I was in an engineering class the first time I watched the tragic detonation of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Even though I wasn’t alive when it happened, I caught a peek of the horror thousands must have felt as the events unfolded.
And, the first issue everyone wanted to know was, “What happened? ”
After months of investigation, here’s what the Rogers Commission( the group commissioned to investigate the explosion) detected: An O-ring seal in the right solid rocket booster neglected at take-off. I won’t bore you with the details, but an O-ring is a small device relative to the size of a space shuttle. Very small.
It wasn’t something massive, like a puncture in the rocket booster or a flaw in the cabin, that induced this catastrophe. It was a small, seemingly insignificant, o-ring failure.
I think there’s a lesson here for the church. What if the big sins, you know the ones you try hardest to escape, aren’t the greatest threat to your joyfulnes and the church’s mission?
Maybe it’s the sins lying underneath, the ones considered normal or acceptable, the ones travelling undetected, that are affecting the church “the worlds largest”. I want to address nine of these sins.
The words “do not fear” and “do not be afraid” appear 365 times in the Bible. Ironic? I imagine not. And here’s what I think the church misses about panic. Let me pose this as a question. What is the opposite of panic? Fearlessnes? Bravery? William Wallace?
Wrong. Wrong. And right, but you’re devastating my point.
The opposite of horror is…LOVE. Add to this the reality that God is adore. So, according to the Transitive property of maths, the opposite of dread is…God.
If you’re a child of God, the one sin that shouldn’t plague you is…fear.
Yet, Christians were more fearful people on globe. Even our redemption is rooted in fear. Does it bother anyone that the primary technique of bringing people to Jesus has been to scare them away from inferno?
That’s fear language, the antithesis of God. Look at what John says.
There is no fear in love, but perfect adore casts out panic. For fright “re going to have to” do with punishment, and whoever frights has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
The church is scared to make decisions out of fright. Christians are hesitating to step into dangerous situations out of anxiety. The catalyst for our submission is horror. Where’s the adore?
Several weeks ago, I decided to remove the words “fear, daunted and terrified” from my vocabulary. Maybe you are able to do the same. It could change how you insure the world. And God.
Apathy’s most special friend are passivity and entitlement. Together, they’re a vicious threesome.
There’s nothing mediocre or normal about God. His power is beyond comprehension. His charm is beyond description. His love is beyond measure. The same God who generated the universe and formed aces wants such relationships with you.
Yet, the attitude is often, “OK, God enjoys me. That’s great. What’s for lunch? ” No. You don’t get it, bro. God loves you. And you’re content with, “That’s great.”
Our apathetic approach to God clarifies a lot about why people in America aren’t lining up to become Christians.
I mean, think it is right it. How many Christians have you met that left you thinking, “Wow, I want to be like them? ” But it is desirable to the norm, right? Am I way off here? Shouldn’t you be so transformed by God that people want to ask about their own lives, even if they hate God?
In Scripture, when men and women truly experience God, everything changes. Everything. So, that begs the question, “Have you experienced God? ”
In my younger days, I would literally feed myself sick. I necessitate, if I ordered meat, I ate all of it. Period. Naturally, this presented a number of problems when I feed buffets.
Looking back, I see that my stance was gluttonous. And the gluttony wasn’t that I feed myself sick. It was that I applied a endowment God gave me on myself…in excess.
Gluttony is principally about the heart. It’s a crave for excess. Gluttony says, “Those voids God is supposed to fill…don’t worry about that. I will fill them.” Gluttony happens when you lose your awe of God. You realise, as long as your eyes are determined on Jesus, your heart’s lust is for[ H] im.
Is the world not desperate for this message? As we gorge our belly with food and inundated our residences with bangles, our discontent simply increases.
Where are the Jesus followers who will secure their eyes completely on him, throwing away anything that treads the line between crave and necessity? Where are the Christians who will feast in excess on God?
The great philosopher Van Wilder formerly said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t got to get anywhere.” That’s right. But Van Wilder isn’t the only one who has spoken about worry. Jesus said you shouldn’t worry about anything( Matt. 6:25 -3 4 ). But Jesus wasn’t serious was[ H] e? I intend, genuinely Jesus? Anything?
He was serious. You realize, fretting is symptomatic of a greater issue…lack of religion. And for followers of Jesus whose primary mission is to show the exaltation and nature of God to the world, obsessing is a problem.
Recently, I requested a good friend why fret besets the church, and he said something profound, “My greatest concern is that we don’t want to requirement God. We’re Americans. We’re independent.”
That’s hard-hitting stuff right there.
Americans will do anything to maintain the illusion of control and responsibility, so no wonder obses plagues us. Worry is the by-product of carrying a load merely God can bear.
Do you interpret the incongruity here? The more independence you desire, the more worry you will suffer. So, why not give everything to God and let[ H] is peace reign over your life?
I erased this like five times, but God stopped mean to tell me to put it back. So, I did. With hesitancy. I love you, God.
I like performing. I ever have. And while there’s nothing wrong with the spotlight, there’s a lot incorrect with shaping yourself the centre of it.
If your identity is tied to man’s praise, you’ll be eternally discontent. People are fickle. They’re here today and gone tomorrow. They’re for you one day, against you the next. They love you when you agree with them, dislike you when you don’t.
Yet, we adoration human praise, at the least I do. Exhibit A: Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook. While I love social media, they’re likewise platforms that perpetuate flattery. You post videos about their own lives hoping the world will “like” it. Who cares if it’s not the real you? You need the permission. So, even if you need 30 times to be acknowledged that perfect selfie, it’s worth the time.
Jesus, however, didn’t necessity the kudo and beauty of men. He didn’t care what they anticipate. His only concern was doing the will of God. This attitude is what “the worlds” desperate to see.
Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to phase people to Jesus if you need their approval.
And when you need the was approved by others, their own lives will have more ups and downs than the Goliath at Six Flags in Atlanta.
I rode that beast. I know.
Comfort might be the patriarch of the “church approved” sins family. When the church becomes comfy, Christianity starts to die.
Christians must be extremely intentional with their thoughts and actions to avoid comfort. If not, you become resistant to change. You start constructing secondary issues primary. You begin to see the mission as catering to insiders rather than reaching outsiders.
And here’s the thing about the sin of consolation. Once it shows up, it’s extremely difficult to remove. When you challenge consolation, people don’t merely get angry. They get fightin’ mad. Comfort will even tell you to crucify an innocent man.
The religion can’t be missional and comfy at the same hour. It’s is now time to make a decision.
I grew up watching “Sesame Street”. My favorite persona ?… Cookie Monster. I felt like “wed been” the same person. And what I entail is we both desired cookies. I would often go around the house saying, “Gimme da cookies.”
It never worked.
Many Christians are like Cookie Monster. Their mantra is, “Gimme more…well, anything. Just give me more. More. More. More.”
The essence of this sin is a false be informed about God, that God is a taker. But nothing could be further from the truth. God is a giver. He’s the Giver. And, as a humankind or girl was set up in his image, you should be a giver.
So, why would you developing? What are you devoting back to the world? What are rendering back to others?
Cue the nasty emails. Perhaps it’s just me, but I can’t picture Jesus rippling an American flag while showing off his “I love’ Merica” tattoo. Jesus wasn’t against the government. In fact, if you’re a Jesus follower, the Bible calls you to pray for your nation and for your commanders( 1 Tim. 2:1 -4 ). But Jesus was very clear about how God’s name would become famous throughout the world…the church. Not the government. Not a nation. The church.
When your allegiance is rend between your country and your God, American ideals begin to shape your faith more than God. And you transpose American importances onto God, believing God would be an American and think like an American.
Celebrate American importances. That’s great. But, at the end of the day, your citizenship is not with America. It’s in heaven.
If gluttony is the elephant in the chamber everyone watches, but no one talks about, lying is the elephant in the room no one envisions. Lying is so socially acceptable, even in Christian circles, that it often runs undetected. We’re desensitized to it.
And here’s why this is dangerous for Christians.
There’s a rarely-discussed passage in Matthew 5:33 -3 7 where Jesus confronts the Pharisees about oaths. Most Americans simply hear the word promise when a luminary lies in courtroom( under oath ). But Jesus isn’t talking about promises in this passage.
He’s talking about INTEGRITY .
Here’s what Jesus is saying. You should live with such high-pitched soundnes that your term doesn’t require affections to make it legitimate. So, typical phrases like, “I promise, ” “I swear” and “I threw it on my mom’s grave” should never come from your mouth.
“Frank, c’mon on guy. Are you interpreting that accurately? Say you promise.”
These terms are a kick in the gasps, right? If you’re like me, you say things all the time and never follow through. You lie to induce yourself sound better. You lie to stay out of fus. You lie to get ahead. Sometimes “youre lying” just to lie.
Jesus says there’s no home for that if you’re a Christian. Your term problems. If you say something, God expects you to do it. It’s better to tell the truth and lose your job than lie and keep it.
How serious is this? Jesus says anything more than our word is from the evil one, Satan. That’s real.
Sometimes the undetected sins are the most toxic. My hope is you will see this as an opportunity to grow. I also recognize there are some “church approved” sins I didn’t mention. It’s your turn.