Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sunday Morning Churchianity

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13 NIV)

I hear all the time how much America is a "Christian nation". I see how people perform in church on Sunday mornings...shaking hands, lifting "holy hands" etc.; then I see how people behave during the rest of the eye contact or even acknowledgement when we walk past each other in the grocery stores or perhaps jointly pump gas at the gas station. No "hello how are you" before declaring  our custom order at Starbucks. No "thank you" to the over stressed cashier after finishing our order at Starbucks. Lamenting how much we "need a drink" while dealing with a difficult circumstance at work. No desire to participate in a corporate prayer meeting during "off-peak hours" (i.e. non Sundays) at church. Not giving thanks in a restaurant before eating the food that God provided. I could go on and on and on...but you get the point.

God' word says that we will be "salt and light to the world" (Matthew 5:13). Are American Christians that obvious to spot in a restaurant? How about at the traffic light while their car idles next to the person begging for a dollar?

God's word says that "no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bed or a table" (Luke 8:16). I see a lot of supposed Christians walking around with tables over their heads indistinguishable from non-believers.

Does this all sound very disturbing, maybe even judgmental? It should be. I guarantee it is disturbing to the Lord. To believe he actually was punished to the maximum for all of these behaviors…as if he was the one who committed them. God punished Jesus for all of these non-righteous acts of us self-righteous people. Don't let him take your punishment in vain. Be grateful to him for it. Repent of those things that you have done. Ask him to help you to avoid doing them in the future. He is faithful. He will forgive you and separate them from you as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12). Then...become "salt and light" within your world.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6 NLT)

A God who sends people to Hell?