Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Acceptable Religion

by Erik Momsen

The human race is becoming a spectator sport.  Every day more and more people watch, and fewer and fewer do.  Every one watches rugby while in the last ten years I have only met one person who actually plays the sport.  The same goes for the Olympic games and the World Cup of soccer.  Millions around the world are exhausted from all those late nights goggling the box.  I don’t know any track and field athletes and don’t even know where to find a soccer club for my children.

I feel like singing, "where have all the sports clubs gone, long time passing.  Where have all the sports clubs gone, long time ago."  We wonder why we do so badly at international sport.  Perhaps the answer is that nobody really does it any more.

One the other hand I belong to a rapidly growing club of virtual athletes.  We waddle up and down the isles of Hi Fi Corp. and look for the biggest screens and speakers.  Do you have VCR, CD, CD-W, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-W, 5.1, multi sys, dts, mp3, s video?  Many of you have it and you don’t even know.

It is even more disturbing when our faith becomes passive.  We listen to sermons, Christian radio, T.V. and music and buy books and CD's.  We get lulled into the belief that if we go to church and do some courses that we are living the life of faith.  This is not the whole truth.

James, the brother of Jesus, experience the same problem with the church.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
(James 1:22-27)

We are deceived if we only listen and do not do something.  We keep listening to sermons and courses but then go away and forget what we've learned.  It's like watching the cooking channel but never cooking a meal.  Do you know what a beginner cook needs?  He needs a cookery book until he can cook many dishes by memory.  But he will always look for new recipes.  The beginner Christian must keep the Word close and cook out of it.  Even the experienced Christian will always be looking for new things.

James promises that the person who looks deeply into the Word of God, and does it, will be blessed.  The Father looks to bless obedience.  The bible is full of these promises.  The application of the Word of God gives freedom.  Freedom is not doing what our flesh desires.  This only brings entrapment to sin. Real freedom is walking in and under God's will.
 

THE THINGS WE MUST DO:

 i)  Control your tongue.  A loose tongue renders our faith worthless.  Worse, that our worthless tongue causes damage to the Kingdom.  Many non-believers have the legitimate excuse not to believe because of the tongues of Christians.

 ii)  Throughout scripture God displays His compassion for the poor.  We have no more important task than look after those in need.  The world knows that talk is cheap but good deeds to the poor prove the love of God in us.  This task seems overwhelming but God directs if you are willing.

 iii)  Stay away from the pollution of the world.  Many believers make little impact for the Kingdom because they are constantly entangled by the result of sin.  The destruction of those deeds and the guilt they carry causes them to be weak and confused.  We cannot hear God and He cannot bless us because of the sin we carry.  Repentance before God and confession before another believer will help to break the power of that sin.
 

Some of the more religiously minded might be offended by the very real words of John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard Movement.  He told his pastors "Keep your zip up, your hands out of the till and love the poor".

Date Added: 2013-04-03

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