Monday, March 3, 2014

I Am Guilty of Idolatry...And So Are You.

Idolatry is often thought of as creating images, statues or pictures, that represent something other than God, of even God himself, and worshipping those. I've been studying through the book of Judges over the past month or so and have been reminded that idolatry is so much more. Tim Keller, in his book Judges for You, says "any graven image or depiction of God would automatically reveal part of God's nature but conceal another part1."

In other words, when we create an image of God, even in our minds, we tend to focus on one aspect of God's character to the concealment of another. It's why we have trouble understanding how passages like Psalm 103:8: "The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." and Romans 1:18: "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness."can be compatible. 

We become idolaters by simply ignoring or avoiding aspects of God we don't particularly like or want to think about. That was the subject of the Sunday morning worship services yesterday morning. We love to talk about the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God. These are all accurate aspects of God, but not complete. Keller writes, "God says: Worship me as I am, not as you want me to be, and worship me as my heart directs, not as your heart suggests.1"

Yesterday was a needed reminder to, as the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5, Wake up! Rise from the dead (old way of living) and be covered in Christ's light. God's wrath is real and it is coming. For those who have salvation in Christ, the call is for us is to take action, the world is waiting, needing the hope that you have. 

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) 
Yesterday was a win for Campbellsville Christian Church for many reasons:

  1. My perception was that people came yesterday expectantly. We were waiting on the Lord. We were not simply there to observe, but to engage.
  2. Worship led us to the throne room of God, grateful for all He has done, making Christ the cornerstone, making the weak strong through His love.
  3. The message reminded us that God does not take sin lightly, as we would prefer, but that (while He is patient and forgiving) He cannot be called Holy if He is not also Just. Judgment is coming.
  4. People responded. I'm not merely talking about the people who came forward. Decisions were made in the seats. People had an opportunity to listen and respond to what God was revealing to them. Conversations happened at the table that afternoon. And, I have a feeling, some much-needed conversations will be happening with those in your circle of influence as well. 
  5. Finally, let me say that I am excited about the congregational vote next Sunday (March 9th) to vote on Joel Patton as our new Preaching Minister. I believe that God has put a solid team of people together for this time and in this place to accomplish His work. I love the people I work with. I love their hearts for the Lord and for ministry in His church. I think Joel will be a great addition to that team.  
That being said, let me remind you about a question/answer meeting with our Elders in regard to Joel coming on staff at Campbellsville Christian Church. This not being a "traditional" Senior Minister hire and also involving some significant changes in my role and responsibilities at the church, the Elders wanted to have a forum where questions could be answers and any concerns addressed. The leadership of C.C.C. want you to make an informed and prayerfully considered decision as possible. All the information will be discussed at the Congregation Meeting on Sunday as well. 

1 Keller, T. (2013). Judges for you. The Good Book Company.

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