Are We Settling for Substitutes?July 27, 2016
The great tragedy in modern Christianity is not necessarily error in the church but rather that so few people actually recognize it. Secular philosophy and cultural sentiments have numbed down the spiritual senses of the saints to such a degree that we have settled for substitutes. We may not dance around the golden calf, but we’ve come to accept its presence in our midst.
A.W. Tozer said, “So skilled is error at imitating truth that the two are constantly being mistaken for each other.” Lines have disappeared in this post-modern world, at least in terms of spirituality. We know longer make our boundaries in the proverbial sand; instead, we cross over back and forth until all distinctions and discernments are washed away. We have dismissed absolute truth and challenged this generation to order their lives without knowing what God has declared. Truth is missing, but its absence is not the saddest part. The saddest part is that no one seems to know that it is missing, or perhaps worse…no one cares.
As a result, we have substitutes. We have to settle for crooked politicians because moral ones cannot be found. We settle for cheap and vile entertainment because it’s convenient with our lifestyles. We settle for a spirituality that lacks true depth and meaning because, to be honest, it costs too much to have anything else. Congregants have to be coaxed to our palatial buildings with gimmickry, stages have to be conducive to concerts, pulpits have to be designed with itching ears in mind. We’ve traded in our spiritual encounters for religious experiences. We have substituted worship for the show.
To reverse the order, it will take someone with an audacious spirit to come down from the mountain and destroy the calf. No, I am not suggesting that we choke out, as Moses did, all of those who bowed down to the golden image. But someone should at least be willing to point out that God is not satisfied with His replacement.