Reverence — Part 2

RobDevotions

Courage or Arrogance?

In case you missed out on part one of this deal, you might want to read this before reading today’s post.

Puzzle

One of Satan’s primary M.O.’s is to counterfeit things. It’s even one of the many names he’s given in scripture. Satan is the great Counterfeiter.

And what does he counterfeit, you say?

Just about everything pure and good. And it isn’t even that hard. Over the melenia he’s found a twin for just about anything you can imagine.

Here are a few:

  • For patience he’s come up with procrastination.
  • Passion has several—anger, lust, blind zeal.
  • love/lust
  • kindness/duty
  • holiness/legalism
  • obedience/rules-following
  • solitude/aloneness
  • purity/piety

Notice how some of the counterfeits aren’t even bad things in and of themselves? For example, a sense of duty isn’t bad. Anger can actually be a good thing. And although rigid rules-followers can seem a bit goody 2 shoes at times, you can hardly fault them for trying to do what’s right. However, when any of Satan’s counterfeit deals are used in place of the real deal from God, the results aren’t good. Isn’t that ironic? That good can be bad?

Put another way, the counterfeit can be a good thing at times, but it’s never the best thing.

In continuing our series on “Reverence—the missing piece,” I want to focus in on the counterfeit ‘bait and switch’ that’s been pulled on a lot of pastors today.

Courage or Arrogance?

Let’s face it, over the last few decades you can’t have missed the absence of fiery, courageous preachers of old. I mean, where are the Charles Spurgeons and the John Wesleys? When was the last time you heard anything like Jonathan Edward’s message, ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God?’

True, the way he (Jonathan Edwards) delivered his sermons would likely fall on deaf ears today, but that’s a matter of relevance and style rather than truth and content. It would take a great deal of courage to blow the dust off that 200 plus, year old sermon and deliver it to a postmodern audience.

Yep, that’s courage!

But plowing ahead with your ‘holy ghost machine gun’ (as I heard one TV evangelist say) isn’t courage. It’s arrogance. Some of the most gifted preachers in recent memory are on the scene right now, but, sadly, some of them are in it for themselves—to pump up their own name instead of making the name of Jesus famous.

That’s a bad idea, and God is not pleased with that kind of leadership. You can read about it here, and here, and here, here, here, and here. I don’t know about you, but I’m sensing a theme here.

God lifts up the humble and supports them, but He stands opposed to the arrogant.

Christ followers need to be ever mindful of this.

And pastors aren’t exempt. We can learn a lot from this simple truth from the one who ‘prepared the way’ for the coming of the Lord—John the Baptist.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:20