We watched much of the webcast of The Response today and I was thrilled with the 30-35 thousand turnout. The best message to me was from Tony Evans. He compared the Church to NFL officials.
“There are three teams on a football field. The third team works for the commissioner and must follow his rulebook. If this team (the officials) start siding with either of the battling teams or start listening to the cheers or jeers from the stands, they are no longer following their leader and have ‘illegitimized’ themselves.”
“When the Church follows after idols, it stops following their commissioner and illegitimizes itself. When it listens to the world, it illegitimizes itself. We are to GO PUBLIC, just like all of the other groups out there. Let’s go and be the Church God calls us to be!”
He didn’t specify what the Church’s idols are that we need to shun and from which we need to repent. My guess would be the following:
-Forming a personality cult around the pastor
-Worshipping a worship style or litany
-Exalting building programs above missionary support
-Revering relevance over truth
-Believing in a god of Blessings over a God of Holiness
-Adoring Comfort over a Creator
-Pursuing the American Dream harder than the Great Commission
..add your favorite.
I can’t honestly say I haven’t (and don’t from time to time) bowed before one or more of these. I know full well I have. That is why part of today was spent on repentance. We are easily distracted. That is why the Gospel has the power it does—because our need for Grace is unending (this side of Glory), and it’s wellspring is even deeper.
What idols do you struggle with? It is easier to see those of others, but ours are the ones hindering us most from our walk with Christ. Therefore, it is generally better to seek our own improved obedience than those of others. God is fully capable of convicting and transforming the lives of those around us, and I suspect He’ll do a better job.
Let’s keep faith with our Commissioner. The game will go better for everyone.