Emotionally Fat but Spiritually Famished

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were driving home from Church. We pulled into our driveway, stepped out in our nicer clothes, guitar in-hand, and proceeded to walk up the driveway.

For some context, there’s a church across the street from us, so there are usually cars parked beside the road sunday morning.

Anyways, an older lady was walking back to her vehicle and she noticed us.
Seeing our clothes and guitar she deduced we had come from church. She asked us if we had, and we said that we just came back. Her reply at that point was something that’s stuck in my heart for weeks now, not so much for her motives (which i’m sure were pure), but rather for the deeper significance behind it.

What were her words you ask? Just two – “Good job!”

Why is this significant? Because, as a Christian, going to church isn’t a “good job”. Church was never meant to be something that you do once a week, you get a pat on the back, and then you live your week like the rest of the world (Colossians 3). Stepping foot in a building doesn’t automatically make you a Christian, or even a “good” christian, if there ever was one (Romans 3).

The real question is “what is a Christian”?

-The American churchis emotionally fatbut spiritually famished-.jpgThis american “christianity” has shaped us into a lifestyle of comfort, materialism, and godlessness under the guise of “i-go-to-church-a-few-times-a-month-so-im-a-christian” mentality. This is not Christianity. The buttery-smooth speakers who entice the flesh with little regard for Christ and him crucified. Never mentioning death to self, never mentioning that you could die for being a christian, only plopping you down in a seat and allowing you to consume until you’re emotionally fat and spiritually famished.

And before i’m misunderstood, attending church is VERY important in the Christian life. Or, i should rephrase, meeting at a church house and having fellowship with THE Church is essential to the christian life (Hebrews 10:24-26).

From scripture, there’s an interesting connection that i noticed while teaching the 7th and 8th graders a few weeks back. I asked a trick question, “what’s the difference between a christian, and a disciple?”.

***dead silence***

Me – “Nothing!”

If you are a Christian you will be a disciple. Matthew 28:19 equated sharing the gospel with making disciples. It’s not different. If you want to see people saved you MUST see them discipled. It’s not a “come to the front” moment, it’s a “lay down your life, give everything you have, and submit to a Christ into a life of godliness”. This doesn’t sound comfortable!

We want our cars, our houses, our boats! We want security! But Christ says to lay them at his feet. Don’t cling to them. Having a house or most anything isn’t sinful. But our hearts can so easily entice us into relying on them for our joy rather than Christ.

As one of my favorite songs says “You possess your possessions or they posses you” (Switchfoot – “If the House Burns Down Tonight”).

And I think that’s the danger of so called american Christianity. We love being comfortable, rich, and fat, more then we love Jesus. And this is an eternal error.

Sure, there’s a whole lot more to being a christian then what I’ve mentioned, but I want to make this clear – If you are a Christian, you are a disciple, and you are to die to yourself and make disciples. Don’t neglect fellowship with the saints. Don’t just go, sit down, and leave. Fellowship is building each other up, maybe encouraging, maybe rebuking.

But either way. I think the American mindset of Christianity has it all wrong.

So, as you see the myriad of people coming in tomorrow for Easter Sunday, welcome them with open, loving arms. But don’t sugar coat the gospel message. The Christian life isn’t easy, but it’s so very worth it.


Key Verses:

Matthew 28:19
Colossians 3
Hebrews 10:24-26

 

 

 

Why Miracles Weren’t Hoaxes

As I look at John 6 yet again through the eyes of a Christian (and not a naturalist) it makes a lot of sense for miracles to be prevalent in the Bible, and for those miracles to be read as recorded history.

The miraculous have been abused in many ways. While some make miracles to be a constant, authentication of faith (to be constantly looked for) while others discard the idea altogether.

A notable example from the more naturalistic view is from “The life and morals of Jesus of Nazareth” written by Thomas Jefferson (the 3rd US president). Completed in 1820 the book was a look at the Bible through the eyes of a naturalist, taking the King James Bible and cutting out all instances of the miraculous. This book is still being published and can be bought on amazon surprisingly (though you can buy anything there these days).

The point is that many attack the historicity of the miraculous. I don’t doubt a single instance of one in the Bible, because if God can create everything then He can certainly bend the elements to His will and Glory however He likes. But just as a disclaimer I’m not a Charismatic in the sense of miracles being exercised regularly in the Church, though I do believe Christ does still work them, just not of the magnitude and concentration of Biblical times.

Back to John 6. From verses 16-21 we see a very interesting miracle. The sea had become rough and the Disciples were struggling in the boat when Jesus (who, as you remember “withdrew” earlier) began walking on the water to them. There have been claims against this, for example in the midst of the tumult the Disciples saw Jesus on the shore and it only appeared that He was walking on the water. But that really makes no sense in the text because Jesus enters the boat and John then makes the claim that the boat was “immediately” taken to land where they were headed. This indicates that where they were wasn’t where they were headed, so they naturally would have been far away from shore if they weren’t close to their destination. (if that makes sense)

Jesus performs a miracle to get them where they needed to be, out of the storm and on the shore. I find these passages fascinating demonstrating that He is in control no matter what. If He can get the disciples through a crazy storm like that, then He can take care of you and I.

So why are these miracles historical? Because the writers believe them to be. As a Christian I believe the Bible is 100% true and have done plenty of research on the subject of textual criticism and have come out still believing in its reliability. Though many coming into this subject with a naturalistic mindset will disagree, leave a comment telling me why!

Thanks for reading!