Mt 23:23-26 From the Outside In
Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.”
A few days ago, I wrote that “Atheists believe the world goes round and round; that is, it is what it is. Christians as well believe the world goes round and round, but upside down; that is, it isn’t what it is.”
Upside down and outside in. Let us pray for all our moms and dads who continue to kill themselves for the insignificant and deny themselves of the significant. Let our thoughts go out to all our dads who continue to bust their behind for a fancier car, a bigger boat, a larger paycheck and a better yard but do not lift a finger for their spouse and family. Let us pray for all our moms who continue to kill themselves for greater glory, greater praise and greater independence but have neglected to care for their spouse and family.
This is life lived upside down. This is an exercise in Futility.
Let us pray for our boys who continue to build their bodies, but not their souls. For our girls who wish to perfect their bodies, but not their souls. This is life lived outside in.
The Sensationalist. Those who deceive (who love to be bad) love to play God. They love to turn the truth upside down, as if we were standing on our heads, until it hurts our heads. In our upside down world we want to be able to tell God what He should do; to tell Him what marriage is, what family is, what love is, what life is all about. We even want to tell Him what sex is!
What does it take to be remembered forever? What does it take to get noticed; to get your name in print? Be a sensationalist. Mix some good with a lot more bad. For example: If you want to be a big time singer, then it’s important to have a good voice. But it’s even more important to lose your faith. If you want to be a political activist, then you should know a little bit of history and take a lot of lessons in singing. But it’s even more important that you know what to name your band. It should be something more shocking and perverted than the bands before you.
Want some to notice you? Don’t step in Church, step on the Church!
By the way...If you are starting up your own Church and need a large congregation, then you should know a little bit about the bible and a lot about lighting and music. Make sure you know that Jesus said he would return, and make sure your people think it's NOW, and you will have a very large congregation!
Now “flashists” and sensationalists have no place in Christianity. St Paul asks the community of believers in Thessalonica not to be shaken out of their minds by a “spirit”, or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from one of them to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand. “Let no one deceive you in any way” (cf. 2Thes 2:3a).
The sensationalist is full of it; that is, full of sin. He tends to crave more of that which is sensationally sinful than that which is sensationally true. He tends to be drawn towards sensationalism, like temptation and to crave it like a drug.
In reality, what is truly sensational is what we call “common”. An apple falling from a tree is just as sensational as a rover landing on Mars. Both were designed. Both serve multiple purposes. Both carry out functions that are truly remarkable. But the apple falling from the tree far out functions, out performs and far exceeds (or far out-seeds) all rovers combined.
Predicting the end times and preaching about it have always been a great source of revenue for many denominations. We love what is sensational. And we are always scanning the horizon for the next sensation to happen. We live for it, and when we are through with it, we look again to satiate our appetite; looking for the next sensation, which is typically more daring, thrilling, appealing and appalling.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. (cf. 2Thes 2:17)
Christian prayer is not sensational; it is very straightforward.