Religulous the movie paints a picture of Christians being weak minded and simple. Bible stories often excite us as children, but when we become adults we realize that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. The wise man who built his house upon the rock deserves a second look.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
It was one of the first kids’ choruses that I ever learned as a child: The wise man built his house upon the rock. I can remember learning all of the actions and eagerly anticipating the end when all of the Sunday school kids were allowed to make an almighty noise as the foolish man’s house came tumbling down. It was a great way to teach one of Christ’s most popular stories and I still occasionally teach it to the children in our church.
I thought I knew the story really well, but when I looked at the passage as an adult, I realized there was more to meet the eye. Jesus is talking about obedience, not faith. He is not talking about believing in Him, He’s telling people to do what He says. That’s a big difference and it’s something that a lot of people have difficulty with.
In these turbulent days, when the institutionalized church is trying to become more culturally acceptable and universally palatable, our denominations are losing their foundations. Instead of following Christ and fulfilling His words, we are more into pursuing the world and validating our own opinions. We seek to be liked by the world, instead of being faithful to Christ. We diminish our beliefs in order to be accepted. We no longer have a sure foundation; we’re standing on shaky ground and will end up collapsing in a heap of our own undoing.
The parable, which we tend to set aside as a good children’s story, is one of those “in your face” moments that Jesus often uses to challenge us. The message is quite clear: we either walk His talk or we can say goodbye to God’s Kingdom. I don’t know about you, but rather than listen to the voices of modern, multi-cultural, progressive, one world universalists, I would rather hear the clear and truthful voice of Christ across the centuries. It might seem outdated and paltry to some people, but it’s eternal and priceless to me.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when the world says, “Jump!” Christians don’t ask “how high?” When You say, “Follow Me,” we reply “Yes, Lord.” Keep us from capitulating and casting aside our allegiance to You. Help us to accept and apply Your words, even although it may cost us popularity, privileges, and profits. In Your Holy Name, we earnestly pray. Amen.