Jesus in the rearview

You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips,  but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me,  teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:7-9

I Facebook on the interweb.  I post pictures of my kids, especially of my three month son, so my friends and family can see them.  Actually, my wife usually does most of the posting.  But I do post sometimes, too, and we get a lot of comments and likes on the posts of pictures of our kids.  I am introvert and prefer not to have many face-to-face interactions so posting pictures of our kids on Facebook is perfect for me.  More often than not we get a lot of likes for the pictures.

I also repost and share articles about national, well-known Evangelical teachers who teach questionable, dangerous and/or outright heretical things.  Recently, I resposted and shared all the articles related to Clayton Jennings and his propensity to sow his seed under the guise of sowing the seed of the Gospel.  I have also reposted some articles of other dangerous teachers, like Jen Hatmaker, Todd White and Joyce Meyers, because people should be aware of them.  Guess how many likes I received?  Well, at last count it was zero, which is to say there was nothing to count.  I didn’t even get negative comments.

I am not sure what to say.  Am I shocked? Not really.  Why? Not too many people in the seeker-driven purpose-friendly church today care about false teachers and their false teaching.  The more popular they are the more right they must be with God.  In fact, I’m sure a lot of them like what is being taught because it tickles their ears, which is why I am surprised I didn’t even get a negative response.  Please, someone repeat to their neighbor “lukewarm”.

My observation from reading their posts and listening to their conversations is that they like to keep Jesus close, but not too close.  They like to experience their sin vicariously through TV shows and movies, as Jeff Maples pointed out in his article about entertainment and the church on Pulpit and Pen.  They like the Beth Moore Jesus.  I picture the Beth Moore Jesus as Jesus sitting in the back seat of your car.  If you look just right in the rearview mirror then you can see him sitting there.  And when he notices you looking at him I picture him putting on a cheesy smile, cocking his head to one side with a wink, and his two hands in the form of guns pointing at you like he is saying, “S’up, Girlfriend!”.

On Sundays and small group days, they put their Christian suit.  They talk about Jesus, about how much they love Jesus and they should rely on Jesus more than they should.  They talk about how Jesus helps through financial crises and sickness and any other down turn in their life.  And while they are doing this they are probably DVRing some perverse program that they wouldn’t watch if Jesus came for a visit.  Can you imagine if Jesus did come over and asked to see what was on your DVR menu?  How many of us would blush and stutter embarrassingly and try to steer the conversation to something else, quick?

The tragic thing is that Jesus is in the rearview, it’s just that he is not in the back seat anymore.  He stepped out at the last traffic light and they didn’t even notice.  Then when they look to see if He is still there what they see in the rearview mirror is Jesus on the corner talking to someone else who wanted to listen.  He’s not even looking at your car.

The church in general has become lukewarm.  All this self-help, you’re the Old Testament hero, pizza-box sermonettes has watered down the Gospel and has sheathed the Sword of Truth.  Our material wealth has made the church soft and deaf to the truth of the gospel.  We want the worldly things and we want to say we honor Jesus but as John said in 1 John 1:5-10:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The church needs to remove the bushel that covers our light or Jesus will remove the lampstand from our midst, if He hasn’t already, and repent of our whoring with the world, seek His forgiveness in humility and with a contrite and broken heart.

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