In light of the appearance of Jeremiah Seepek I thought I would repost this. Friends, Jesus is the hero of the Bible, in fact He is the center of time and history. If you believe in Him there is no need for these stories.
It’s true, it might be true, I don’t think it’s true, but I’ll try it anyways – just to be sure. This is the mindset of many on Facebook today, it also happens to be the mindset of many who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ. In case you didn’t know Facebook is now going to charge $4.63 for premium service, $3.64 for extra premium service, and $6.43 for basic service. This will begin next month, or some month in the future.
Sound familiar? How about this one? Today is your day to see how much God loves you. If you will forward this message to 10 more people in the next two minutes then you will receive a blessing from God in the next hour. If you don’t forward this message then you are showing others (you know, the ones looking over your shoulder and reading your text messages) that you don’t believe in God.
I could share many more but the point is not the messages but rather us, the people, who send them along their merry way. Last night I got a little tiny bit ill. Just a little ticked. Lewis had a game in Alma (pronounced elllMer) at 7:30. We stopped at the McDonalds in ellMer for supper for all of the kids, minus Lewis. The time was 6:20. Let’s just say the fine employees at this McDonalds had practiced the art of indifference and were very good at their job. As we got back in the truck my cell-phone rang and it was the mother of a boy on Lewis’ team. Uh-oh.
Let me regress for a moment. When Lewis had gotten off the bus he had asked me if Bacon County– ellMer’s other name – had two teams or one. It seems that one of his friends who plays on another team had told him that they were playing Bacon Countythat night. I attributed this to 6th grade boys and frankly forgot about it, until the phone rang. It seems as if Lewis’ buddy was right and that we weren’t playing in ellMer that night after all. Now I was ill; McDonalds, an idiot scheduler, and myself.
Yes, I was upset at myself. I should have called someone – not the scheduler – to verify whether or not we were playing in ellMer. We had wasted time, gas, and emotional turmoil (McDonalds) over a game that wouldn’t be played that night. This, folks, brings us to the first point that I want to bring up concerning Christians passing on these blessing-promised/curse-coming emails and texts.
1. It shows a lack of knowledge concerning God.
When we send out a text that says God will bless you if you stand in the middle of the interstate and sing, Amazing Grace, then we are showing our ignorance concerning this God we claim to serve. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. Hebrews 13:8-9
When we allow these messages and their perverted idea of who God is to control our actions then we are demonstrating that we don’t truly know what Scripture says about our Savior and Heavenly Father, not to mention the perversion of the direction of the Holy Spirit. This is crucial because at this point someone will usually interject that one time they were blessed following their participation in one of these messages. Folks we don’t need to go to our own lives to see the mercy and grace of God – although we certainly can. We can simply go to Scripture and beginning in Genesis you will see story after story concerning the mercy and grace of God. You will also see that nowhere in Scripture are we told to stand on the interstate and sing Amazing Grace, although if you will turn to Proverbs 34 you may find something similar.
2. It shows a desire for a quick-fix which is a sign that we are culturally correct and scripturally dry.
We have a pill for everything. Need more in an area – get a needle. Need less in an area – get a needle. Pills can be good and I will leave it to the reader to determine whether or not a needle is necessary in their individual life but let’s address this quick-fix issue.
Almost every one of these forwards points the participant towards a quick-fix for some area of their life. A bad day, bad children, bad dogs, bad hair, bad finances, bad spouse, etc. can all be fixed by simply clicking a few buttons. Yes!! Follow the progression for a moment. If I have had a bad day and I deal with the problem from Scripture then I may have to apologize to the teller at the bank for rolling my eyes when she asked me for my ID. The same would follow for the way that I yelled at my bad children when they said they wanted a sucker at the above mentioned bank, although they said it 49 times in a rising crescendo. The bad dogs and bad hair are probably a greater reflection on my outlook of life than I care to admit so we won’t discuss them. As for the bad finances and bad spouse let’s just be honest about what might be the root of that problem, us.
Our culture has a fix for everything or at least it has the ability to host a talk-show describing a multitude of supposed answers. When we begin to examine things in light of Scripture I am reminded of a few things that should occupy our minds when we want a quick fix. As believers we will not part from our desire to sin while still on this earth. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16-17
While we are being honest about our flesh lets also be hones about our enemy. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 As believers we spend much of our time ignoring the works of Satan and the demonic forces that seek to carry out his desire to destroy. If we are not ignoring the works of these principalities, powers, and rulers, then we are wrongfully attributing their work to Satan and believing him to be more powerful than he is.
Is that strong language for a forwarded text or email? Possibly. The reality is that I believe a continued involvement in such behavior points to a desire to simply click away our problems rather than examining them in light of Scripture.
3. It shows a tendency towards Paganism
All of these emails, texts, and Facebook messages revolve around one person – me. They are all self-centered. If you do , (NOW, OF COURSE) then you will receive .
Jesus left us with two very simply commands: love God and love others. Our love for self is natural and does not need to be cultivated. The more we participate in this behavior the more we are buying into the world’s philosophy that we somehow need to love ourselves more. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
Most of us probably think that we spend most of our time thinking and caring for others but I would say that we are probably wrong. What we do is we spend a lot of our time thinking and caring for others in relation to how it impacts us.
Paganism may be a strong word but it fits the situation. Pagan: one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods. That simple definition is why it is so easy for us to become involved in forwarding something that looks silly – we like sensual pleasures and material goods and a little more our way just for clicking a button sounds good. “I’ll have material goods for 400, Alex.”
4. It distracts others if we desire to minister to them
James Merritt is an idiot. A rich, well-educated idiot but an idiot nonetheless. Oh, he’s also a Southern Baptist Pastor and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In this article (http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-thought-i-had-seen-it-allthen-i-saw.html ) Merritt is shown pushing a “business opportunity” that certainly seems like a pyramid scheme. Frankly, I don’t see how he could rectify this in his own mind but for him to push this publicly would certainly hinder his ability to minister to others.
For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:5-7
If our hope is in Jesus Christ others will be able to see this in our daily lives. If we put our dependence in the same things that others without Christ do then we can be of no help to them.
Weigh the very decisions you make so quickly against the Word of God. Examine them next to the person of Jesus Christ. Question how much focus is on self and not on Christ and others. Finally, live so focused on Christ that you don’t need a bumper sticker or Facebook post to show others that you are a believer.