Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Worthless As A Half-baked Cake!

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

Worthless As A Half-baked Cake

Hosea 7:8-10 NLT

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"The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners,
    making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake! 
Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength,
    but they don’t even know it.
Their hair is gray,
    but they don’t realize they’re old and weak.
Their arrogance testifies against them,
    yet they don’t return to the Lord their God
    or even try to find him."
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Dear Church:

Is this God's description of the Western Church? Are we as worthless as a half-baked cake? Is this why our strength is sapped? Have we become the grey haired Church, weak and old? Is it our arrogance that testifies against us? Have we become the people who don't return to the Lord our God? Have we sunk so low in our complacency that we do not even try to find him?

Notice that the first step to becoming mingled with the godless is arrogance. Who among the churches get called the most arrogant? The evangelicals - hands down. And so much of the time we deserve the epithet. Being right does not have to produce arrogance. In fact in the kingdom of God being rightly aligned with God produces humility and nothing else. Even our confidence is grounded in the humility that we do not deserve anything except what Lord gives us. But that has to be more than head knowledge. Ask God to show it to you.

Our godly training in childhood, if it is indeed godly not legalistic, was a gift from God. We own nothing special, not even a preferred status, to this gift; so no room for arrogance here. Our salvation? The same. Our new way of living? The same. If indeed you have even had your way of living transformed by grace, a grace that overcomes our parent's and our birth church's shortcomings. A grace that changes human knowledge and action into Spirit filled knowledge and Spirit guided action. And if this has not happened you have probably received a false sense of salvation.

When we become a reflection of the world, of the life according to the flesh around us, we have been completely sucked into the second step to becoming half-baked, the worship of other Gods. Sure it may be money or power, prestige or privilege, or simply acceptance by a world that rejects Christ. Remember we can be admired by the world without gaining their acceptance. Our society has its idols and false beliefs. When we adopt them we adopt their gods which are foreign to the Kingdom of God. That's why this passage is not a condemnation of foreigners among us - everyone in American and Europe was a foreigner at some point in history. It is about adopting beliefs and worship which are foreign to the Kingdom of God.

There are many small steps and some large ones that have moved the Church into this dangerous position. Dangerous it is to no longer return to the Lord our God, to no longer even try to find him.


And we ARE guilty.


Photo Credits: 
Half-baked cake by Wayne Anson
old lady from sumba by monica.renata some rights reserved @flickr.com

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