Ichabod: Christianity’s Hollow, Rotten Tree
Christianity in America has become a mighty oak tree, impressive-looking on the outside, but hollow and rotten on the inside.
Why is America changing so fast? Because there is no strength in the Christian church. The Church crumbles to the touch like the rotten wood of an old giant oak tree that is dead inside. The Church is only a paper tiger.
But of course this is not Christianity at all. The Christian Church is weak and hollow and dead and impotent because it is no longer Christian. In King Jesus there is – still – infinite power (though also mercy and compassion to an extent that sometimes tries our immature patience). However, there can be no power at all in a social club that idolizes humanity above all and trivializes God.
Ichabod. We cannot avoid reality: Our beloved United States of America is now stamped: “The glory has departed.”
1 Samuel: “21 And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory has departed from Israel,’ because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.’”
The Christian Church is hollow, rotten and dead inside for one and only one reason: A lack of life. Death is the absence of life. And the life of the Church can only come from Jesus Christ, and then only through a closeness to God. Because American Christians have distanced themselves from God at least since World War II, arguably from the Scopes monkey trial, the result is death and rotting from the inside out.
The Christian Church can only be the Church by staying close and in intimacy with God: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5. We have grown apart from Jesus. And we are nothing. Just as the mighty tree looks impressive on the outside, but is hollow on the inside, we have built crystal cathedrals to ourselves – certainly not to God. Our monuments to ourselves are empty and lifeless. Putting a cross on top of the building does not mean God is actually welcome inside.
We cannot make an idol out of our country. We cannot love our country more than we love God. We cannot make an idol out of our church organization. Whenever the church and the Holy Spirit are leading us in different directions, there can be no hesitation. There can be only one choice. “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29. And when the American Church has walked away from God, we must follow God, and not those institutions.
For decades, American Christians have chosen lives of material comfort above the knowledge of God, and over the nearness and presence of God. Since our society’s sigh of relief after the horrors of World War II ended, and then the Baby Boomer generation – the greatest wave of spoiled children ever raised in the history of the world – America has abandoned the Christianity of the New Testament and embraced secular humanism in drag.
Christianity has become nothing more than being nice to people. Yet never do we think about being nice to God. It is curious that the modernizers want Christianity to be nothing more than pleasantness. Yet they are never pleasant or nice to nor concerned about God. We now place God last… if we ever consider God at all. The “niceness” crowd is always rude to God.
God warned in the Old Testament: “And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me.” – Mark 7:6. Yet today scarcely do we even honor God with our lips. We are too consumed with tickling the ears of those who don’t even want God at all.
Why does the Christian church have so little influence in today’s society? While there are many factors happening at the same time in anything, we must start with our own fault, especially when that is something we can actually change.
Matthew 5: “13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”
Salt in Jesus’ time was a preservative. There were no refrigerators. Salt kept meat from rotting. But if the salt lost its saltiness, the meat will rot. In fact so far have we fallen that the phrase “salt of the earth” has been transformed into meaning just ordinary, good people.
But we cannot have the life of Jesus Christ without first sharing in His death, death to our comforts and material goals and natural life. There is no life in Jesus without death first. God may comfort us with earthly things, but we must be genuinely willing to throw them down before King Jesus’ feet.
Here is a rare example. Six members of the Church of Wells in Texas were in the news because they publicly stood up in Joel Osteen’s church and denounced his “pep talk,” Bible-free Christianity. Who are these people?
Listen to one of the elders describe the role of persecution in the life of a genuine Christian.
Elder Jake Gardner explains:
There is something seriously wrong with that brand of Christianity in this day and age that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, that doesn’t rock the boat, that doesn’t make any enemies, that doesn’t get into any trouble, that just gets along, that just coasts.
Jonathon Moseley is a co-host on the Conservative Commandos Radio Show broadcasting in Philadelphia on WNJC 1360 and an activist with the Northern Virginia Tea Party. He supports his political habit working as a real estate agent and occasional lawyer in Virginia.
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