Monday, December 5, 2011

DEAR DAVID {ease up Brother!}

Dear David, 

I was reading the passionate words of Psalm 101 the other day and, well,  I am just not sure how well you would fit into the modern church.  I don't mean to discourage you Brother, and I know that God called you a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22), but if you are going to talk to today's crowd... well, I'd like to encourage you to consider taming things down a bit.

"I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness."
~ Psalm 101:3-4

This is what I mean.  You say that you will set nothing wicked before your eyes- and you will not know wickedness.  No meditating on TV, movies or magazines that make a mock of sin?  Wow.  That is just going to earn you the title of legalist around here.  And while being known as someone who adheres strictly to the law of God may have been a good thing in your day- trust me when I say that type of title is seriously looked down upon today.  People are just not going to have patience with that kind of talk...

"Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,
Him I will destroy;
The one who has a haughty look and
a proud heart, him I will not endure. 
My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a perfect way,
he shall serve me."
~ Psalm 101:5-6

Sigh- ok this too.  This type of talk is just going to be twisted by those who hear it.  We can't really expect to find people who walk in a "perfect way."  And the modern church really doesn't  want to hear talk about obedience- they see it as trying to earn their salvation, rather than the fruit that proves it (Colossians 1:10 and John 15:16).  

People want to hear about grace- and only grace.  Not obedience.  When you say that you would only hang out with those who walk in a "perfect way" and that you would not tolerate those who are secretly snarky and assassinate the character of others- well, I just need to warn you that you will be seen as intolerably prideful.  It is not popular to hold absolutes or to judge anything these days.  In fact, you will likely be accused of being in opposition to Jesus Himself who is seen as only grace and love.

Yes, I know that Jesus was hated because He testified against (rather than approving of) the evil of the world:

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me
because I testify that what it does is evil."
~ John 7:7

But we have a more... abridged Jesus today.  Jesus is now known as Someone who hung out with sinners, not as the One who called sinners to repentance.  We steer away from verses like :  

"Go now and leave your life of sin."
~ John 8:11

"I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will never walk
in darkness..."
~ John 8:12

"If you love Me, you will
obey what I command."
~ John 14:15

Instead of repentance or change, we like to focus more on love and tolerance of all.    

I would like to encourage you privately by the Words of Christ when He said:


"If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me
before it hated you. 
If you were of the world, the world would love its
own; but because you are not of the world,
but I chose you out of the world, because of this
the world hates you."  ~ John 15:18

And by the words of Paul when he said:

"Now you are light in the world.  Live as children
of light... and find out what pleases the Lord.  
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of
darkness, but rather expose them."  ~ Ephesians 5:11  

Again, I love your passion and appreciate your stance against evil, but... I just don't think you are going to do well as a popular speaker these days.  You might just want to consider toning things down a few notches if you want to be seen as truly relevant in today's culture.  And maybe even make an exception to all you have written and consider watching some popular witchcraft movies-- you know so that you will have relevant things to share and really be able to reach today's lost.  

Thanks so much for all the great Psalms and for your boldness.

A Really Big Fan

I hope it would be obvious that I intended the above as a bit of tongue in cheek humor and not that I would truly advise David to set aside his passion for godliness. :)
The sad truth is, I have long felt that if many of the saints of old were to come into the current
"Christian church" they would be received with less than a warm welcome.
To make sure that I am not misunderstood, I want to be clear to state that I in no way believe that by following the law we can earn salvation.  Faith is clearly a gift from God.  And although I believe that God first awakens a thirst in us, we see that Jesus' only criteria for salvation was simply that we thirst for it (John 7:37) and He tells us that whoever truly comes to Christ will not be turned away.  To God be the glory forever!

So, if it is not "salvational" then does GOD really care about what we set before our eyes or how we live?  We'll talk about that in our next post...


  1. Love this. However, one thing that I think we leave out of our need to obey God systems is the fact that God has called us to fulfill the Great Commission and to care for the poor and outcast. Unfortunately, we have consumerized even our 'legalistic'following of Jesus to mean living debt free in our single income homes, not sacrifically giving large parts of our net worth away to reach the world.

    As a ultra conservative christian homeschooler, I see in that sub culture a total neglect for the world. How sad that is.

  2. Thanks Lisa. :)

    Hi Joe,

    I hear what you are saying about not always sensing the body excited about reaching the lost or ministering to the poor. Sometimes it seems we are asleep (maybe due to what we set before our eyes?) and other times it seems we are just unsure and ill-equipped.

    The Lord seems to call men like you to equip people for service (Ephesians 4:11-13) and build up the body. Maybe that is why you see the need and have the passion.

    Clearly we are all saved for good works which God has prepared before hand (Ephesians 2:10) and we should be in prayer for the saints that we would be wise with the short amount of time we have.

    On the flip side, we also want to be careful because Christ said we should do our good deeds in secret (Matthew 6:4) and I am sure there are many saints taking this commandment to heart and functioning under the radar of man. : )


  3. GREAT post! Looking forward to the next post.

  4. This quote by Charles Spurgeon reminded me today of your article. I also am looking forward to the next post!

    "This verse (1 Timothy 1:11) occurs just after a long list of sins, which the apostle declares to be contrary to sound doctrine; from which we gather that one test of sound doctrine is its opposition to every form of sin. That doctrine which in any way palliates sin may be popular, but it is not sound doctrine: those who talk much of their soundness, but yet by their lives betray the rottenness of their hearts, need far rather to be ashamed of their hypocrisy than to be proud of their orthodoxy."

  5. Great post! What a burden my heart has for the Saints to live lives that clearly show their devotion to God! Looking forward to your next post!