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Sunday
Mar042018

Any Good Thing can be Misused

So here is my dilemma. If we stay neutral on any issue or in our worldview at large, will we be of any good to anyone?  Neutral people usually are committed to nothing; they stay neutral because they don’t want to take one side of an issue. The more non-committal you are, the less you will upset the people around you. The Bible teaches us from the Church of Laodicea in the third chapter of Revelation that being neutral; especially toward God is not the best place to be.

Revelation 3:16 “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

So this is where my dilemma gets complicated. Let’s take a person who finds God and becomes an obsessive person about it. In many of our evangelical circles, being obsessive about God is a good thing, because it shows how much of a priority He has become in a person’s life. However, as we look closer into the obsessive nature of this person we find the following:

They become so entrenched in their Christianity that they have no outside interests or desires. In time they isolate themselves from the reality of life.

They find something wrong with everyone, no one is keeping the scriptures to the degree they should. Hyper-criticism is the result.

They want to argue about everything because they somehow have an inside track on truth and only their opinion matters because they have a more Biblical take on things. They eventually live for being right about everything, which will be perceived as self-righteousness.

They eventually live more rigid lives bordering more on unforgiveness than on forgiveness. They begin to see the world as half empty and not half full. They will spend more time on what is wrong in the world with an attitude that reflects constant negativity. They usually will fixate on one aspect of Christianity and fail to grow in other areas.

They will be inclined to be more guarded and less confessional because of their ‘reputation’ of being a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Okay, so I know that sounds very unbecoming of someone who gets saved and is concerned about growing in Christ. However, these are the common trends of many people who lose focus of why they became Christians.  Their fixation is about their performance and their interpretation of scripture.

For example:

  • There are people who are obsessed with prosperity and so their focus is how God wants to prosper us for the sake of the gospel. This obsession is misguided and misses the point of surrendering to God.
  • There are people who are obsessed with social justice. They get so concerned about helping people that somehow the message of the gospel becomes secondary, and in some cases is lost all together.
  • There are people who are obsessed with interpretation and if you are not in agreement with their view than you are a heretic. If that is true, then when does ‘iron sharpen iron’ ever play a part in our relationship as Christians?
  • There are people who are obsessed with prophetic visions and dreams and these become a major source of mission and practice. So many of these vision driven people lead people in ways that do not have a God-directed emphasis. In many cases these visions are only temporary, and whether they come true or not, there is always another “Word from God” just around the corner.
  • There are people who create doctrine around various scriptures that make claims that divine interpretation such as certain gifts of the Spirit are no longer necessary or they proclaim a doctrine of when and how the Lord will return. Many of these doctrinal positions are simply speculation because God has not revealed them universally to His Church.

So any good thing can be abused even by those who are sincerely serving God. Growing in Christ is not only about knowing the words of the scripture, it is also in how you apply them in your life. God has not called us to become isolationists with His message and then create communities of likeminded people who are just like us. He wants us to make disciples of all nations, where we feed the world with a gospel of life, action, and hope.

By now you know that my dilemma was hypothetical in allowing me the opportunity to unpack how we can become so unfocused on God, and more focused on our positions of doctrine than we are about reaching the world for Christ.

I think our commitment to God is always in need of being strengthened, but we often strengthen our positions about Him rather than on knowing Him. Let’s be strong on Him, and less about what we think we know through our theological positions.

Keeping it honest and truthful……. K

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