Tag Archives: idol
In some ways, American Christians have bought into the false teaching that it’s important to feed their self-worth. We’ve become so caught up in making sure we love ourselves, and making sure everyone else does too, that we’ve created our own personal idol out of our self-worth. We end up projecting our idea of grace onto the church…
I watched a short clip recently with Carl Trueman in which the scholar made the observation that one likely reason we are seeing a drop in church attendance is that parents are simply not teaching their kids that it is a priority. Trueman said:
“The church is losing its young people because the parents never taught their children that it was important. I think that applies across the board. It applies to family worship, and it also applies to whether you are in church every Sunday and what priority you demonstrate to your children church has on a Sunday. If the sun shines out and their friends are going to the beach, do you decide to skip church and go to the beach? In which case, you send signals to your children that it is not important.”
I recently watched the Cleveland Cavaliers pull off an improbable comeback to win the NBA finals. With their team down 3-1 the Cavs won 3 straight games to bring home Cleveland’s first NBA championship; a promise LeBron James issued two years ago. It was an exciting game and series for fans, but it also reminded me of how much Americans worship sports.
To be fair, I love sports. I’ve been playing and watching since I was a kid. What I am most thankful for is that my parents never allowed sports to interfere with our family, or our life as part of the church. That doesn’t seem to be the case today.
How often have you said to your pastor, “we won’t be around much the next few months, it’s _________ season.”?
Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, A.W. Tozer, a highly respected pastor, author, and theologian, was concerned that people just wanted to be entertained, even when they came to church. His fear was that society in general was moving towards an insatiable desire to be entertained. It seems his fears were well-founded and the subject needs to be revisited once again.
Like many, I have been in public settings where people would normally be interacting but they were all staring at their phones. It seems the next tweet, Instagram photo, or Facebook post was more captivating than the people around them. And now, our reliance on social media for stimulation and entertainment has made its way into the church. Entertainment has, in many ways, become another possible master for us to choose from.
A recent article at Desiring God explores the reality that entertainment has become the master of choice for many people, even Christians. The author confesses that entertainment has been used “…to distract me from the guilt of sin, friction in relationships, or anxiety about work. It became what daily prayer and Bible reading should have been — a safe haven to retreat for rest and comfort.”
But the result of choosing entertainment as a master is that it will slowly draw us away from Christ:
I’ve listened to this song dozens of times, sometimes several times in a row. This is the only song I know by this artist, so it’s not about the person singing. The words of this song haunt me as I come face to face with my own depravity. But I can’t help realizing how broken our churches are. Maybe this song can help us repent of our sin and refocus our worship on the One that deserves it. Imagine if every church placed ultimate priority on repentance, prayer, and the glory of Jesus Christ. Take a moment to listen and consider what is being said here.
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