30 October 2011

Are your ears itching?

If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying "I will preach to you of wine and strong drink," he would be the preacher for his people!-Micah 2:11  

When I read this verse during my quiet time this morning, I was reminded of Beer Church.  Yes, beer church is a real thing--they celebrate, perhaps even worship, beer.  You can even become ordained by Beer Church--I have a friend who has his ordination through this organization.  According to the prophet Micah, it is no wonder that something akin to Beer Church has taken off.  When overindulgence is promoted as acceptable or even righteous, people will gladly respond.

Sadly, many churches are much more insidious.  2 Timothy 4:3 reads, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions."  The largest church in America teaches that God's primary goal in your life is to make you rich, healthy, and happy and people flock to him.  One of the fastest growing "churches" in the United States is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Mormonism.  They promote the idea that you can become deity.  They sooth itching ears by preaching lies and people follow.

It seems to me that itching ears are one of the most unfortunate problems associated with postmodernism.  People assume that truth is relative. People assume that whatever you believe is true--just don't impose your beliefs upon anyone else.  It is no wonder that churches that teach truth from the Scriptures, addressing God's holiness and wrath as well as his love and mercy, are so criticized by modern culture.  People don't want to hear that they are sinful.  They do not want to hear that God hates sin and punishes sinners eternally apart from Christ.  They want to continue to believe what their parents, their schools, and the media have told them all along--that no matter what, they are good people and that they deserve always to be above the national average with regard to happiness, income, and image. When pastors tell them what they don't want to hear, they just leave rather than continuing to wrestle for the truth. 

There is absolute truth. There is a God.  He is holy.  We are separated from Him because we are unrighteous. But there is hope. Jesus Christ. John 1:12 says, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

Find a church that preaches truth--absolute truth, Scriptural truth--the truth of Jesus Christ. 

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