Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The worst sin of the church

I was reading through a commentary on Hebrews (p.169 NIV Application Commentary) and they quote Donald W. McCullough from his book 'The Trivialization of God'. He wrote:
Visit a church on Sunday morning - almost any will do - and you will likely find a congregation comfortably relating to a deity who fits nicely within precise doctrinal positions, or who lends almighty support to social crusades, or who conforms to individual spiritual experiences. But you will not likely find much awe or sense of mystery. The only sweaty palms will be those of the preacher unsure whether the sermon will go over, the only shaky knees will be those of the soloist about to sing the offertory.

...reverence and awe have often been replaced by a yawn of familiarity. The consuming fire has been domesticated into a candle flame, adding a bit of religious atmosphere, perhaps, but no heat, no blinding light, no power for purification.

When the true story gets told, whether in the partial light of historical perspective or in the perfect light of eternity, it may well be revealed that the worst sin of the church at the end of the twentieth century has been the trivialization of God.

Ugh. Gulp. Hmm. Yeah. Far be it from me to know what the worst sin of our time is, but I would agree that this is still a pretty bad one. I think most people just want to add a little Jesus into our lives and leave it at that. It's much more difficult, and much scarier, to abandon ourselves totally to God, giving him complete control. God, help us.