Job 23:4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.
I feel sorry for the whole Christian Church right now. We seem to be stumbling over our own feet and are constantly struggling with issues of homosexuality, poverty, and abortion. There doesn’t seem to be any clear consensus about what we should believe, and no matter what biblical verses or principles are used to prop up one side of a theological debate, the other side trumps it with a different interpretation. We are so tainted with this urge to state and enforce our views upon the Church that we have lost the capacity to convince the world that what we believe in is the truth. In our desperate need to make everyone feel accepted and for us to be liked, we’ve thrown out Christ with the waters of baptism and allowed the waters of chaos to overwhelm us.
I personally feel as though I’ve taken the wrong path and allowed myself to justify my beliefs. I’ve confused and fused my culture with my Christianity. I’ve stuck my head in the sand instead of drawing a line in the sand. Instead of letting the scriptures be my guide, I’ve relied upon my conscience. Instead of following the words of Christ, I’ve followed the maddening crowd. I’ve permitted modernism to mangle my relationship with Christ and have let post-modernists diminish my preaching. I feel like a prodigal pastor and a theological prostitute. I need to repent, refocus, and return to the Kingly Christ of the Scriptures and not the jolly Jesus that society has created.
In the Old Testament, Job fiercely expressed his right to contend with God and be acquitted through the power of his arguments. In the New Testament, Christ freely sacrificed Himself because we cannot contend with God and be acquitted. We may be able to defend our thoughts and justify our beliefs to other people, but we cannot do the same with God. Only Christ can advocate on our behalf. And only He can do this for us if we repent of our pride, our arrogant mistakes, and false misconceptions.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we foolishly believe that our society has it all right and that Your words are outdated, outmoded, and outflanked. You clearly laid out the godly ways to live our lives, but we sinfully pick and choose whatever is convenient for us. Pardon our arrogance and stupidity for believing that our generation is right and that all previous Christian generations were totally wrong. Redirect our paths and reclaim our churches as Your own. In Your Heavenly Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is currently the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.