I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Different Yet the Same

Two very different men...or at least it appears...

One is old and old school. He shows up on Sundays in his finest - the best he has to wear - suit, tie, neatly ironed dress shirt & shined shoes! His hair is neat and his apearance serious as he enters the church building. He does so because he wants to give his best to the master. He's coming to "God's house" so he dresses "appropriately". He reverently sings the old hymns. I like this guy. In his heart he is striving to please his Lord.

The other guys is young and of the new generation. He is unencumbered by the external trappings of this aforementioned older brother (or so he thinks). He comes on Sundays in baggy pants, awell wrinkled tee and his customary flip flops. The flip flops come off quicky as the "worship" begins. This is "Holy ground" and he removes his shoes just like Moses! He is in the presence of God! He quickly stands when first note is struck on a guitar. He claps, raises his hands and perhaps even dances. I like this guy too. In his heart he also desires to please His Lord.

What's the difference between these two approaches? I'd suggest not much at all. Yes, on the surface, these two seem very different. Yet, quite ironically, they really are the same... It's just different applications of the same misunderstanding. You see, both of these men believe that they are going to "meet God" in a place. Is this correct? Is this what the Scriptures teach? I think not.

Don't we believe in God's omnipresence? Don't we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

The first guy is guilty of the "edifice complex" and the "temple mentality." He should revisit Acts 7:48-50: "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: " 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?'

The second guy has the popular "encounter God" mentality. He needs a broader understanding of worship based on Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

They both should read....

Acts 2:38: Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:9: You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

1 comment:

William Mckinley Dyer said...

I like the thought..."Do we believe in God's omnipresence or not"