Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Internet Monk: Working for God's Glory

I thought the excerpt below that is taken from the fifth point of the Internet Monk's latest post How much is too much? is a pretty good response to some of the methods of postmodern / emergent / seeker-sensitive churches.

The post is pretty good and I would encourage readers to have a look at it. I love this phrase that the Internet Monk has written: "Newsflash to Bob Ross: Joel Osteen talking about about positive thinking for 30 minutes and then mentioning the Gospel (kinda) for 30 seconds isn’t a Christ-centered ministry. Duh."
The Glory of God means God is seen clearly, truthfully and Biblically. Keep that in mind when you say you’re doing whatever “for the glory of God.”

God isn’t glorified by everything we do. What we do is commanded to glorify him. Intentionally. That means God gets the big parts, most of the lines and nothing makes sense without him.

If God becomes a clown, a disembodied voice, a divine comedian, good feelings or a large stuffed animal, He’s not being glorified. God isn’t’ glorified just because I say that’s what I want to do. God isn’t glorified by what I think is cool. God is glorified when the cross and the mediator are seen clearly, exalted and magnified. That’s what he thinks is cool. (See the Gospel of John for details.)

Doing all kinds of nonsense “for the glory of God” is as big a cop-out as I know of. It’s juvenile. If the New Testament is about any one subject, it’s about how God is glorified in his Son and the Gospel of our salvation. Can we get that point, and can we understand that the Glory of God as our central theme is going to make a big difference. The reason some churches look and act like a cross between a pep rally and the opening of a new Wal-Mart is because what’s being glorified is US, our agendas and our desires. God is the one who “blesses” the whole mess and makes it all a “good witness.” Or so we say.

Listen, I’m not trying to stifle your creativity. I think we need to use the creative opportunities in our culture to communicate the Gospel, reach people, serve real needs, and bring a witness that is relevant and bold. But there are questions that have to be asked. There are pieces that have to be in place if it’s about Jesus and his Kingdom and not just about us. The Jesus-focused, God-glorifying, Gospel-communicating center and substance are not automatically just THERE just because we are sincere, creative, enthusiastic or spent a lot of money.

I’m not trying to lay some “only what Dr. Macarthur approves” trip on you. I’m not about a regulative principle that comes with a dress code, an approved book list, a Steve Green children’s CD and “Do It Like The Puritans!” bumper stickers. I don’t want to tell your drama team they can’t recreate the prodigal son or your youth group that they shouldn’t act like real teenagers.

I’m simply suggesting that there are questions to ask to determine if we are where we ought to be, doing what we ought to do in the way we ought to do it. It’s not complicated. It’s basic, and it takes the courage to go against the flow, staying in the mainstream of loyalty to Christ above all.


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