Monday, April 27, 2015

When Obedience Crafts My Idol

Christians have a duty to identify and avoid unbiblical doctrines and trends. Similarly, God commands us to identify and avoid false teachers. Obedience to these  mandates should lead us into deep sorrow for people who fall prey to deceptive beliefs and practices. That same obedience should also challenge us to maintain our own purity of devotion to the Lord.

Often, a course of obedience can degenerate into idolatry. I may, to be specific, have a calling to point out errors that permeate the visible church, but I periodically catch myself giving more attention to that task than I give to Christ Himself. As a result, I make myself guilty of the very sin I abhor in others.
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” ~~Romans 2:17-24 (ESV)
False doctrine obscures, distorts or calls into question the nature and work of God. In particular, it perverts Jesus Christ either by diverting attention away from Him or  by challenging His authority. Therefore, I need to contend for the faith with the singular goal of honoring Him.

So I don't want to stop dealing with the various aberrations that evangelicals so eagerly embrace.  But in so doing, I don't want my vision so concentrated on correcting faulty theology that, like the Pharisees of His day, I lose sight of the very Lord I claim to love and worship. So I have to continually pull back from evaluating the various things that pollute evangelical culture by reminding myself of His worthiness to be praised.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ~~Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV)
Jesus alone deserves my attention, precisely because of His preeminence, and I desire to remain faithful to Him. Certainly, honoring Him will include pointing out anything that deviates from Him, but pointing out those deviations must occur only for the purpose of glorifying Him.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Deb! I can really relate to your thoughts here. Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too!!!

    Eze 9:4 And the LORD said to him, "Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it."
    Eze 9:5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity.
    Eze 9:6 Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house.

    (test of my patience, this is my third attempt to post)

    The above passage tells me something about the state of mind we as believers ought to have...preachers today do not tell their congregants to sigh over evil, but many preach to be compassionate with evil doers and have no pity for their victims....but the time is soon coming when those who do not sigh over the evil all around us will like the above passage indicates, receive their due. I pray that my friends and loved ones heed the word of wisdom that is crying in the streets and not the smooth talkers that are only out to make some bucks from the offering plates.

    ReplyDelete

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