I was sent a link the other day to a fellow pastor's blog. John Pavlovitz is a pastor in North Carolina who writes a blog entitled, "Stuff That Needs to Be Said." The title of this blog post was "The Greatest False Idol of Modern Evangelical Christianity." Now before you stop reading or make judgement calls, I know nothing of Rev. Pavlovitz's theological understandings. I simply read the blog, because it was forwarded to me by one I respect very much. I would like for you to consider what I'm thinking before jumping to conclusions.
Rev. Pavlovitz talks about a new idol that most of us Christians are worshiping. No, it is not money, or position, or even sex, this new idol has snuck up on the Body of Christ and has taken over our hearts and our lives. The idol is fear.
The Church and those of us who make up its congregations are fearing everything. Rev. Pavlovitz states it this way:
"It's as if everything has now become an imminent threat: Muslims, Atheists, Gays, The President, inner city criminals, Hollywood, illegal immigrants, The Government, school hallways.
The world outside the church building is broadly painted as a vile, immoral war zone, with "God's people" hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.
Parroting the politicised partisan talk show hosts and reposting the latest terrible news stories, they perpetuate the now comfortable, largely White Evangelical Christian narrative of impending destruction, and they make it clear at every opportunity: The whole d---- sky is falling."
I don't think it is largely the White Evangelical Christian narrative but the narrative of the majority of believers in Jesus Christ that are falling down at the altar of fear and worshiping. Fear has become our god, and we honor this god with mind, soul, and heart.
When did we forget that we are the children of Almight God? When did we forget that God never leaves us or forsakes us all? When did we forget that God is a jealous God and will have no other gods before God? When did we start giving more to the idol of Fear than to the God of heaven and earth? This is what the Church, the state, the nation, and even the world has done to a great extent.
We somehow try to live as independent people free to do as we desire. We cry out in our struggles and in our loneliness that no one cares. We are more sophisticated than past generations. We know money, position, and even sex nevers serves us well as our gods, but yet now we live in fear of tomorrow and pay homage to this god with our full attention and our words. We may give our money to the causes of Christ and to His Church, but we give so much of our time, our discussions, our rants on Facebook, our sleepless nights, our lost moments, our quailty time to the god called fear. It's everywhere; people are living in fear and reacting from this base to each other.
Almighty God, have mercy on us, fearful children. We need to be freed from this new sleek and acceptable idol. We need to cast off that which is not of God and allow God's Holy Spirit to renew our hearts and our minds. We need to place God back on the throne of our lives and in our hearts. We need to trust that God is able. I'm just thinking; are we able?
Rev. Pavlovitz ends his blog with these words that cause me to keep on thinking and praying;
"I'm praying for so many of my Evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ, to stop worshiping the false idol of Fear.
I'm praying that they recapture a God Who is worthy, not just of defending andquoting -but trusting.
I'm praying for the rest, joy, and humility that comes from putting faith in something greater than themselves and in the things they fear.
Every day, even with the mystery that grows on my journey, my security grows too.
I know how big my God is.
Do we? I invite you to join me in stripping the altar of our hearts from this sick and totally weak god called fear and invite God, our Father, our Creator to make us new again.
Worth thinking about,