Thursday, November 17, 2005

What really matters?

In an interview with Christianity Today, Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, states: "The problem with evangelical Christianity in America today, a large majority of you have sacrificed the essential for the sake of the trivial. You concentrate on the trivialities--not smoking, not drinking, not using bad language, not dressing inappropriately in church, and so on. Jesus didn't give two hoots for that..."

Ain't that the truth! This is part of the reason that the church has remained largely silent on the issue of divorce, effectively ignoring the hurting hearts right in its midst and marginalizing divorcees and their children. We're just like the Pharisees Jesus took to task in Matthew 15:3-12. "Jesus replied, 'And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?...Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.' Then the disciples came to him and asked, 'Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?'"

So I guess the good news is that our lack of care and focus on the wrong things is not unique to our generation. It's a story as old as the ages. As old as sin, actually. Remember Adam and Eve? They sinned, broke their covenant of fellowship with God, and what were they most concerned about? Their nakedness. They went shopping for some fig leaves when nakedness was the least of their problem. They couldn't figure out the essential things. Can we?

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