A Healthy Respect

The Bible tells us that wisdom begins with the fear of God.  Most believers have not only lost any sense of fear for God, but they’ve lost all respect for Him. 

The definition of holy is separate, set apart, special.  Most people think holy means sinless or perfect.  It does not.  The opposite of holy is not sinful; the opposite of holy is COMMON. 

I grew up during the time of hellfire and brimstone being screamed from the pulpits.  The message was you’d better serve God if you didn’t want to burn for eternity in hell.  You didn’t serve God out of love; you served out of fear.  Then we entered a era of “love”.  God is love.  God is your father, your friend, your buddy, your pal.  I, for one, was grateful for a more peaceful sermon.  I was tickled to be introduced to a God who cared about me and wasn’t solely intent on “smiting” me the first chance He got.

But somewhere in that love era, we lost any sort of fear for God.  God is still a God of judgment as well as atonement; He is a God who loves us, even while his wrath burns because of rampant sin.   And in thinking of God as our father and friend, we made him COMMON.  That is to say, we made God UNHOLY.   We forgot that God is the King of the Universe.  That it is soley because of His grace and mercy that we can approach Him.  And while God wants us to approach Him, build a relationship with Him, speak honestly with Him and share our thoughts and feelings about everything, we can’t act like God is common.  We wouldn’t speak to a king the way we speak to God; we certainly wouldn’t approach the king the way we approach God.  Or maybe we would since we as a society would wear flip flops to the White House.  (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/18/national/main709848.shtml)

Church is not a place of reverence, a place of awe.  Just look at how people dress and how they speak.  Now, if all you can afford is a pair of ripped, torn blue jeans for church, I believe God would want you there.  But where is the sense of respect or pride to at least have those jeans clean and remove your ballcap?  I have seen ushers in their fifties in baseball caps collecting the offering.  I have seen women dressed like they’re going to a nightclub or, quite frankly, a strip club.  Yes, Jesus talked with prostitutes, but he also told them to go and sin no more.  Don’t you think those prostitutes felt ashamed?  Do you see any shame on the faces of the teenagers in your place of worship?  Have you heard the language they use and the topics they discuss at full volume in the sanctuary?

God is our father.  Would you act as crudely and as familiar with your father as you do God?  I think most of us would have been sent back upstairs by our fathers to “change into something more appropriate” and we would have had our mouths washed out with soap or been grounded for inappropriate behavior.  God deserves so much more respect that our fathers and yet, we give Him none.

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