American god…

Blog #1 - Idols in Modern Christianity - McLaurin Memorial Baptist Church

When I write about the average American God I am really referring to a great big idol that culture has erected in the in the place of the God of scripture.  It is really no different than Israel’s golden calf.  The average American god is a creation forged out of the minds and desires of fallen humans.  Just as the golden calf of Israel was the embodiment of lingering Egyptian culture so the American god the abomination produced by greed, selfishness, capitalism, the “American Dream”, and the narcissism that plagues today’s culture.  This short writing is meant to distinguish the God of scripture from the imposter-American god.  Here are a few thoughts:

The American god is popular and his ways and teachings.  He is popular because many are found in his sanctuaries.  Yes, the sanctuary is full and the offering plate runneth over because the American god is popular.  Prosperity, health, self-help, the promise of gain and glory is the only spiritual diet the American god gives.  The American god is really a cheerleader or coach that is helping, cheering and teaching his followers onto greatness in the game of life.  Gain is godliness. Success and popularity is the goal.  After all the Bible’s main character is you.  It is all about you.  As a result, he is popular and many flock to be served by him. 

The American god is vague in his teachings.  Doctrine, theology, study, right and wrong are boring, bigoted and sinful in the American god’s church.  Sin is this abstract, less than, type of lifestyle.  People are mostly good, in fact, most people are good.  He preaches look at the good and don’t focus on stuff like sin, righteousness, and a pursuit of holiness.  Those type of things are archaic and will lose the crowd.  The American god is tolerant and progressive.   

The American god feels good.  I mean, if it feels good, it must be right? Truth is a feeling, a gut feeling one has.  Everyone has a different truth (so says the American god).  His message is find your special truth and you can be like god yourself!  A great commandment is this: thou shat feel good about yourself no matter what! The American god is down with music and hype.   The emotion and the feels and the lights and the tastes are what it is all about.  Keep your stuffy, dusty, seriousness away from the sanctuary.  The heart is merry all the time in the American god’s church, heaviness and sadness have no place. 

The American god would never, ever, let anything bad happen to you.  He is all about your comfort, ease, and prosperity.  If anything bad happens you got to rebuke that mess because that’s just not your god.  The American god’s principles are all about setting forth your best life now.  He wants you to overcome and be successful now.  Anything less is heresy.  You are, after all, an overcomer. You are a somebody and you deserve the best life, car, health, future, boyfriend, wife, etc….  

This is just a few thoughts I have about the American god.  What about the God of scripture?  Here are a few descriptions of the scriptural God.

God is sovereign.  He does not need you.  He controls everything.  He is not a cheerleader or coach.  He is the main point, He is the story, He is the main character. You serve Him, He does not serve us.   He will be glorified in the saving of souls and in the damning of souls.  He dwells in light that no man can approach.  He is not to resemble anything humans can construct with their minds, hearts or hands.        

God is after your holiness for His Son’s Christ sake.  He will forgo your comfort and prosperity to make you holy.  The scriptural God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He does not tolerate sin and unrighteousness.  Sin is defined, not my culture or politics, but by what God says it is.  

The Bible is the inspired Word of God.  It is the rule to live by, it shows the way of salvation in Christ, it is about God’s glory in Christ by saving sinful people.  The Bible is not about us.  We are not the subject of its grand design.  It is about Jesus and God reconciling the lost through Him. 

We do not deserve anything.  God gives us grace for our next breath.  To say that one deserves to be happy, blessed and prosperous is error.  Men and women deserve nothing at the hands of God.  Humans are desperately wicked and deceived into thinking they are not.  The very next breath is a grace from God.  Anything good is a gift only upon the extended mercy of God.  God is perfectly just in condemning people to wrath.  Yet the good news is that He provides a way of salvation by which he remains just and the justifier of those who believe upon Christ. 

God judges.  He judges based upon absolutes that He has set forth in the Word, nature and conscience of men.  He does not care, nor does it matter how one feels about these absolutes.  Humans will be judges based upon them. 

God of scripture has set forth a norm for worship.  We approach Him in the sanctuary in a certain manner and through the blood of Jesus, dedicated to living a holy life, examining ourselves by the fruit of righteousness.  Our songs are bout Him and his holiness.  Our sermons and worship does not elevate ourselves and our feeling above His word. 

God of scripture is very different that the American god on display.  If you are in the habit serving the American god or attend a church that serves the American god: run.  Flee to Christ, seek out the old paths and walk in them.  Find God in the scriptures, the real God. 

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