Gleanings – Please Someone Answer Me This!

1 Corinthians 14:20-33a, 39-40

“Falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”

Paul takes for granted that certain things will happen when outsiders and unbelievers enter an assembly of believers (what we often call church) who are prophesying or boldly speaking God’s truth. While speaking in tongues would be confusing to that person, clear proclamation will lead that outsider to conviction and accountability. So great is the power of the Word that men will fall to their knees and worship and declare they have encountered God among His people.

Why is it then such a temptation to us to soft pedal what it is that we believe? The trend is to remove all things difficult and potentially offensive including the cross. We sing positive lyrics to upbeat tunes in a pep rally environment. We come close to bait and switch saying Sunday is for visitors and Wednesday night is “real” church. We insiders know this secret (gnostic) info.

Have we no confidence in what we preach that it will actually produce conviction, mutual submission and worship/lying prostrate before the Lord God Almighty?

Two things are potentially at work in succumbing to this temptation and they aren’t unrelated.

First, we keep trying to build churches rather than make disciples. Building churches uses marketing and marketing is positive, always positive like Disney World and Chick-fil-A employees. Making disciples uses Truth which is sometimes comforting and sometimes challenging and sometimes both at the same time.

Second, in our sometimes neurotic insecurity we want and need the masses to affirm what we believe. Many years ago an Episcopal bishop named Spong admitted that he changed (revised) the Christian narrative in an effort to make it believable/credible to his daughter. We are uncomfortable with being out of the mainstream and certainly don’t want to be perceived as on the fringes or extreme. Add to this that the media suggests what we believe is the cause/root of much evil in the world. Clearly we’d rather not go it alone in that.

I, for one, believe a smaller more convicted Body of believers will lead to greater strength and influence (salt, light, leaven). And small may be better. I recall something about a mustard seed. Finally, you cannot change the world with opinions. God is expecting us to believe and believe boldly!

So answer me these things. Am I right about the trend? Am I right about the cause? Please, somebody weigh in!

2 Responses to “Gleanings – Please Someone Answer Me This!”

  • Robert Says:

    I think it begins with entitlement – trying to inherit (emphasis added) eternal life. Luke 18:18. We in America inherit our family’s religion. Some may subconsciously think I am entitled to have the Lord in dying. Why disciple? May be going off in a tangent but a thought…

  • John Richardson Says:

    Point well made Robert. Why do the difficult if we have already secured the prize? The sense of entitlement is big in America even among those of us who lament loudly the entitlement culture.

Leave a Reply