Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Utility

This is my thoughts on the article in this month's Tabletalk "When God Is Not Enough" by Scotty Smith.

"Israel's drift into idolatry didn't happen because the people became bored with the liturgy of their temple, enamored with the music of the worship bands in pagan temples, or impressed with the oratory of the new Canaanite prophet who had just moved into the neighborhood.  No one in Israel went looking for a new worship service, but for new gods to service them.  The center of worship shifted from God to themselves.  They began to worship worship more than they worshiped God -- that is, they relationship with God became utilitarian rather than doxological."

There really is only one religion in this world, and it is everything that is not Christianity as defined in the Bible.  And it is really empty.  It denies the possibility of God's judgment.  All people will graduate into a state of love.  Thing is, if we are all escaping judgment, then there is really no reason to care for the poor and the oppressed.  There is no reason to accept people who disagree with us.  Actually, this universalist mindset causes more judgment on people than if you'd agree that God will eternally punish the wicked some day and save his elect.  For the elect, he's already punished their wickedness on Jesus.  None of those people will end up in hell.

As for the utilitarian worship of God, we forget every single day that God did not create this world for us.  He created us for him - for his eternal glory and our eternal enjoyment of him.  Will God be the Lord of our lives even when it hurts or is he just going to be a magic charm to enhance our lives here?  Will we trust that the only way to salvation is through Jesus's name only - not Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Thor, Zeus, Oprah, myself, and dare I say a deceased saint and even Mary.  The latter two believed in Christ alone for their salvation and would be appalled that people put them on the same level as Jesus.  But it's not just those people.  Everybody has somebody or something that declares to God that Christ is not enough.  I get so impatient with waiting on God and decide that he needs help, and I end up betraying him and cheating myself of the only thing that is good.  I love my computer more than God.  I love my friends more than God, and I will follow them off a cliff.  I love my church so much that I will blindly follow it even when it flagrantly goes against the Bible.

This is the example of us thinking it unfair that God gave us only Jesus as our salvation and no 5-step process we can do ourselves that God can simply enhance.  We reject the freedom that comes from realizing that the world does not depend on us.  The things it offers only enslave us.  Jesus is the true freedom, and still the only way, truth, and life.  Nobody goes to the Father except through him.

No comments:

Post a Comment