Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shabby Hotel At The Corner Of Valley And Gone

This post is going to be short on scholarship and long on opinion. I was watching a bit of TV tonight after work and I saw a Christian singer back in the spotlight who I know has been down a rough, hard road.
Names don’t matter here-he had been a part of one of the premiere Christian groups 20 some years ago, was in fact a “Christian Celebrity” and that right there is where the trouble started. A Christian is nothing but a sinner saved by Grace, and we are all susceptible to falling, getting tangled up in this world.
This singer got caught up in drugs and alcohol, and he lost his way. But God never lost track of him.
Why does God allow us to be as bad as we know we shouldn’t? I guess in part because we don’t learn as much from other peoples mistakes. If God were to send down a lightning bolt to cinderize every Christian who messes up, there wouldn’t be one of us left to share the Gospel. But God’s Grace is greater than our sin.
Unsaved sinners can’t fall-they’ve never yet been lifted up.
But Christians can and do fall, and it’s not pretty. And I fear that many ministries are falling into error, a very old and common error: “All Mountaintop, No Valley”
Can you watch Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis, etc. without wondering what they are so cheerful about? Do you ever see any of them admit to struggling? They are chock full of advice about how you should live-“10 Rules To Change Your Life!“ “Five Promises You Can Make to God!” “8 Daily Miracles Through Prayer!”
Are they Super Christians who have never fallen or messed up?
No. There are no Super Christians. We are called to be honest, and it strikes me as particularly dishonest to pretend that you never tred through valleys, but instead go from mountaintop to mountaintop.
Can you imagine a Joyce Meyer breaking down in a meeting and admitting to some serious sin, asking forgiveness? With their treasures built up here on earth rather than laid up in Heaven, they have too much at risk. God allows them to fall, and once they have lost everything, such as happened to Jimmy Swaggart, maybe, just maybe they will learn to depend on God again instead of their own abilities.
That singer I mentioned-he’s been through the valleys, and has been restored by the Grace of God.
Brothers and Sisters, be honest above all. Leave the painted on smiles to the politicians and game show hosts. Thank God for the bad days as well as the good; at least you know this world is only temporary, and we are only passing through. Bad days will end. God is Forever.

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