Jesus is just the hero of the poor (and nothing else).
It appears that there is a growing movement to identify Jesus with social justice - in particular, caring for the poor - and that's it. For the record, I am NOT against the poor, and I think the church global has abdicated from their responsibility to feed them. That is why the government feels obligated to do so. Next.
Truthfully, most Americans do not know what real poverty is like.
Here is the problem that I am having. If a Christian does something that appears extravagant, the first thing some Christians do is say they should have fed the poor. A pastor takes a well deserved cruise vacation, and he should have spent the money on the poor. If a mega-church puts up a nice building, somehow they are villains to the poor. God forbid a pastor or ministry worker takes in a $100K a year - he earned a masters degree so that he could be poor too?
God is not limited by finances, or even the efficiencies of man and their spreadsheets. We must hear His voice, and do it.
If a tragedy occurs, God is always at fault, or he doesn't exist because God is a good God.
We live in a fallen world, there is going to be trouble. We live with sinful people; even the Christians in the church sin. There is going to be trouble. We live in a world with gravity, if we fall it's going to hurt!
The question, does God care about tragedy? The answer is yes. Even as Christians we get into comparing the ways in which God treats one Christian and not another. Was Peter treated the same as Judas? The answer is yes!! If you want to see God's hand, check out this video.
My pastor says that we use the Doctrine of Sovereignty as a cop out in place of real faith. I totally agree.
I take comfort in the very fact that God pursues every human being, offering eternity to each one. God's plan for you and me transcends this life. It is not His goal to simply make us happy here on earth, but to give us eternal joy that can start here. His presence is a comfort regardless of our circumstances.
If you do a Bible word search for trial, and one for worry, you see where God is at with things that matter to us.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
I believe the biggest disappointment for Christians is that we are trying to get God to bless what we want, and not connecting with his destiny for us. If you have been sitting there for years on end wondering what God wants you to do, you are not connecting.
It's just bad theology!
If God does something for one group of Christians and another group doesn't like it, they say that it is bad theology. If God does something for no "apparent" reason, then he is a bad God, and therefore; the theology is bad, because God isn't bad. Or it's really Satan.
I am troubled by the mentality of so called Christians that decry anything that does not fit their religious world-view or myopic picture of Jesus. It is immature, uneducated and uniformed, not to mention that it smacks of the lack of real faith and real discernment. Here is an example.
A fairly popular minister is known for signs and wonders. In ONE of his meetings, ONE person claimed to have their teeth whitened (overlooking the fact that someone was healed of cancer in the same meeting). So here are some responses to the miracle:
- Skepticism; the person is lying.
- The minister is lying and it never happened.
- God would not do something so trivial, after all half the world is starving!
- Why does God let one person die, and then do something as meaningless (to the writer) as this?
- It is bad theology because it has no purpose. Jesus never did anything without a purpose.
- Why would God do something that you could have done at the dentist?
- God is concerned with healing, not vanity.
How would you respond?
How did Jesus respond to skepticism?
Matthew 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
How will God respond to liars?
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
God is serious about miracles to build our faith - after all it's His Kingdom.
How is that we are going to get educated on the ways of God if we sit in church week after week and God does next to nothing? Recently the Pew guys did a poll of folks to see how well they knew their religious facts. You may take it HERE. Evangelicals and Catholics got toasted by atheists, Jews and Muslims.
The plan for the church is to make disciples and reach the lost for Christ. There have been many attempts to do this over the centuries. That is supposed to be our world-view - the one where faith and repentance actually work. I'm just saying.
It is sad that many of our Sunday messages either "Turn or Burn", "God loves you and graces you into heaven - so don't worry", or "Others are having a crappy week too, let's be grateful for what we have", which, I suppose are true in some fashion. However; there is a significant trend to minimize sin and the miraculous. Both mindsets are exceedingly dangerous, because both are required for saving faith.
Certainly the Great Commission is important... it was God's intention in Gen 1:26 but there is more, much more.
As evangelicals, many of us have tried to find ways to spread that Gospel - some are ineffective. We cannot overlook sin and repentance simply because they are culturally unpopular.
In addition to loving, some churches overlook the supernatural; which is one of the many ways that God backs up his Word.
It seems as if the supernatural is as unpopular as sin.
Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
For those of us with faith, not only will they know us by our love, but they will know God by His signs.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
What do you think about sin, and the supernatural?