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7.20.2005    |    "Fear God and give him glory..."
...because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." Thus says the angel in Revelation 14:7. Sinners, if we wait until the time of judgment to "fear" God, it's too late. We must fear him now.

Anybody who reads the Bible should fear God in the sense of having a respectful dread of the future that is in His hands alone. We are to be judged, and that judgment will affect how we spend eternity. So "dread" and "fear" are not over the top. Anything less than this, when we worship God, is just not right.

When we worship we should view God, our Creator, as truly awe-inspiring in a way that makes the current overuse of "awesome" look puny and vapid. One mustn't describe a television show as "awesome", and then use the same word to describe how we approach the Almighty.

And this is the heart of what ails much modern, mega-church (and not-so-mega-church) worship: a lack of the true fear of God, the use of music, feigned hipness (gotta get those twenty-somethings into the pews), and, especially, the sappy every-day-in-every-way-I'm-getting-better-and-better approach to being a Christian -- the "gospel of prosperity" (think Joel Osteen and Robert Schuller).

This may be fun, and it may feel good. But church is not a place to feel good. It should not be a sanctuary from the wicked world. It is not a place of refuge for us. It is not a museum for saints. What church is, or should be, is a hospital for us sinners. A place to worship God through His word. A place to, at least metaphorically, fall to our knees and fear God's judgment on an evil world.

And know that we are very much a part of that world.

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Blogger John said...

Great post JL! And one I totally agree with!


10:48 PM, July 20, 2005  
Blogger John Schroeder said...

Everything else, churches, confessions, theologies, music, movements, programs, jobs,...you name it, everything else, is a tool to be used in the building of that relationship. When we count the tool as more important than the thing the tool is to build, we have a problem. Read my full post that links to this here

9:22 AM, July 22, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.