Saturday, December 26, 2009

Restoring Reverence for God.

There is another issue that has contributed to a weak church today.
Our Father wants to express Himself to the world today through the family of God - in His fullness.
Social pressure has led to us presenting a palatable Gospel without the aspects of God’s nature that might offend.
We have failed to allow expression of many of His attributes and in doing so have made our God ‘PC’
To get a balanced picture of His character it is necessary to consider the whole of scripture and not just the New Testament.
Many believers have struggled to reconcile the Christ from the New with the God of Israel from the Old.
The aspects of God that have been conveniently ignored are in fact crucial to a strong Church. These could be called the ‘negative’ attributes of God, are not ‘nice’ and include the following…
Our God judges, is jealous, hates sin, is terrible, destroys, gets angry, consumes like a fire, takes vengeance and is intolerant.
Presenting a soft view of God has lead to having a generation of believers that have little comprehension or experience of the “fear” of God. There is a corresponding lack of wisdom among us, compounded by the modern trend towards young leadership in some Churches. By fear, I mean to honour and respect for a God who is awesome and holy. This is not to be confused with an unholy fear associated with sects and cults to control adherents.
This failure to represent of the fear of God to the Church has also meant that the Church’s voice in the world is muted.
How do we correct this lack of knowledge of such an important part of God’s character?
Three things come to mind.
Firstly, these aspects of God’s character are more often than not expressed through God’s prophets. You may ask - where are they? In many cases the structure and dynamic of our churches fails to make room for such a ministry. The one who is brave enough to say that we need to repent is often seen immediately as imbalanced ‘flakey’ or plainly deceived. In the early church there was a fellowship of prophets serving the family of God to bring His word. This is virtually unheard of today and would likely be viewed as a dangerous clique. This grouping of prophets in a district should be welcomed and serve to bring God’s Word to the Shepard’s in the area.
Secondly there has been a trend away from preaching and towards teaching. It is not surprising that preaching the Gospel has less appeal in the modern church as we are exhorted to go out and preach whereas most preachers stay in and preach. In staying in, they are all too often addressing a convinced audience. As in the early church, preaching should be done in public where the unsaved are. This is where the word of judgment has a significant place. Preaching with signs following in the market place results in radical conversions, which in turn challenge the church and stimulate renewal.
Thirdly our current generation seems to lack the personal close encounters with the Almighty that many of us remember, permanently changing our lives. I still recall a prayer time with students at Otago University in the 70’s when ‘God passed by…’ I was speechless for several hours. An encounter of that nature leaves one with a permanent deep respect and healthy fear of our Lord for a lifetime.
We sing about His awe, but if there was revelation knowledge of His holiness our gatherings would be more likely to command His respect and fear.

No comments:

Post a Comment