The main stream media has a new evangelical darling, and all it took was for him to blurt out something they agreed wholeheartedly with to make him a sensation, a star, an up and coming theological powerhouse the likes of which we have not seen since Joel Osteen.
In a moment of profound umbrage, fed up with being fed up, a pastor of some sixteen thousand congregants recently declared, ‘I’m done with stupid rules’, and that’s all it took for this profoundly simplistic utterance to go viral.
I don’t know the man, I don’t presume to judge the man – in the end God will judge us all anyway so why should I tire myself out – but his words got me to thinking about a broader implication, and why it is we are seeing such a lethargic, impotent, woefully inept and ignorant church prancing about as though they’ve seized upon the key to all wisdom for the first time in human history.
Whether Jesus is your Lord and your King, or He has become an idol of your own making, is the key to determining how you live your life, how you conduct yourself, and how you will view the ‘stupid rules’ set about in Scripture, spoken by none other than Christ Jesus, such as daily denying oneself, picking up our crosses, and following after Him.
You obey a Lord, you obey a King, but you don’t have to obey an idol. An idol can be anything you want it to be, demanding nothing of you for it can make no demands. It is an idol, formed by the hands of men, worshipped for no other reason than to placate the burdened conscience, and compel certain individuals to think of themselves as spiritual.
All idols require is worship. Jesus demands transformation.
Rather than being Lord of their lives, for many a soul today, Jesus has become an idol. Jesus is whatever they want Him to be, whatever they need Him to be, without the burdensome issues of obedience, servitude, self-denial, regeneration, transformation, and other things we need not fret ourselves with, muddying up the waters.
We want Jesus on our terms, He wants us on His terms, and the only way we’ve found to get around this sticky wicket, is to pretend to worship and obey Jesus, but a Jesus of our own construct, who doesn’t have any of those stupid rules, who doesn’t require any life change, who doesn’t demand repentance, or a breaking of ties with the darkness, but is simply overwhelmed with emotion at the sight of you sitting in a pew every other Sunday chewing gum and wondering when the service is going to be over, or if you’re going to have to wait in line at the local buffet if the preacher drags the closing prayer on longer than he ought.
This is largely the reason the Western Christian cannot wrap their minds around men and women being martyred for the cause of Christ, unwilling to deny Him, unwilling to betray Him, but going to their deaths faithful to the end as a true servant ought.
You can change idols easily enough, but to change Kings is to knowingly betray your King for His enemy, to knowingly become a traitor to He who has shown you boundless love, mercy, grace and goodness.
You hear these inane ruminations that could only come from the mind of a lazy, fattened, ignorant, casual Christian, such as ‘why didn’t they just lie and say they would convert to Islam’, or ‘why didn’t they just cross their fingers and say whatever the masked men wanted them to?’
Because they understood the difference between worshipping an idol, and serving a King! They understood, and paid the ultimate price, fully understanding what it means to follow those stupid rules, and lay down your life for the cause of Christ.
At this point, we the Christians of America ought to burn with shame. Our cheeks ought to glow red, we ought to avert our gaze, but we have long since lost the ability to blush, we have long since lost the ability to feel shame, and as long as there’s one or two luminaries out there telling us they’re tired of all the stupid rules, or that willful, continual, habitual sin isn’t really sin, but merely not God’s best for your life, we stumble ever onward toward eternity, believing wholeheartedly that we’ve outwitted God, and discovered the loophole that will let us into heaven while our hearts are firmly tethered to hell.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.