Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm a Christian but...

One of the most disturbing things about the luke warm Christianity in North America is the disconnect between faith and right living.

I'm a Christian but... I live and have sex with my girlfriend.
I'm a Christian but... I party and take drugs.
I'm a Christian but... I get drunk pretty regularly.
I'm a Christian but... I never go to church.
I'm a Christian but... I love to gossip.
I'm a Christian but... I have no regard whatsoever for the lost souls around me.
I'm a Christian but... I am the least inpiring person you know.
I'm a Christian but... I swear a blue streak at ball games.
I'm a Christian but...

The list goes on and on.

When I travel around the world and see the fervent, vibrant Christianity in other countries, then compare it to the luke warm Christianity in North America, it is discouraging.

That half hearted approach to following God never happened before, did it? Never happened any where else, did it?

2 Chronicles 19

1 "When King Jehoshaphat of Judah arrived safely home in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him. “Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” he asked the king. “Because of what you have done, the Lord is very angry with you. 3 Even so, there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles throughout the land, and you have committed yourself to seeking God.”

In the Old Testament there is this L-O-N-G section of a good king followed by a bad king. Of people who sort of want God's blessings, but are also worshipping other gods. Who clean up their act, then fall back into whole sale sin.

4 "Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he went out among the people, traveling from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, encouraging the people to return to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 5 He appointed judges throughout the nation in all the fortified towns, 6 and he said to them, “Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the Lord. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. 7 Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.”

8 In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests and clan leaders in Israel to serve as judges for cases involving the Lord’s regulations and for civil disputes. 9 These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart. 10 Whenever a case comes to you from fellow citizens in an outlying town, whether a murder case or some other violation of God’s laws, commands, decrees, or regulations, you must warn them not to sin against the Lord, so that he will not be angry with you and them. Do this and you will not be guilty.

11 “Amariah the high priest will have final say in all cases involving the Lord. Zebadiah son of Ishmael, a leader from the tribe of Judah, will have final say in all civil cases. The Levites will assist you in making sure that justice is served. Take courage as you fulfill your duties, and may the Lord be with those who do what is right.”

This was a GOOD king.

After a long time, God brings punishment to His people.

Sounds a lot like where we are today...

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