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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Tradeoffs

Galatians 1:6-7, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

There is an old saying, but a true saying, that the more things change the more they stay the same. Civilization has come a long way since the days of Paul, since the days when after one painstakingly wrote a letter by hand, with quill and ink on parchment, they then had to entrust it to a courier, a messenger of sorts who would, whether by foot or boat, deliver it to its final destination.

Yes, times have changed, and today with the push of a button our electronic mail is sent, and we don’t even have to set foot outside, or change out of our pajamas. Although we have grown in our technological advancements however, although the gadgets and trinkets that are supposed to make our lives easier have multiplied exponentially, the basic nature of mankind has remained stubbornly similar to those of old, and new generations repeat the mistakes of old generations without hesitation or a hint of reservation.

Seeing the festering boils of what ought to be the spotless church today, one might conclude that such hideousness is new and unprecedented, but we need look no further than the Word of God to see that history is repeating, it’s just the numbers that have gotten bigger.

In his letter to the church of Galatia Paul bemoans the fact that although he had put in the time and energy to establish a solid foundation for the Galatians, no sooner had he left, than they were turning away from the truth of Christ to a different gospel. No sooner had Paul departed, and the wolves descended upon the church attempting to trouble the brethren and pervert the gospel of Christ. Why would anyone do such a thing? Quick fact, anyone that attempts to pervert the gospel of Christ, and complicate the simplicity thereof always has a vested interest, and is always seeking to serve themselves rather than the body of Christ.

With everything in life there is an implied tradeoff, wherein we surrender, give up, or turn away from one thing in order to obtain another, or achieve a desired result. I know that in order for me to lose weight, I have to give up sugar and carbohydrate rich foods. That is the tradeoff.

More examples could be had, but they would just become tedious. The point I am trying to make, is that the same principle applies within the context of the spiritual as well. If we want to know God, we must turn our back on the world, if we want to grow in God, we must make time for Him, and since we cannot add more hours to a day, we must do away with certain things that take up our time and replace them with spending time with God.

It would be wonderful if God’s children always traded up, if their tradeoff was always spiritually profitable, but more and more it seems we are trading down. Just as the Galatians were trading the grace of Christ for another gospel, a perverted gospel, so it seems today’s church is making one bad trade after another, then wonders why we are in the spiritual condition we are in.

Not only is the church trading the priceless for the worthless, the eternal for the temporal, the spiritual for the superficial, integrity for compromise, conviction for integration, truth for deception, the power of God for political clout, the kingdom of God for kingdoms on earth, fellowship for frivolity, and intimacy with God for lawlessness, it is encouraged to do so by its leaders.

Why would leaders encourage their flocks to trade down? Why would they encourage their flocks to focus on the flesh rather than the spirit, to seek out temporary comfort rather than eternal reward? Because if the flock is not pursuing growth in God, if it is not pursuing spiritual things, then it will not notice the powerlessness of the hair helmet in a suit standing before them smiling broadly and encouraging them to love themselves just the way they are.

If our desire is to know the depth and width of God and all that He has to offer us, then we must stop making tradeoffs that are detrimental to our spiritual man, and rather than seek to please ourselves, or please others, we must strive to please Christ and Christ alone.

The hour is late, and those who want to pervert the gospel of Christ seem to be multiplying, mounting attacks from without and from within the house of God, and our only defense, our only recourse, our only hope is the truth.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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