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21 December, 2012

False Religion

Horatius Bonar died on 31 May, 1889. His words that I included in this post, were true then, they are still true today because God never changed.  Even us 'Christians', we can have our own little cults yet not being aware of it.  At the end of the day, false worship of the true God is also our personal little cults.  This is something God had to show me in my own life when he knocked religion out of me so that I could become spiritually real. Until then I was like a sponge absorbing all that I knew from my church. I was so proud thinking that I actually knew which religions were cults and I had no problem calling them on Him.

It was unthinkable to me that we too, in the mainstream Christianity could belong to the very same group we accuse with so much zeal. Like a dog with a bone, I joined all the training to know exactly what made me in mainstream Christianity, different from those we have designated as “cults”.  In my training we went through each one of these groups with a toothcomb to make sure we know how to answer them and put them right back in their places. After my training, I was pumped up and ready, I knew I belonged to the category of Christians that had their act together. I was so sure I had the truth on my side.

When God got hold of me in the wilderness process to teach me properly, during the time that He knocked religion out of me so that He could get me to the point where I became spiritually real, He took pleasure showing me my hypocritical heart, from His point of view.

What was sad, was the fact that I learned from the leaders of the Church. I was so sure it was the right thing to do. I was so sure I was in God’s will. I was so sure my training to spot false Christianity meant that I was growing, learning, and being equipped to help others. I had no idea the people I looked up to had meager understanding devoid of spirituality. I had no idea that God had a different point of view.  Suddenly I had such a spiritually healthy understanding of Matthew 7:3-5. God literally opened my spiritual eyes to see how while I consider myself qualified to talk about cults, through my training all I have learned to do is to notice the speck in my neighbor’s eyes while I have a log in mine yet, totally unaware of it.

Would you believe, this mild manner pastor who was in charge of teaching us in the Church went on to being a ‘big cheese’. He became one of the biggest guest speakers in mega conferences for his wealth of knowledge of the cults we consider counterfeit Christianity.   After he left our Church, when I saw his picture on colorful brochures as guest speaker, I knew he deserved to be there because after all, you just had to name the cult and he would tell you exactly where they went wrong and how to answer them with the Scriptures.

That is until He got hold of me, He had to teach me to get rid of those notions and take His. You see, the problem was not the fact that what this pastor was teaching was wrong. The problem was the fact that we had no idea that we too in the Church we left our first love and we are building Christianity with so much zeal, without Him. We live our Christianity through finding loopholes in His Word and we think we can get away with them. This mentality will not change until we learn to see Salvation and the Christian life from His point of view. Right now all that we have is our point of view that we bring to Him.

Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to think you are so sure of what you know and God get hold of you all of the sudden He is more concerned with the log in your eyes than what you thought was a priority? One of my big surprises was the fact that He did not care about these people who actually are living in cults.  As He moved in to help me get real, He told me my child you are in the same boat as far as I am concerned. But, it was not about them, it was about making me see my log first before I could be really useful to Him according to His will. Yet, I knew His goal was not to humiliate me, but to drill in my heart and soul that His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and if I wanted the real McCoy, then I better stay close in the Spirit.

Happy Holidays!
 (Horatius Bonar, "False Religion and Its Doom")

"I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and 
 scatter your bones around your altars." Ezek. 6:5

There is such a thing as false religion.
It may be earnest and zealous, yet false.
No amount of sincerity or zeal will make 
that true, which is in itself false.

False religion is the worship of a false god, 
or the false worship of the true God.

We worship the true God untruly when we 
give him only half a heart, half a soul.

Do not think that the utterance of some true 
words, or the expression of a little sentimental 
devotion, is the true worship of the true God.

False religion is useless. 
It profits nothing and nobody, either here or hereafter. 
It is not acceptable to God. 
It will not be counted a substitute for the true. 
It does not satisfy the conscience. 
It does not make the man happy. 
It does not fill the heart. 
It does not remove burdens. 
It will not stand the fire. 
It is but wood, and hay, and stubble. 
The judgment will sweep it all away. 
It is useless both for time nor eternity, 
  both for earth nor heaven. 

It is irksome and unprofitable, only cheating 
the poor worshiper into the belief that he has 
felt or performed something good and worthy.

God abhors false religion. 
It has not one feature that is pleasing to Him. 
It is merely external. 
It is untrue. 
It is against His revelation. 
It is dishonoring to Him. 
It is self exalting. 
It is pure mockery. 
It is rottenness and death. 
It is a mouthful of words, a handful of dust and ashes. 
Therefore God abhors it.

"I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and 
 scatter your bones around your altars." Ezek. 6:5