"Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth..."
I'm writing with a heavy heart today, as I'm overwhelmed by the massive distortions of truth perpetuated by men who call themselves believers in Christ. Just visiting the blog world, the writings of the people central to all the so-called "Christian industries" such as publishing, and music, and the arts, education, and ministry is a journey into the chaos of self-promotion.
This is not Christ. This smorgasbord of self-focus is not Christ. The name of Christ is not mentioned, except in passing, like a reference on a resume.
Of course I serve Christ, so I do this, or that, and look at me, and at my fine, wonderful life of achievements. Of course I serve Christ, but look at me and my family, and my latest book, or CD, or degree, or conference speaking schedule. Of course I serve Jesus, that's why I'm so successful, and have a big following on all the social media sites, and why my book is being published, and I have a speaking tour set up. Of course I am a Christian, and that's why my blog has a community of thousands, and my every word is commented on by hundreds of people a day. Of course my life is an example, because so many people say nice things about me, and buy my stuff.
ME, ME, ME, I, I, I, MINE, MINE, MINE!
How lonely and ignored the Lord Jesus is today among our affluent, modern, fantabulous Christians! In reading this drivel I'm driven by the Holy Spirit to remember and read in Scripture about my Lord's ministry--how humble it was, and how He never exalted Himself. I think of Paul and the other apostles--outcasts and hated by the world, persecuted and hunted down, opposed even by many in the religious world. Rioted over in the marketplace, lowered down city walls to escape mobs, protected from religious zealots by the pagan Roman armies, shipwrecked, beaten, hungry, cold, without permanent homes, and all because of their love for Christ and their refusal to compromise with the world.
No such life for the modern, fantabulous American Christian. Why should we live in such a Way? Why should we not live lusciously delicious lives, full of success, full of ourselves? After all, we've earned it! How talented we are, and how brilliant! We have become all we need, and to boot, we have Christ and the church! The Christian mob throws its uncritical approval upon us, and garlands of praise, and so stamps us with glory!
The Lord God stands aside for this procession. He is not the subject of all this self-adoration. He does not participate. His Word stands today as it always has, and we either humble ourselves, giving all, dying to self, following Jesus, or we will be left out on the Day coming, when God's true ekklesia, His scattered, suffering, persecuted, loved, cherished, faithful remnant, will be gathered from the four winds to His arms.
Other great processions, self-congratulatory parades of so-called 'Christian' religiosity, have marched across the globe at various times in history. Where are they now? Dead and buried and forgotten. Like all man's endeavors, they pass away like the grass. But the Word of God stands forever, and His Truth will always be, and only those who obey the Lord Jesus and follow Him on the nearly forgotten Narrow Road will be there with Him when He returns.
Many across the globe have not bowed their knee to the modern, affluent, fantabulous Baal. Thousands have continued to stand, uncompromised, unbowed, silent before those who ignore them, or accuse them, as our Lord Jesus was silent before the religious Jews and Pilate.
What will you do when you find out that your celebrity, your achievements in the 'Christian world', your fine plaques and trophies, your long resume, your leadership, your popularity, your self-accomplishments, all mean nothing to Christ? What will you do when He asks you who you are? If you can't answer 'I am nothing--my life has been You, and You alone, dear Friend'--then He will have to throw away your press releases, and your framed photos of you and your adoring fans and say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you."
Is all this temporary partying worth that?