Shiny Objects: Distracting Western Christians

 

The things of this world are Satan’s “shiny objects” that are used to entice people into a lifestyle and acceptance of sin. Things that are blatantly spoken out against in scripture, suddenly are labeled not that bad. Satan started this in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Both Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because they would die. Satan’s response to them was a crafty “you won’t die, you’ll be like God.” It was the first time he tricked someone into believing that the consequences for their actions weren’t as bad as God, the creator of all things who has all knowledge and wisdom, said they were.

What’s even more disturbing is that this Shiny Object Syndrome has taken hold of many of the more affluent churches in the west. When a person comes to know Christ and begins stepping out of darkness and into life, they are celebrated and welcomed with open arms into a church family. However, what often lacks after this exuberant celebration is discipleship. Christians in the west get excited at every new social media adventure, and every humanitarian cause that shows up on their Facebook feeds. The danger with this is a complete lack of focus on the end work of the Kingdom of God. Jesus came so that we might have life and that we might share that good news (that our debt is paid once we allow Jesus to enter our lives). Jesus commanded that we go and make disciples, not just social followers. In Christianity, a disciple is a “student” of Christ. It means they not only follow Him literally, but they follow His examples and teachings.

What often happens instead of proper discipleship, is a misguided passionate zeal for anything and everything that seems good.

 

There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death. (Proverbs 16:25)

 

So many western Christians chase after every social bandwagon they see or every shiny object that comes their way. While this seems as though someone is passionate for Christ, in actuality, they are passionate for their own desires. Yes there are several organizations and social agendas that are seemingly helpful to the kingdom of God. Yes feeding the hungry, clothing those without clothes, and supporting the poor are all good things…but if they are done without sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, then all we have done as Christians is make someone warm, full, and funded…on their way to Hell.

 

“For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8)

 

The lack of discernment in many of the younger Generation iY Christians leads to an unfocused, easily manipulated, and misguided message of the gospel of Christ. Rather than encouraging a unified, one mind, one heart, one body of Christ, approach to making disciples in the world, religion has set in and western mission efforts are focused more on the physical needs of a human than the spiritual needs.

Physical needs are important but they are also temporary. Spiritual needs are eternal just as their consequences are. When we, as western Christians, think that it is ok to just be passionate and yet have no focused direction what we are doing, we are merely re-conforming ourselves to the ways of the world. We revert back to our carnal nature to want to do anything and everything ourselves. We start focusing on all the things we would “like” to do, rather than doing what God has asked us to do. He made each of us to function in the body of Christ with our own unique gifts and talents. It would be a discredit to God for us to ask for the talents and gifts of another person, and thus tell God “I don’t think you made me good enough.”

Passion with no direction is the same thing as a bomb, grenade, volcano, etc. All of these things explode and damage whatever is nearby because there is no focus and no purpose to their energy expulsion. They become destructive.

Passion with direction is like a surgical laser. It can be damaging if used improperly but can restore sight, modify things simply and accurately, and do work that is beneficial to life. It is not chaotic, unfocused, or random. It is purposeful, specific, and deliberate.

Our God is a purposeful, deliberate, perfect, and ordered God who never does anything random or on an emotional whim. Jesus, is the perfect image of the father, and WE are to conform to the image of Christ. Therefore we are conforming to unity, to purpose, to deliberate actions that bring about life, and to a perfect, and blameless eternal father.

The world jumps on bandwagons. The world gets distracted by every new adventure. The world is scattered in thought to detract and distract from God’s wisdom.

Disciples think eternally rather than looking for instant gratification. Disciples have one adventure and it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Disciples are in their right mind to win people to the kingdom. Disciples ask for God’s wisdom and reject the world.

Disciples FOCUS.

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