Whose side is God on?


Whose side is God on?
Scott and I have made a habit of watching Christian television on Sunday morning.  I’m not sure why.  I think it is because we enjoy getting upset.  If I were to base my understanding of God on what I was being taught on these programs I’d probably have a very different perspective on God.  I would probably think God’s primary purpose is to help me become a success.  Apparently God is on my side. 

Based on what Jesus said while on earth I get the strong impression that I have a choice between joining His side and staying on my own side.  The primary metaphor for God’s influence on this earth is a kingdom.  Jesus came to establish His kingdom not a retail chain of SalvationMart’s. 

One of the things that struck me very profoundly in recent times is the realization that the Christian faith is a lot more about God than it is about me.  God is on His own side.  God is looking for people who will become vessels of His love and power so that He can bring salvation and justice to this world.  His first priority is not getting everyone who asks Him for a BMW a European sedan.  The scriptures are pretty clear when they address the temptations of wealth.  They are equally clear when they speak of the advantages of living simply.  If God’s first priority is the world’s redemption why would he be motivated to burden his people with a bunch of stuff?

  1. #1 by Toni on September 1, 2003 - 4:36 am

    There’s a children’s song that I hear occasionally:

    My God is so big,

    So strong and so mighty

    There’s nothing my God cannot do.

    For you, and you, and you, and me.

    Makes God sound like a spiritual vending machine for favours. I’ve come to despise many children’s songs (and a few adult songs too) for their woolly or plain heretical theology like this.

    Jordon linked to an interesting article, written by a nonnie who decided to spend a week living in the “ark” (his phrase) of psuedo-christian culture. It’s not surprising that the nonnies think God’s irrelevant, since they already have most of what they want.

    The real issue is: how can we be salt and light in a material world?

  2. #2 by rob on September 1, 2003 - 4:53 pm

    LT:

    Yer famous in Dallas? Now the speaking invitations will pour in. You’ll be the newest “pomo guru” in high demand. :)

    Two quotes:

    “Run, Forest, run!” (Forest Gump)

    “Run away! Run away!” (Monty Python & the Holy Grail)

    Your thoughts on whether God is joining our story or we are joining His is the key. We’re joining His side, not the other way around. The sooner we get about our Father’s business instead of asking (demanding?) that He bless our business, the better off we’ll all be.

    Avoid Christian television. Anger isn’t your friend. Christian television makes most people angry. It’s like a brain slurpee — just makes you nuts.

  3. #3 by Leighton Tebay on September 1, 2003 - 10:48 pm

    Rob:

    It really is quite enjoyable watching Jack Van Impe. It is so ridiculous it is sad and funny at the same time. The one guy I do like is Willard Thiessen on “It’s a New Day”. Sometimes he gets guys like Gus Konkel (sp?) on there for a whole week.

  4. #4 by Jadon on September 3, 2003 - 2:40 pm

    Someone in the Door Magazine’s Chat Closet posted something from the Internet Monk (www.internetmonk.com) about preachers (I wish I could find the exact link):

    Tom’s Guide to TV Preachers

    (ratings *****excellent to *poor, and everything in between)

    Rod Parsley (**1/2): The Vanilla Ice of preachers. A white boy trying to preach like an African-American. Good for temporary entertainment value only.

    John Hagee (**1/2): He needs to get rid of those damned end-times charts that he always has up, and quit milking his congregation for applause, then maybe he’d be OK.

    D. James Kennedy (*1/2): Does Dr. Kennedy know the difference between conservative politics and the Gospel? Evangelism Explosion turned into political rally.

    Creflo Dollar (*): Very proud of his last name. The return of Rev. Ike.

    T.D. Jakes (***1/2): Some have questioned his theology, but what little I’ve heard from him is fairly decent. I hope his obsession with ministering to women doesn’t lead to a tragic fall, however.

    Kenneth Copeland (*): Ridicules people for their lack of “faith” and MAKES THEM LIKE IT!

    Fred Price (**): Took about a year once to preach a pretty good series against racism, which probably could have been condensed into a month’s worth of sermons. Otherwise, the same old name it-claim it heresy.

    Jesse Duplantis (*1/2): I call him the “Humorous Heretic”

    Charles Stanley (**1/2): Solid, but nothing you haven’t heard a million times before. Docked 1/2 star for annoying habit of interrupting his own sermons by saying “Listen!” about 50 times in one broadcast.

    Jack Hayford (****): An intelligent-sounding Pentecostal, one that even non-charismatics can listen to without gagging.

    James Robison (****1/2): Unfortunately I don’t ever get to see him preach on TV anymore. He just has his little talk show. He gets kudos from me because one time I saw him (gently) confront Paul Crouch on TBN about his vindictiveness. After that, the so-called “Your TBN” pulled his Sunday morning service off the air.

    Benny Hinn (*): Please send this guy some breath mints. Everytime he blows on people they fall down!!

    R.W. Shambach (*): If he’s ever said anything of substance, please let me know.

    Richard Roberts (*): Wouldn’t you be proud if your university president went on TV every night and made an idiot of himself?

    Now, for a couple of local Tulsa-area preachers, seen only on local cable:

    Wade Paschal (*****): Of First United Methodist, Tulsa. Don’t get to watch him much, but he’s an excellent preacher.

    Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Owasso, OK (****1/2): I don’t even remember his name, but he’s a Baptist and a Calvinist and is probably just the kind of preacher Michael would like.

    The moral of all this is that there is probably a preacher somewhere in your area that’s much, much better than ANYONE you see on TBN.

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