Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
Beginnings (Part 5)
Not Everything New Is Good
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock Who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God Who fathered you.
Deuteronomy 32:17-18 (NKJV)
Not everything new is good. Surely, modern media brings that point home in unprecedented abundance. By invitation, countless new gods strut into millions of homes. They stake a claim and take residence: bad shows and bad commercials sell bad ideas and bad products by way of bad examples... disguised to look good. We're too entertained to untangle the mess.
OK. We see them. Actors, models and talent for Christ are called to the cause. Praise God!
But what about modern churches and fancy shepherds? Not everything new is good.
Living just long enough to see the start of media-driven churches was a plain-talking preacher named A.W. Tozer: *
'If I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the Cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old Cross slew men, the new cross entertains them. The old Cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old Cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it.'
'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me' (Isaiah 29:13). Our designer crosses convict us.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You are called to rise to the Image of the ultimate Designer. The cross on your neck is worse than meaningless without a cross on your back. That cross is your Commission: to go into the world, disarm it with love, and shine for God.
At the same time, your appearance in media serves an eviction notice to its ruling authority: 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2). If he loses his deceiving, destructive, dictatorial dominion, new management must follow: the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit.
How can this mission be accomplished? Remember: Jesus did the hard part. The ways we follow His lead are unlimited, but consider two: 1) The uprising of a new church. Its robes aren't rich, but righteous. Its shepherds aren't slick, but simple. Its stars aren't many, but One.**
2) The uprising of new fisherman: 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men' (Matthew 4:19). Your lines aren't fake, but real. Your catch isn't yours, but His. Your roles aren't leading, but supporting.
To Be Continued...
* A.W. Tozer: http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/A.W.-Tozer-Quotes
** 'What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer' (E.M. Bounds), http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/christian-quotes_ochristian.cgi?find=Christian-quotes-by-E.M.+Bounds-on-Holy+Spirit
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beginnings series. To read similar devotions, please see the All Things New series.