Daily Thought - "casual Christianity"

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? – Luke 6: 46 (NLT)

    I remember the accusation being made – “some people take themselves too seriously.” I remember reflecting in prayer to seek the Lord about whether this was true or not. I remember the answer being a definitive “no.” What was at stake was a mixing of secularism within the church walls. What was at stake was defiling the altar of God with spiritual forces that would then inhibit the move of God. What was at stake is what is at stake across the country today in so many churches. Whether we are here to fit in with a dying culture or whether we are here to save people from that dying culture. The reality is we can never take the things of God too seriously. We can misinterpret. We can stretch the Word beyond what God intended to fit our agendas. But we cannot take the things of God too seriously. Quite frankly, the modern church seems to not take them seriously enough.

    There is a war going on. The Bible makes it plainly clear to he who has ears to hear. To him who is not obsessed with the things of this world. To him who is not playing church. What is at stake is the eternal destination of the unsaved people in this world. Our unsaved family members and friends. The people we so casually walk by every day as if they are not desperately running out of time. The devil has many ways of making the church ineffectual for the work God has commissioned it to do and one of them is to make us casual about the work that we do. Casual about our own walk with God. To not take seriously the things of God. We see this casual Christianity in the church that is more interested in self-promotion than God promotion. When they no longer see the harm in mixing themselves with the leaven of this world. Sure there are always well thought out reasons. Reaching the next generation or reaching as many as possible. But anytime you compromise the Gospel or water it down the reasons are all empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense. It is human thinking derived from the spiritual powers of this world that are diametrically opposed to Christ.

    Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. – Colossians 2: 8-9 (NLT)

    The devil has convinced many that as long as our motives are pure; that is all that matters to God. As long as “God knows my heart.” The problem with this besides the fact that the heart is desperately wicked according to Jeremiah is that God does not ascribe to the philosophy that the ends justify the means. In fact, God is infinitely more concerned about the means. He will take care of the ends. God is interested in our obedience, not our motives.

    Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart as it left the house, carrying the Ark of God. Ahio walked in front of the Ark.David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. – 2Samuel 6: 1-5 (NLT)

    Can you picture this scene? David decides to bring the Ark of the Covenant back home to Jerusalem. I trust he had good motives and intentions for doing so. He does so with great pomp and circumstance. There is a great show about it, almost like it is a big production. He places the Ark in a brand new cart. He assigns people to guide the cart. The rest of the people were all singing and dancing, playing musical instruments, and celebrating before the Lord. It kind of sounds like some of our churches these days doesn’t it? A big production; a lot of singing and dancing before the Lord, which is fine as long as the hearts are right before Him. As long as what precedes the show is total obedience. You see David had a few problems here. The Ark was not supposed to be transported in a cart; it was supposed to be carried upon two poles. The two people David assigned to guide the cart were probably nice enough fellows but they were not Levites, who were the only ones allowed to more the Ark. The result should be a sobering reminder to any who think that we can take God “too seriously.”

    But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God. – 2Samuel 6: 6-7 (NLT)

    Do you think Uzzah wished David had taken the things of God more seriously? What about those that sit today in casual churches, enjoying a casual relationship with God? When they come to stand before Christ at the end of days and discover that there is no such thing a casual salvation, do you think they will wish they had taken things more seriously? This isn’t game beloved. Saying the name of Jesus is not enough. We can wrap up our disobedience in the name of God and it will not matter.

    A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered. – Acts 19: 13-16 (NLT)

    They tried to use the name of Jesus. How many churches today are essentially doing the same? A casual sense of sin. A casual sense of repentance. A casual approach to the blood and the cross. More interested in worldly theories of church growth than in following the Bible literally. A blending into the ecumenical notions that all paths go to heaven and we all worship the same God. Oh they will say Jesus enough to sound the part. They may even experience solid attendance numbers to look the part. But like the seven sons of Sceva; they have plenty of religion but no relationship. Paul warned us:

    You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! – 2Timothy 3: 1-5 (NLT)

    They will say that you take things too seriously. Realize that Paul is talking about believers here, not unbelievers. Acting religious but rejecting the true power of God. His true power is found in obedience first and everything else second. When I think of Uzzah and the sons of Sceva I am reminded that I need to keep on taking the things of God seriously until I hear – “well done my good and faithful servant.” To those who would seek to downplay this or think that casual Christianity is just as good, I would redirect them to the words of Jesus in the key verse today. Why bother calling Him Lord if you are not going to do what He says?

    Rev. Anthony

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