When Christianity Becomes Idolatry

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I am standing in front of a church congregation with a microphone in-hand. The pastor had asked me to give a short testimony about when I came to the church and what was going on in my life at the time. Here’s, essentially, what I said: I came to the church during a confusing time in my life. I was struggling with theological and philosophical ideas and there were some people in the church who understood my questions and helped straighten me out.

    Recollections of Idolatry

    Fast forward about five years. I am on a stroll with my wife through a park on a sunny spring day. Out of nowhere I get a revelation. That little speech in front of the church all those years ago was idolatry.

    The backstory to that mini-testimony is that a couple years prior, I’d come out of a rebellious, sinful time of my life. I’d gotten “straightened out” but I had never truly faced my sin before my savior. Instead, I’d accepted the counterfeit of deep theological study. I’d fallen for the subtle lie that knowledge of good Christian theology served as my justification.


    The rest of the story is at http://www.churchleaders.com/pastor...er&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily-Update
     
  2. HAMel

    HAMel
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    A really intelligent person has a much more complex conception of God. It's self-evident that if the complexity of your God varies based upon the complexity of your intelligence, then the source of your God is your own imagination. (Reinhold Niebuhr)

    ...huh?

    While trying to appear smarter than Lassie we can really get things all messed up, no?

    ...I had never truly faced my sin before my savior.

    A fabulous statement. Good for you! May our Lord continue to Bless you and your family. :thumbs:

    "Forbid them not to come unto me..." As a little child is where I want to be.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I answered these 3 questions with a "NO" ....do I win anything? LOL

    1. Do you live for the approval of others in the church?

    2. Do you stew over your spiritual performance and personal holiness more than you steep in what God has already accomplished for you in Jesus?

    3. Are you prideful about your biblical knowledge?
     
    #3 Earth Wind and Fire, Feb 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2012
  4. mont974x4

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    I do not think it is idolatry to be recognize and be thankful for the people God has used to help us in difficult times. This is especially true in regards to the Church because that is how He has chosen to normally work. What you experienced in that church that led you to make your statement is the gift of God we refer to as discipleship. It continues even today and that is how we can also look back and see that we have, at times, allowed knowledge to be more important than the relationship.

    It's how we grow and God is faithful to keep that growth going until the end of this age.
     
  5. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    I've met many who could (if they would!) express the same testimony as our OP. I've confronted some in the halls of academia and discovered that they had a lot of answers but not Jesus. I've had conversations with pastors, ministers, rabbis, and priests who I've found likewise.

    The condition is not exclusive, but more widely held than we might imagine.

    Based on what I have found -- contrasted and compared in a Berean sense to the whole counsel of the Word of God -- I have formulated a reasonable opinion based in some level of research and fact-finding that there are a LOT of very zealous RELIGIOUS people doing God's work that have never yet had a true "born-again-from-above" salvific experience sent FROM God where they have become a "new creation" and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

    We sometimes think that we do a poor job of teaching God's Word and doctrinal principles. I am of a mind that we do such a good job -- especially in "cutting to the chase" in that we TELL people how to think and what to say -- that they can EFFECTIVELY MIMIC a true re-born experience with God in a purely religiously-driven, human-effort perspective.

    Matt 7:21 -- “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I have experienced the same things too. It is tough but necessary to keep our eyes on Jesus and not the organization. We must be like the prophets in that we are willing to take a stance and go as they did in following God. The rest is up to God not us and how skilled we are at manipulating people. It is not our decision to tell Him what to do. I think there is a reason why he calls people to be the prophet when it is needed. When leaders are not the prophets who lead the way in truth then what does that say about them?

    Years ago I overheard a preacher say that he could get everyone to come forward. At the end of the sermon I saw what he did.

    So often we do not see what happens to those people later. They just seem to vanish without a trace.

    I have had people in the church and academia tell me to just tell them what they need to know. Many of these are college students and graduates.

    Too many organizations exalt those who seem to have results. The real results show up much later. Their sin comes after them. Too often we forget that we are the links in a chain and we are not the entire chain.

    Years ago I got to know a young man who was skilled in evangelism. He had knocked on many, many, doors in his community. He did not see many results but a few years later the following pastor did. One man planted and watered and the other reaped the harvest. So which is most important? Yet it seems that too often we give honor to the one who reaped the harvest.

    I have seen some great results and at other times seen very little. I am still the same person. In fact some of my greatest growth has come when I asked God about the dry spells. I learned to accept those times and just keep pressing ahead.
     
  7. jonathan.borland

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    So how can the situation the last two posters describe be changed? What is the barrier to Holy Spirit revival?
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    bottom line....they are NOT reborn.
     
  9. glfredrick

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    Our prayer life...

    God has elect. The Scriptures say so. He doesn't give us a number and we ought not worry about the number, but we should be assured that wherever we DO what He called us to DO that He will ACT. That is what He said.

    We should then PRAY for the Lord of the harvest to send workers into fields white as snow.

    We shoud then GO therefore into the "panta ta ethnae" and first carry to them the gospel, then when God effecutally calls them to Himself because we have lifted up Christ as commanded, we begin the second process of discipling those whom HE has called to Himself, teaching them the gospel and the Scriptures so that they can then go and do likewise.

    We should not run about the place trying to convince people to do something that is nothing more than an invention of religious men, i.e., take the hand of the preacher, come forward, get confirmed, try Jesus, take first communion, etc., etc., etc.

    Either Christ saves or there is human religious action. And when God works -- seemingly always -- it is always effectual. But He does not take us out of the equation nor does He call apart from the efforts of other regenerate human beings whom HE has told to do this work.
     

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