Thursday, April 14, 2005

Building an Idol in Our Image or Building the Perfect Christian

When I was younger, around 20 something, I was sitting through a sermon, which the teacher was preaching about progressive perfection of the saint.(Interpretation ~ as one grows closer to Jesus, one becomes more Christ like and sins less and progressively becomes more and more perfect until they sin no more). No really, this is taught in some churches... I believe John Wesley came up with this. Again, as the preacher taught I became distracted... I kept see I don't know if it was a vision. But, it disturbed me greatly. What I saw was a statue... it was a man, holding a Bible glimmering like gold. He was beautiful, yet I was filled with dread. Then the thought came to me. "Have we forgotten Jesus? Have we created this Idol to the Perfect Christian?" I about jumped out of my seat.... not too uncommon in a Pentecostal church. The vision or what ever has haunted me ever since. How far have we gotten from Jesus? It is like in some churches they think, "Hey, we found Jesus, now let's get on with the real spiritual things."

How sad.

Now we have Mega Church meetings and programs that teach us how to be better Christians....Every time I think of this I think of the Scripture John 14:16 when Jesus tells the disciples of the comforter. We learn that this gift of the Person of the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us. (John 14:25 - 26) We deceive ourselves if we think outside of Christ Jesus alone we have anything. We build Idols in our life all the time. This is really a God given drive... to drive us to Him. It is just being misapplied to something other than God. What is in the garden of our heart is what is important... by far I am not perfect.... not until Christ returns. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus.
(2 Peter 3:18)

To learn Who He is....

Now, don't get me wrong I am all for Christians learning how to be better Christians. But let us not fool ourselves. I have seen so many teachers that act like they have received the "secret" from God that will fix, grow, heal, and on and on. Your Church, Youth Group, small group will be bigger and better.
We are not saved by programs. It is as if we missed the point when Jesus said, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2: 27)

Let's not get caught up in the latest thing.... even Postmodern/Emerging can be an obstacle and not a door to Christ.

I am Postmodern because I live in this age... I did not choose that... nor does anyone. I am Emerging because I realized that, and see there is much work in catching up to the age we live in so we can reach the those who yet to have found Christ Jesus.



JP said...

Nice post iggy, many of us, sometimes myself included, subsitute our true relationship with Christ for temporary things that make us happy or put a smile on our face. We may get bored with our faith progress and quickly cling on to something trivial or the latest fad just to please oneself. When we truely learn its not not about us but about Him, problems like this would not occur.

Larry said...

Interesting post, thanks.

All we can do as Christians is plug along doing our best, making changes as we grow in His grace and mercy.

Any program, thought, or any other endeavor not emphasizing a one-on-one relationship with Christ scares me.

Often we bend to a new idea, then bend again when the wind blows the other direction. At some point we just need to trust God and realize He will make us stand.