In the first series of these articles, I stated that false Christianity is built on self-centeredness. This piece is a built-up to that. How can a man who professes to be God’s servant but full of nothing except self and greed truly be a servant of God? What could be the true place of such selfish activities that are religiously branded in the name of Christ in the church today? Someone whose Christian life sums up on self cannot be a true servant of God. In the first place, he has the wrong knowledge of God; false Christianity tends to reduce God to materialism. Jesus says:
Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:19-21, 24).
False Christianity only sees God simply as the supplier of human needs. A good “Christian God” who is only always there for the needs of His “worshipers” (those who come around Him for their needs). And so, such Christian doctrines and life do not see farther than receiving from God wealth, good health and special anointing for self- glorification.
Contrary to that, our text above is revealing the fact that one cannot have his or her mind set only on acquiring material things and be true to God. The temptation is to think that it is righteous to set our minds simply on getting from God compare to simply getting from the world.
This is where the deception lies; there is no difference really in the two. Someone whose Christian life is all about self, simply “serving” God to meet end needs lives in the deception of self-worship as much as someone who does not live for self through religion.
The Jews in Jesus’ days on earth that only came to Him for material gain could not really come by Him and they missed the salvation He offered (John 6:26-27, 1 Corinthians 1:22-23). Christianity that is totally humanistic in nature is earth bound and is a not true Christianity at all. Rather a distraction to Christian pilgrimage on earth. It is based on the ideology that “godliness is a means to financial gain”. It is nothing but a service of the god of this world in deception.
The Scripture says:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh,the lust of eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17).
One cannot be all self-loving through Christianity and have a right view of God. The love of material things and the pleasure of life tend to blindfold one of the true knowledge of God. Such people do not leave room for the will of God in their lives but have sticky-greedy minds that invariably insist God must come down to their needs. That way, they deny the sovereignty of God in their lives. So, how then can they truly know God except in their imaginations.
Such Christians cannot worship God in the splendour of His Majesty. They worship God on their terms. And God cannot be worshipped until He is worshipped the way He has ordained (1 Samuel 15:10-23). Although sometimes the action may seem to be right the underlying motive is always wrong. This is the brand of “Christianity’’ the evangelical church has gone after today. Christianity that knows no God only but man, fame, health and wealth.
This explains why the contemporary evangelical church is losing the atmosphere of solemn and reverential worship to a noisy and formulaic kind of worship. And this, at the detriment of our rich historic Christian heritage (the Apostolic and Reformers heritage).
True Christianity is God-focused and heavenly minded. This does not mean earthly irrelevancy. Our earthly relevancy, however, cannot demean us to worship the things of the world. The world and everything it offers has no enticing power compare to the glory of the life-after a true believer beholds by faith. I end this series with the injunction of Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:1-4:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. when Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”