Monday, December 13, 2010


How Awesome Is A Small God?

Guest blogger Daniel Jepsen @ iMonk:
For I am not talking about the God of the scriptures, but the god that is worshipped in much of modern American evangelicalism.

This god is good, but small and not very powerful. This god is not able to use the foolish, weak and lowly things of this world to shame and nullify the wise, strong, and powerful ((see I Corinthians 1:26-31). That is why those who lead this god’s churches must attempt to change the foolish things into things wise in the ways of this world, and must change the lowly and despised things into things this world likes and respects.

This god and his message must be made appealing to the world, much like Mary Poppins made the medicine more palatable by a spoon full of sugar. The sweeteners of coolness, relevance and freshness coat the message of this god, while those doing the coating tell us it doesn’t change the fundamental recipe. Perhaps not, but the very fact that the sweeteners are added betray a lack of faith in the inherent power of the message, and the power of the god who gives it.
[emphasis added]
That last emphasized phrase is extraordinary indeed. We rely on this things of this world instead of the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not think that the message we bring is winsome enough.

Two thoughts come to mind -
Luke 21:12 - "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake.
There is little question that the world finds much of our message unpalatable, and I think it is supposed to be that way. For centuries, Christianity has dominated the Western World, and we have grown fat, dumb, and happy in that setting. But that has changed - so our response is to follow the world instead of remember that we were and always will be somewhere, a persecuted church.

The second thought I have is shame on us. One of the original and largest evangelical megachurches has gone belly-up. I am not surprised. It was one of the first to be built, and it is, I predict one of the first to fall, but far from the last. Jesus said something else:
Luke 6:45-49 - "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil {man} out of the evil {treasure} brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? "Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. "But the one who has heard, and has not acted {accordingly,} is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."
The "sweeteners" to which Jepsen refers represent building on the wrong foundation and, like the Crystal Cathedral, at some point the whole facade will come crashing down.

When I think of God, I think of eons. Much of what passes for church planning today thinks in terms of weeks. Pretty small thinking.

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