Tuesday, May 9, 2017
On isms and ologies
A recent foray into the ugly world of social media and all of the supposed Christians out there who call themselves by their different, and often opposing man-made "isms," slinging mud at each other to the exclusion of Jesus and the simplicity of the Gospel has nearly convinced me to quit all but my work-related instagram account.
There is a saying that the "devil is in the details," but I think an accurate update would be, "the devil is in the distractions." If he can cause professing Christians to obsess over the extra-biblical teachings of men, with an almost cult-like fervor, then maybe no one will notice that Jesus is missing.
And yet what did the apostle Paul, an Hebrew of Hebrews, a brilliant debater and highly educated man, find important? He considered everything else "rubbish" compared to simply knowing Jesus.
And this beautiful Saviour is so worth knowing! But He admonishes us that we must humble ourselves and become "as little children" or we cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Corrie ten Boom reminds us,
"The churches do not lack great scholars and great minds. They lack men and women who can and will be channels of the power of God. They lack that which was accessible at Pentecost."
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
Let's not let isms and ologies keep us from the King of kings! As my friend Dorothy Valcarcel recently penned,
"I believe that in our world today, filled as it is with so much turmoil, strife and hatred, the gift of hospitable kindness has sometimes been relegated to the bottom drawer of Christ-like service and love.
Way too often, when generosity of spirit could potentially work wonders, healing wounded hearts and broken lives, we choose instead to resort to the pedestal of Pharisaical righteousness to try and prove how right we are, or that God is on "our side," when we should be freely spreading the balm of blessing in a world so desperately in need of a vision of how Jesus treated the sinners He met, even when they had 5 previous husbands and lived with someone they weren't married to.
May we never forget that over a request for a cool cup of water, the woman at the well in Sycar was transformed by Jesus into a mighty evangelist who brought her entire town to the feet of her Saviour.
In some of the most tender words penned by J.R. Macduff, 'a wandering star was, in the course of Jesus memorable journey, to be reclaimed from its devious orbit, and a glorious testimony was given as to how God's sovereign grace can triumph over all obstacles.'"