3 times the Bible says "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." We are rich in America. I am no prophet, but I believe we are in deep trouble and we don't even know it. I am a chief sinner in this regard.
Did Jesus have idols? Ok, I know, that is a pretty ridiculous question. Jesus certainly obeyed the 2nd commandment. What I mean is, what meta-narratives did he live by. What priorities and principles that stand outside of time, culture, politics, space, religion, socio-economic state, did he structure his entire life (and death) around? I better be able to answer this question if I am going to be his follower!
Our church has been doing a preaching series called "American Idols", obviously playing off the show that Becky and I watch religiously. The series of messages is highlighting some of the American "ideals that get in the way of our relationship to God". These ideals get in the way of us truly be Christians. individualism, freedom, humanism, tolerance...
So, I have to ask, what is the opposite? What did Jesus idolize? Again, what priorities and principles did he live and die by?
I have been following Jesus my whole life. But, I continue to be refined. It is my firm conviction that my current "idols" are the wrong "idols".
I/We have replaced the Kingdom of God with the Kingdom of America, or certainly with the Kingdom of I.
This concept answers so many of my deepest angst. Why is the church so apathetic when it comes to reaching the world? Why don't we care about starvation? Why do I perceive God's desire for me to be fat, happy and blessed as stronger than His desire for me to give up everything to serve a lost and dying world? Why is building up my retirement portfolio more important than children dying in Sudan? Why are we ok with crying out "give us those on the distant shores" on Sunday morning, but then on Monday do nothing about it? Why do I spend more time caring about who gets elected as President of American than I do about lost people? Why do we talk more about killing terrorists than we do about saving lives.
So now you will either characterize this as the musings of a raving lunatic, or you will agree with my wandering heart. This is simply my place to vent, so take it or leave it.