Is Jesus A Black-Belt?
How else to explain this martial arts school? I drove past this place a couple days ago and as a Christian, was annoyed and perplexed. Jesus isn't anymore a black-belt than He is an American. But somehow, we have no problem co-opting Almighty God to help sell our Christian-ified products, be that karate or WWJD wristbands. That kind of audacity scares me for the same reason I won't decorate my car with Christian bumper stickers.
All these "Christian" things are not about Christ.
They are about who I am, what I think, what I like. Jesus serving my interests, not the other way around. We condemn beer companies for using scantily clad women to sell their products. And then we use the very name of Jesus to sell our own.
This kind of flippancy can be found in worship services, too. Have you ever counted how many times the word "I" occurs in the contemporary praise song "I can only imagine"? OK, I don't have a number because it depends on how many times your church repeats the chorus. Heh. All I'm asking is, who are we really worshiping? The Lord God Almighty or our almighty feelings?
Of course I can't know for sure, but my theory is that with the burgeoning success of seeker friendly mega-churches, we've lost something. I've heard evangelical preachers say that the fear of the Lord is not actual fear. Doesn't that say it all? We've lost the fear of the Lord. I understand their intent, but I tremble to see its result: Christianity reduced to a cliche like "God Bless America!" As if God is supposed to pour blessing upon us because (this totally freaks me out) we told Him to. Wow, I feel like ducking for cover right now.
I know I'm stepping on some toes here and I apologize for that. It's not my intent to offend for the sake of debate. I'm just wondering how far we've strayed as a "Christian nation" to presume that God is on our side no matter which product we're trying to sell or which candidate we want elected?
That great preacher, Jonathan Edwards, knew something about the fear of the Lord. But I wonder how many modern, Karate-For-Christ-Christians could sit through Edwards' "Sinners In the Hands of An Angry God" without walking out in a huff? I'd love to hear a pastor read Edwards' sermon in church. I don't think this will happen, though. No-one likes the unemployment line.
Sometimes I think Christians like to say you can't serve God and mammon, but what we really believe is: show me the money.