March 24, 2016

Failing To Fell A Two Thousand Year Old Oak

This may or may not be the last post on idolatry. It depends on whether or not I feel compelled to write more.

For now I enter the not so favorable realm of calling to task the idolatries no one will acknowledge unless forced to. The ones that are so hard to see that are obscured by our ignorance and sin. The Great False Idol of Modern Christianity. The idolatry of the Christian Church that parrots conservative and liberal political bases and seems more aligned to a party than Jesus. The Church that forgot its purpose is spreading the Gospel, not partisan ideologies. Jesus was neither a Republican nor Democrat, Independent nor Libertarian. Jesus eschewed politics for hearts. Mercy over sacrifice. I am talking about the religio-political syncretism that passes itself off as Christianity and has pervaded the Evangelical world. It is the evangelical church that will willingly embrace a known adulterer as a presidential candidate or a known liar that continually changes face to gain votes. It is all idolatry.

I am calling to task the seeker-friendly-ism of churches that water-down the Gospel in an attempt to gain converts. The emergent nonsense that changes core truths to foreshorten the Gospel so it is more palatable to some who wouldn’t convert even if you clubbed them over the head and dragged them into the doors of your local congregation. I am talking about those that would turn Christianity into an idol thinking they fooled some to come to the Church when in reality even the densest of non-believers can see that the Truth of Christianity was compromised to win them. Invariably they realize that if this was done for them, what would the Church do to win even more reprobate people other than them? They see that you are willing to sell-out. Where is the appeal in that? Even rats can smell other rats. Hyenas and Jackals are drawn to their own. Even the hardened non-believer knows when something is amiss, they just don’t have a good name for it. Christians do…it’s called idolatry.

This last paragraph of idolatry also reeks of something else. Fear. Fear in Christianity is a false pretense of Christianity that is in reality idolatry. A Christian that says he is of the Faith and is Christian but in reality …has no faith. A faithless adherent is not an adherent. It is a person who believes themselves saved and a Christian but in reality believe in an impotent God, not an Omnipotent and Sovereign One. This is a belief in a God that is not in the Bible…hence they are idolaters.

There is then the idolatry that is entertainment for the congregation not worship directed towards God. Most often called worshiptainment. The worship that seeks to bring glory to the performer and pleasure to the audience that only marginally involves the Jesus Christ. The worship that seeks to illicit a feeling of euphoria in the participant before actually being engaged by the Spirit. The worship that is purposely used to manipulate a congregant’s emotive state to make them more receptive to a spirit rather than the Spirit moving the believer to an emotive state because a realization of the truth(s) of God and His work of Salvation. This is absolutely backwards.

The truth through the Spirit is the conduit by which the feeling should come. In other words, when the Spirit moves you to realize just how great your God is, your proper response should then be euphoria over what He has done for us. THAT is worship. It is head AND heart knowledge that comes of the Spirit and is based in understanding of the truth revealed by the Spirit. It is the work of the Spirit. 

That is why two people standing side-by-side can both hear the same Gospel and one will be saved by grace and the other will remain entrenched in their sins. It is the Spirit working in us, not the emotions soliciting the Spirit. Entertainment will move a spirit. The question that should be asked is: What spirit is it moving? If it is not the Holy Spirit eliciting the response….you had better check yourself at the door because somewhere between the sidewalk outside the church and raising those hands in false emotive supplication…you crossed over into idolatry or worship of the feelings elicited by emotive music. Bottom line ask yourself this: Is your entertainment or worship God honoring first and foremost

Then comes the hammer blows that are harder to absorb for the idolatrous heart.

When what you want outdoes what the Bible tells you, you have a problem. Do you place your needs first above others and obedience to Scripture? Are you doing what you want to do or what the Lord has called you to do? When you can say that you feel the Bible says something it doesn’t you are imposing on the Bible and making self an idol.

Believing in certain types of unbiblical Jesus’ is idolatry and these are some of the most dangerous idolatries to contend with. Which Jesus are we speaking of? Well actually, there are a lot. The Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness Jesus’ are easy targets so I will avoid them. No, let’s give some people a spiritual throttling, shall we? I am talking about the Gay Jesus. The Feminist Jesus. I’m talking about the socio-culturally acceptable Jesus. The friendly Jesus who wouldn’t offend people or the WWJDTWPI Jesus…the “What Would Jesus Do That Wasn’t Politically Incorrect?” Jesus. How about the Jesus who is the “all-love-and-no-wrath” Jesus. You know, the emergent church Rob Bell one.

Don’t people realize they are cramming Jesus into a box in these scenarios? They are literally trying to crunch God down to a pocket-sized image of what is in their mind. They are trying to frame Jesus into what they want them Him to be. They are trying to fell the mighty 2000 year old oak just to fashion an idol that is small enough to fit into their heads. Hewing the glorious image of the unseen and seen God into a false representation…making God Himself into idol.

At least they are trying to.

I guess when you have a lot of people attempting to prune and cut back the real Christianity, the real Christianity begins to become self-evident pretty quickly. Idolatry helps thin the herd I suppose. I guess this is what Jesus meant what He said we should enter through the narrow gate.  For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. The ones that find true salvation will fewer and smaller in number. The unrepentant and misled will cut away what they think is not Christianity but the truth is that a remnant will always remain that know the truth and the True God. God assures us of this in His Word. Like a sapling that rises out of the felled oak, the true Body of Christ lives on.

In the end, if your mind’s posture is not correct, your spiritual stature will be incorrect also. A person needs to practice the thought of God constantly. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians we need to take all our thoughts captive and keep them in subjection to Christ. Otherwise we will go rouge. It’s just the way our minds have become after the Fall. 

As an old friend used to tell me: "Your attitude towards Christ determines your altitude in Christ."

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...