Monday, May 7, 2007

Making God in OUR image



I am seeing a disturbing trend in Christendom today where we are trying to be so relevant and hip that we are actually becoming irrelevant. It doesn’t disturb me as much that the pop culture idols so to speak wear blasphemous t-shirts, what does disturb me is that Christians love them too. We've reduced praise and worship to cameras flying over head, people gyrating and jumping up and down, and people running up and down the aisles. I believe that too often we try to imitate society in a feeble attempt to collect lost souls and in so doing we are in danger of losing our fear and reverence of God if we have not already. What causes people to have absolutely no fear of God, so that a Holy sanctuary is turned into an episode of Desperate Housewives?

I believe the modern church is losing our reverence and fear of God. We no longer view God as Holy and righteous. We have adopted a “tolerant” Jesus who winks at sin and would never judge anyone or anything. I understand we have a God of grace and Jesus is our friend when we repent and join his family, but is he our Homeboy or best buddy?

We live in times where God is "respected" but not "revered"; where people trust in the supernatural, but not the supernatural God of the Bible; where feelings outweigh faith, hope has been overtaken by hopelessness. Here are a couple indicators that I believe show our lost reverence for Jesus:

How we dress for worship. I am way beyond guilty of this. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to be said about the "come as you are mentality". We need only look at Moses and the Israelites, however, to see how history had repeated itself. The reason we don't revere God anymore is just like the Israelites, IDOLATRY. We choose to place everything ahead of God and please our selfish desires instead of giving God our absolute best. We have re-designed God to fit OUR needs and allowed self to control us!

Before condemning, however, let us look a little deeper. Why should we expect reverence for such a God as we have allowed to be set before our children? Such a God as that of the Hebrews, who cursed all mankind because one of them, and the first one, ate from the tree: a God for whom David was a man after his own heart; a God who revealed himself to Moses. Reverence for such a deity used to be inspired by hell-fire and brimstone, at least when I was growing up. Now the fires of hell are going out.

Some of this rejection of God’s authority and disrespect comes from a lack of fatherhood and masculinity in our culture. Parents are losing the hearts of their children to pop culture and their peer groups. Would your child want to spend an evening with his father or with his peer group? Mothers, if you had some free time and opportunity to go to lunch would you invite your daughter? These are tough questions but ones we must answer.

It is not just the youth culture who is rejecting the Holiness, and authority of God. Our seeker sensitive mega churches are creating a casualness and entertainment mindset towards God where we are more focused on our personal comfort and needs. I’ve been in churches that have coffee holders and seats like a movie theater.

So where do we go from here as a nation and a church. I don’t advocate banning powerpoint projectors, and arresting people who bring coffee into the service, because I would have been charged with wearing shorts the other day. Easily, we could have an outward show of holiness and piety but our hearts could still be far from God.

Firstly, I believe fathers have to go after the hearts of their children. If it means working less hours, changing jobs, or turning off ESPN we must go after the heart of this generation. Secondly, we must repent in our own lives of areas where we do not honor God or put him first. What image have we recreated God in? Do we view God as our buddy who will never bring us to account? Or do we view God as The God of Scripture who is just, righteous, Holy, merciful, longsuffering, jealous, and gracious. Finally, we have to start fearing God. If we do not exalt and glorify God, then who will? Not pop culture. They wear crosses and point to the sky after hitting homeruns too. There has to be a sweet fragrance and reverence, and adoration with which we approach God. We can do these things or keep doing the same thing our culture dictates; whether it’s watching Desperate Housewives, standing in line for the new Harry Potter book or wearing a Homeboy T-shirt.

I personally have no problem bringing about a God-fearing revolution and bringing reverence back to our society. Why? Because Jesus isn’t my Homeboy, he is my Savior and the King of Glory, and he deserves it.

"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: Each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Isaiah 6:3


1 comment:

marinna said...

A line in this blog caught my eye; 'We live in times where God is "respected" but not "revered".'
I started to wonder about the definitions of those two words, so...here's what I found.

Respect:That estimation or honor in which men hold the distinguished worth or substantial good qualities of others

It expresses less than reverence and verneration which regard elders and seniors;whereas respect may regard juniors and inferiors.

Reverence:To regard with fear mingled with respect and affection.

I have to agree...a lot of times we treat God as a peer and not the Creator and Lord of the universe.