always our choice to "turn to our own [human] way" (Isaiah 53), or pray fervently for HIS Kingdom, and HIS will, to rule in all the earth.