Monday, June 09, 2008
What is the Object of Your Worship?
From time to time I level some harsh criticism against Churches of Christ on this blog. I can do this because I am the ultimate insider - I "grew up in the church," I never missed Sunday School, we went every Wednesday night and Sunday night, I was part of the youth group, I worked VBS every year, I was baptized as a teenager, I have been educated in Church of Christ schools, and I have preached for 10 years in 3 congregations. The Church of Christ is in my DNA. There are things I love dearly about Churches of Christ, and there are also flaws and inconsistencies that I cannot ignore. To do so would be evidence of brainwashing. I want all my readers who have been critical of me recently to remember that this blog is a protest against brainwashing and blind acceptance of things that ought to be smashed to pieces with a rhetorical sledgehammer! So, if you care to stick with me, I want to take a sledgehammer to your most basic assumptions with a simple question: WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF YOUR WORSHIP? And yes, there is only ONE correct answer!
The Church (any church)?
The Church of Christ?
A political party?
The United States?
The military of the United States?
Certain cultural values and expressions (eg: "southern hospitality")?
The answer is GOD. Only God is to be worshipped. Anything other than God is idolatry. The reason why I am so harsh in my criticism of traditional and inflexible churches and Christians is because I see people WORSHIPPING the institution of the church, the Bible, traditions, and even the U.S. The extreme defensiveness and sometimes harsh reactions of people who feel threatened by my criticisms is evidence of this. So, please, worship God, but have the maturity of thought and attitude to CHILL OUT about everything else!
PS: "Chill out" is the best theological phrase I've learned in over 10 years of graduate school! Feel free to quote me liberally on this.