I was on YouTube not too long ago and I happened to come across a video clip of a young man walking up in the pulpit doing the Harlem Shake behind the preacher, then all of a sudden the clip changes into an entire circus act of big beach balls being thrown, balloons, crazy wigs, and gorilla masks. I sit at my desk and think, “Is this a joke? Is this reality? Is this what Christ wants his bride to look like?” I get angry because I believe the house of God is sacred and not a playground, but a place of worship to a holy God. In addition, I was angry because I hear so many people criticize the church and laugh at the church because they think it is pointless for various reasons. Some say because Christians are judgmental and critical, which is the case for some people and no that is not the way Christ came, so neither should we. However, the whole “don’t judge me because God knows my heart” is another blog I will have to elaborate on another time. Despite the overuse of that statement and common false doctrines, the reality of being Christian is that God has set standards in place that we must live by in order to see him and reign with him some day soon.
I’m newly saved and it will be one year in a few weeks since the Lord baptized me in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking tongues (Yes, it’s real and one of the signs, but not the only sign that the Holy Ghost is living in you). As a babe growing in Christ I have many developmental stages to pass from here on, so I am not perfect, but that is the goal to be perfect in holiness. We say, “No one is perfect”, which is true to some degree. For example, I am positive this blog entry I am writing has some grammatical or punctual errors, but that is not the perfection God is seeking in us. However, do not misunderstand me. We should strive to strengthen our weaknesses in all areas, but education without salvation is vain. My point is that my writing skills are not in correlation to my salvation status because if that was the case I might not be saved today.
Back to the video clip…Christians are supposed to be the salt of the earth, right?
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mat. 5:13-16).
How can we be salt and light if we’re doing the same thing the world does to not glorify God? Is it now acceptable to God if it is not sexual or does not have a negative connotation? How can ungodliness be displayed in a positive connotation? Is it acceptable to God if I do a modified version of a worldly dance? Is it okay for me to give God a lame or sick sacrifice of praise?
“A sonhonoureth[his] father,and a servanthis master:if then I [be] a father,where [is] mine honour?and if I [be] a master,where [is] my fear?saiththe LORDof hostsunto you, O priests,that despisemy name.And ye say,Wherein have we despisedthy name? 7Ye offerpollutedbreadupon mine altar;and ye say,Wherein have we pollutedthee? In that ye say,The tableof the LORD[is] contemptible. 8And if ye offerthe blindfor sacrifice,[is it] not evil?and if ye offerthe lameand sick,[is it] not evil?offerit now unto thy governor;will he be pleasedwith thee, or acceptthy person?saiththe LORDof hosts. 9And now, I pray you, beseechGodthat he will be graciousunto us: this hath been by your means:will he regardyour persons?saiththe LORDof hosts. 10Who [is there] even among you that would shutthe doors[for nought]? neither do ye kindle[fire] on mine altarfor nought.I have no pleasurein you, saiththe LORDof hosts,neither will I acceptan offeringat your hand..” (Mal. 1:6-10). (Read Mal. 1 for the rest)
Why are the saints (supposed to be) reaching for worldly pleasures, tactics, ideologies, practices, etc. and stamping Jesus on it? My question is are we drawing the youth to Christ or are we telling them you can still do what the world does in the name of fun and still see Jesus in peace? When did we have to sin to win? Jesus NEVER sinned. Yes, he ate with sinners, but he was coming to bring life. He gave them the word. Unfortunately, he did have people following him for various reasons, such as the fish sandwiches (yum). However, when Jesus told the people about themselves and offered them the bread of heaven (God, the word, the bible) that was eternal they wanted no part in that (Read John 6). Is not the word of God enough? Is the word of God so weak that we have to grab for worldly dances, music, or tactics to draw men unto Christ? The devil is a liar! God said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). How can we lift him up with offerings used to honor Satan? What saved you? The Harlem Shake or the Word of God? When did we need the extras to draw folks to Christ?
As a babe in Christ, if I leave my all to follow Jesus why am I reaching behind me for my past, when God calls us to holiness. The “saved” me should not look or act like the “unsaved” me acted. Otherwise, I will see worldly practices as no big deal and see I can have the best of both worlds. We are not saved only for ourselves, but it is to help draw others to Christ. We do not need to use the bait that the enemy uses to draw souls into his kingdom. His bait leads to eternal damnation, but our bait (the word of God) leads to eternal life. How can you use Satan’s bait to draw in souls to the kingdom of God? It is not so. The word of God is powerful in its on strength and power. It does not need fleshly mechanisms to change or draw people to the Lord. Fleshly amusement is temporal, but joy in the Holy Ghost is everlasting. The goal is to look up to Jesus and not anyone else.
I am not against fun and food for the youth because I’m young and those things are nice in there own respect, but the word is enough. I have heard of Youth Pastor’s who do the “fun” stuff, but the youth are still bound in sin or they have no relationship with Christ. They only come out for the “fun” stuff, but are secretly dying inside. It is the word of God that brought me comfort, healing, life, direction, and salvation. My salvation, healing, life, direction, and comfort was not in going to theme parks, skating events, bouncing on trampolines, throwing beach balls, running around in circles, but it was the power of God’s holy word that has and still is saving me.
People of God, this word goes for you as well as for me. I am not exempt nor am I greater, but holiness is critical. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Without holiness we cannot see the Lord. I know this speaks of eternal life, but I wonder if this is a reason behind why we are not seeing the mighty works of Lord in our lives or local assemblies. Maybe it is because we are not holy. Help us Lord. “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). I can go on posting scriptures on holiness and sanctification. These are important scriptures we must live by, but sometimes we fly by them so quickly because nobody around us is challenging us or either we are ignoring the prodding of the Holy Ghost to come up higher.
Many people will reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, but compromising the gospel is not God’s way. We only deter people from the faith by conforming. They need to see the transforming power of Jesus Christ operating in our lives. Otherwise, how can they be convinced our God is who we claim him to be. Do not be afraid of people’s faces or their responses to the word of God. Some will believe and others will not. How can you expect the unsaved to want to be saved, when we live as they live, yet we want to shove the word and hell fire and brimstone down their throats? Why should I live for Jesus when you live like me? How is it that you’re on your way to heaven and I’m not? But you are doing wrong like me? So, I just say the sinner’s prayer and still live the same way I’ve been living? No thanks. I’m good. I thought you said your God was all powerful. Why can’t he save you from sinning? I thought you said you were a Christian?
If unsaved people are questioning your faith and they see what you are doing is ungodly, then you need to check yourself. They are watching you and need to see the glory of God shining through us to rescue them from darkness, but the blind cannot lead the blind. Repent, and ask the Lord for direction. He’s our only true guide.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).