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April 2, 2013 / Pastor George Fike

The Modern Church’s Codependent Love Affair with the Lost World

“My name is George.  And I am a sinner.”My Name is George

All: “Hi, George.”

I have been through the 12 steps.  3 times.  (Does that make it 36 steps?  Hmmm.)  I can easily recognize dysfunction.  I know firsthand the heartache of codependency. I have BEEN codependent with others.  I have also even CAUSED codependency in my loved ones.  CD is tougher to beat than any substance.  It snakes around the heart.  and squeezes HARD.

The bride of Christ has it bad.  It’s been a struggle since the beginning.  Like Hosea’s loose wife, Gomer, the church has a fascination with the “bad boys.”  We have very good intentions, because we think we can save them.

“He’s really sweet, daddy.  You just don’t know him the way I do.”

“I know he hurt me.  But he really didn’t mean it.”

“It’s my own fault.  I made him mad.  I should have known better.”

“I’m sorry.”

I know we all are probably a little bit codependent.  But the extent of the modern church’s dysfunction is reaching a sickening level.  And the succession of current boyfriends might look starkly different from one another, but there is a common thread: they’re not “in-law” material; they don’t really want to be part of the family (unless they can call the shots), and they ultimately will turn on the bride.

Consider these words from 1st John, chapter 2:

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Have you noticed lately how enamored we are with the world and its stuff?  At first we just emulated its fashion sense.  If we look cool, we can certainly gain an audience with them.  Then we liked their stuff and had to have it.  We can’t really do church anymore without the bells and whistles, the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood and Madison Avenue.  Finally, now that we look the part, we have adopted their agenda, claiming perhaps it was really God’s all along.  The rallying cry of the modern church is no longer for salvation, but “justice.”  It is no longer about repentance, but “equality.”  Good words, for sure.  But we have replaced the eternal and divine imperatives with the transient and earthly.  We cannot cry out for justice and equality while flushing repentance and salvation down the toilet.  Losing God’s urgency for the lost makes social change a crap shoot (oops, sorry!) at best.

Consider these excerpts from Shane Clairborne’s letter to non-believers.

“God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute.”

So visiting a hooker in Vegas may not be purely carnal; perhaps it is a divine appointment!

“I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, ‘I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you.'”

The vision of Psalm 16:11 – In your presence, there is fulness of joy – must be trumped by the fair and final judgment of God.

I, for one, am tired of apologizing to the world for not living up to its standards.  But PLEASE… Don’t hear what I am not saying.  The Christian’s response to this world is indeed not to be judgment, but kindness.  But we cannot apologize for proclaiming God’s righteousness.  His wrath is coming because of the world’s unrighteousness.  We can’t continue playing footsie with people who will storm out when Dad arrives at the dinner table.

“If you do not plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to him, then don’t begin, for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegiance. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it is not for you.” Kay Arthur

More to follow, if you’re not mad at me.  Well, OK… even if you are.


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