Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Lego Church

By and large today's professing, visible churches are pale and pathetic shadows of the spiritually vigorous and virile early church. Today's church leadership - so called - and the congregants thereof are hollow shells that are all too happy to be filled with the emotionalism, materialism, and secular humanism which pervades today's post-modern culture.

This "Lego Church" is comprised of plastic Christians with plastic crosses who perfunctorily perform plastic rituals in order that they might be made righteous in their own eyes. As with the Pharisees these whited sepulchers look the part with respect to outward appearances, they tithe faithfully, they volunteer at the soup kitchen, they visit the invalid and serve in various capacities, but again like the Pharisees in truth they are filled with ravening and dead men's bones.

You see the true Christian isn't the individual who's intellectually assented to the truth claims of the gospel, nor is it the person who's said the sinner's prayer in response to an emotional appeal from a fiery pastor, or in order to salve his conscience from the burden of his pattern of unrepentant and unbroken sin. Neither is the true Christian necessarily to be found among those who dedicate their lives to the service of the church or to their fellow man.

Make no mistake, all the aforementioned activities are commendable and insofar as man measures goodness are noble, perhaps even meritorious. But the measure of the true Christian is nowhere to be found in his good deeds, good intentions, or noble aspirations. In fact all these activities in and of themselves, performed outside a radically and completely Christ-centered worldview, are in reality forms of idolatry.

The true Christian is found where the question is answered how is sinful man justified before a holy God? When this question is answered correctly - which is possible only via the enlightening and regeneration of a sinner's soul by the power of the Holy Spirit - then that answer, that truth, sets sinful man free from the bonds of sin and death and makes him a new creature in Christ; a Christian. Baptism can't do this. Sacraments can't do this. Empty words and repeating a formulaic prayer can't do this. Only by the power of God alone is sinful man reconciled to and saved by his Maker.

This is why the Lego Church is so averse to sound doctrine and adherence to the whole counsel of God as found in the Holy Bible. This is why they select certain "feel good" verses to expound to the itching ears of their plasticized congregants. This is why they focus on programs and skits, plays and musicals, dramas and hype; and this is why they sheepishly shy away from the meat of scripture in favor of curdled milk: they hate the light.

The Lego Church leadership and congregants want to maintain their pet sins and have their "best life now"! They want to keep one foot in the world and the other in heaven. This helps to explain why it's so very important for the spiritual fence-riders in the Lego Church to have the most rockin' "praise team", the hippest, coolest, most "relevant" pastoral staff, and the cushiest, plushest seats (no wooden pews here, thank you very much!) - and of course the requisite high-end laser light rock show audio-visual system. It's all about the sensory experience, the showmanship, the hook!

The Lego Church can have its cake and eat it too! After all it's the best of both worlds, the carnal and the heavenly! The Lego Church doesn't mind having a little Jesus drizzled on top of its wordly banana split just so long as He doesn't get in the way of their personal convenience and doesn't cramp their lifestyle choices. Just think, at the Lego Church you can have it all, everything the world has to offer plus a guaranteed one-way ticket to glory after you've drawn your last breath! Christianity; so easy a caveman can do it!

Or is it?

Is this the Christianity preached by Christ? Is this the reason he bore the shame and ignominy of the cross? Was this His message: "accept Me and then go about your business as usual"? God forbid!

Today's Lego Church has turned the gospel upside down and inside out and made heaven a virtual bona fide sure thing and made hell nearly impossible to stumble into. Again I ask, is this the Christianity preached by Christ? No friend, quite the opposite. In fact the Lord likened the way to heaven as narrow and said there be few who find it, and described the way that leads to destruction as broad and said there be many who are thereupon. Many.

Friend the truth of the matter is that the Lego Church is almost certainly the last days Laodician church of Revelation for which the Lord of hosts has zero commendations and numerous rebukes. The Lego Church is like a plastic tree, fake to the roots. Its Nerf theology aims to please, its loosely held doctrines are designed to soothe, and its watered down, bloodless, sinless, worthless gospel is meant to make men comfortable in their sin because, after all, "Gawd luuuuuuuvs yew and made yew jus' lack yew are; prayz the Lower'd!

Yet without true contrition (hatred of one's sin), true repentance (a turning away from sin), and a heart that is humbly and completely surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ in unwavering obedience, no man will see heaven. God has made the way and He has set the terms, and it's on His terms that men must deal with Him. Men in their fevered high-noon fantasies may convince themselves that they're good enough, or have worked hard enough, or that perhaps God has seen some good thing in them, but the fact is that all mankind stands guilty and helpless before an absolutely holy and perfect God Who is their infinite Creator and Judge, and all men will one day give an account to that God.

Thankfully God's ways are higher than our ways and He has provided sufficiently for men to enter into a saving relationship with Him through His revealed Word, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who by His infinite sacrifice on an old rugged cross takes away the sins of the world and imputes His righteousness to His people, namely the true church, the church invisible, the true Body of Christ.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:21)