Monday, June 13, 2016
We are creatures of habit, culture, and comfort which we assimilated in our generation! Those born since 1960 seldom know what ration books, saving tin foil, newsreels, or party lines were. Those who are 40 and older have seen new words materialize while others disappeared, as well as witnessing things quickly becoming obsolete. Our culture has been and is experiencing a revolution. What do we keep?
Jesus warned against making traditions into doctrine (Matthew 15:9). Paul admonished against preaching another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). John was discouraged in adding to or taking away from things revealed to him (Revelation 22:18-19). But even here we have a problem. Distinguishing between what is finite and infinite is difficult when we merge rather than separate them! Since the first century there have been new Messiahs demanding, “Follow me! I will reveal what truth is!” Satan is a busybody, even among Jesus followers. He didn’t have to put much effort into convincing us that we have the capacity to be perfect through our obedience. Satan succeeded in getting the gullible to feast upon his lies just as the original, perfect couple did (Genesis 3:1ff). He still uses, “Did God really say. . .?” We continue to bite into the forbidden and lick our lips in satisfaction as if we have succeeded in becoming a god (Genesis 3:1, 5-6)!
We invent religious dialogue and elevate it as divine. We build an edifice, dedicate it to deity, know it is nothing but brick and mortar, but still promote it as holy. We fill the media with our times and location but wonder, “Where is the overflow?” We think with our street signs and ads, the world will find us, yet the answer is not in directions, but in character (Acts 2:47)! Jesus invited all to come to him, while we direct folks to our temples. We talk the talk but don’t restore the results (Acts 2:41).
We travel the world creating U.S. style traditions with a small sprinkling of New Testament dynamite, then wonder why there is no real explosion (Acts 2:47)? Rapid growth happens because of discontent rather than good news. Focus is on our comfortable “selfies” rather than Jesus’ cross (Matthew 16:24-26). Our claims do not match our efforts. We read about “cloven tongues of fire” yet produce no smoke. We reduce Christianity to a list of “do’s and don’t’s” but omit the Spirit. Believers are treated like small children, threatening the “boogeyman” if we don’t walk the walk. We quote multiple passages without context. We put in our time, but not our hearts. We claim we are children, but DNA doesn’t lie.
Perhaps the real need is to return to God’s Word and see what we’ve missed, rather than be satisfied with what we’ve added!