Here in the America, we live with a sense of false security. I think that other countries mock us and make fun because we feel like we are untouchable. After events such as 9/11 we realize that we are a little vulnerable, then we hear of “progress” in the retaliation and think, “No one will dare do that again.” We are self proclaimed as untouchable, but it just isn’t true. I don’t pretend to understand all that goes in to this, but the truth is that anyone can attack the U.S. at any time. In history, yes, we have been blessed and guarded by God. Is that the case today? I guess we really can’t know, but a brief look through the scriptures might give us a little insight. Though this be true, the reason for this post isn’t to discuss our national pride or security, but to warn the American Church of the same. Much like the American people, the Church has been given a false sense of security.
Generally speaking, the church in America is secure in our standing. We believe that we are not only in good standing with God, but in comparison to the rest of the world, the leaders in theology and doctrine. We believe that it is our responsibility to teach and train the pastors and leaders of the Church worldwide, when the truth is probably that we should be learning from them. Have we been deceived? Comfort and sustainability are not things that I see Jesus promising His followers. Looking throughout history, I don’t see that these are things that often accompany those who carry His name. Yet we have church buildings with thousands upon thousands of people attending at no cost other than a financial pledge (sometimes). We have somehow come to believe that the “American Dream” is ordained by Christ and sustaining a comfortable life is His will. After all, He has blessed us with abundance because He loves us.
Our abundance was never for us, but so that we can be a blessing to others. The truth is that our upper and upper middle class lives paycheck to paycheck, much in the same way as the lower working class. Why? Because we have taken on so much comfort and material “blessings” that our funds are all spoken for. I actually had a conversation with a person, who owned a pretty successful business, who stated that God would not want him to take food out of his children’s mouth to help someone in need. As dangerous of as statement that is to make, I find it interesting that the help would come from his food money and not his two car payments, maybe his recreational vehicles, beach condo, oversized home, and membership fees for his golf club. This is exactly what Isiah wrote:
The Lord will enter into judgment
with the elders and princes of his people:
“It is you who have devoured[f] the vineyard,
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor?”
declares the Lord God of hosts. Isaiah 3:14-15
We claim that God wouldn’t want us to take food off of our tables for others, if this is true, He certainly wouldn’t want us to use the money He gave us to feed the poor to buy a boat.
This isn’t a post about finances and caring for the poor, but a post about the problem with our sense of security. The problem is that we even think this way. We believe these things, not realizing that what we are doing is even wrong. Our churches celebrate testimonies that are more like success stories than stories of Christ changing our lives. I rarely if ever see a testimony of a homeless man coming to faith and remaining homeless, but for Jesus. Testimonies of people who were once on the streets coming to faith and now being business owners or having a good job, a house, three kids and a dog.
So many of us point to the sky, warn “sinners” of the return of Jesus, examine wars and rumors of wars as a sign of the end of times, yet still live as a part of the world and all of it’s comforts. Yes, Jesus will return and set all things right. When He does, what will He have to say about the church in America? Have we been making disciples of Jesus, or have we been making disciples of the American church?