Have you felt it…the shift? Some parts have been slow and steady so that no one noticed, but as of late, the shifting is speeding up at an accelerated rate.
For decades now, we in North America have lived in a bubble of religion. We’ve lived a Christian culture which is comfortable, cushioned, profitable and easy. Oh, we’ve still dealt with struggles and consequences from living in a fallen world such as death, disease and heartbreak. But overall, our Christian culture was safe.
But all that is changing. Our comfortable Christian lives are being turned upside down. Those we looked to as our modern-day heroes of the faith, otherwise known as “Christian celebrities” are falling from the pedestals we placed them on.
How do you feel about the term “Christian celebrity”? It makes me feel icky even writing it!
Can I confess something to you? I am ashamed to admit how I have lifted sinful humans to a place of honour and glory? I admit that have looked to other Christians to justify far too much in my life. I admit, more often than not, I have looked to authors, singers, speakers and pastors for justification. I’ve turned to them for who to read, who to listen to, how to parent and generally how to live my life.
Allow me to share some examples:
- I see “famous Bible teacher” watched a TV show that I’ve been tempted to watch. It must be okay for me to watch it too.
- I hear “famous Christian author” standing up for “certain belief”. I wonder if what I believe is wrong and what she believes is right? Maybe I should consider her beliefs seriously and think about changing mine. It would be easier than where I stand right now on this issue.
- I see on Instagram “Christian blogger” allows her kids to read secular books. They must be okay for me to let my kids read when they’re older.
See how easy it is? It’s so convenient to follow someone else’s path. It’s also sinful to place them in a place of honour and glory.
This verse comes to mind even as I write:
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.
I have looked to sinful humans for far too much.
A place, a position, a place of honour and glory that is only suited for One.
I have this tendency, and maybe you do to, of searching for a “good Christian”, in my everyday life or on a celebrity scale, I can compare my life to. But not just compare, but use their life to try to find a loophole for how I act.
What struck me this morning, as I sat seeking God in the early morning hours, was this … He is holy. He is truth. He is light. All of who He is what I long to be. So why am I comparing my life and looking for loopholes in the lives of Christians, who like me, make mistakes?
And I was reminded of this passage:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth’s are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Our God is holy. He is blameless and pure. He is light in the darkness and hope to the hopeless. He is all that is good, righteous, pure and true.
So why do we compare ourselves to someone else who is a fallen human? The answer makes me uncomfortable, but it must be said. It’s easy, convenient and it doesn’t require too much change on our part. It makes us feel like we’re still in control, and that’s what makes it a sin. It’s a sin for us to elevate ourselves, and others, above God.
My whole being is broken at the realization of what I’ve done, what others have done, what our society has done by replacing Our Holy God with ourselves. We’ve numbed ourselves to the moving of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We’ve fallen victim to the same temptation that Eve did in the garden.
Friends, there is still time to confess our weakness, our temptations, and our sins. There is time to turn our hearts to God. There is time to fall on our knees and raise Him to the only place of honour and glory in our lives.
Will you join me?