It’s simply no fun to be a party-pooper. Who wants to be the “old school” curmudgeon in the corner shaking his bony finger at an upbeat crowd of young believers setting out to change the world for Jesus?
Why attempt to pour cold water on their enthusiasm? After all, their message is a positive one. And anyone who dare take issue with it comes across as negative, mean-spirited, and unloving. Oh boy…
But the truth is, the Bible calls believers to test everything, (1 Thessalonians 5:21), especially when it comes to teaching. And especially when it comes to a highly influential Christian conferences or new emerging universalism and postmodern thoughts and teachings.
We should be like the Bereans in Acts who examined Scripture carefully to see if Paul’s teaching was true, (Acts 17:11).
John wrote, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world,” 1 John 4:1.
In the same way, Paul wrote to the Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God,” Romans 12:2.
If we are to test everything, then, it follows that at some point we’ll have to play the role of whistle-blower as well. (For recovering people-pleasers like me, this is never an enjoyable task).
And the truth is, you can’t surf the waves forever — because eventually, you’re going to be engulfed by them. Worldly culture is already seeping insidiously into our churches and conferences as it is — so any attempt to ride its treacherous waves seems like opening the flood-gates.
While it’s fashionably advertised on webpages, blogs brochures, that “our environment is constantly advancing, constantly shifting, constantly adapting,” attempting to “stay ahead” of these speedy and “relevant” developments of world advancement, it just seems like an exhausting, futile, even deadly — undertaking!
Folks, getting ahead of the curve is nearly impossible when the waves of our worldly culture are in constant, often epically disastrous, motion! Even if we do succeed in riding one of the waves for a moment, it will soon come crashing down. In other words, the world will ultimately bring us down even if we rise up for a time.
How many celebrities have we see rise and fall in popularity? How many stars who were once idolized have we seen fall from fame? They may seem fashion-forward, edgy, or culturally relevant for a while, but they are soon outdone by the inevitable next-best-thing who rises up to steal the stage.
Somehow this reminded me of Paul’s words to the Romans, “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive,” (Romans 16:18).
This may sound harsh, but I’m thinking a serious mistake the Church is making today is to look to the world first, not God first on how to further His Kingdom.
When this happens we begin to implode and — we begin to look and sound more like the world, and less like the One whom it has rejected.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.