Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fool's Gold: Overwhelming Happiness

I'm sure you've heard songs such as, “There is Joy in the Lord,” “Joy To The World,” and numerous others. (Since I’m married to a Joy, I have probably heard more than most. 😁) For many people, though, that “joy” seems to be all they seek after. If they feel good, then they are “blessed.” If not, then maybe it’s their fault for “quenching the spirit” or lacking “faith.”

Church people have started to seek after some dangerous things. This is the first of a series I’m calling “Fool’s Gold.” I don’t use the term “fool” in judgment, only to express how many people have been fooled by so much that the modern-day church does.

One of the many things that have distracted me from this blog lately has been the death of my mother-in-law. She was raised Pentecostal Holiness, a combination that seems rather dangerous if you dig into it. She and my father-in-law once visited a Freewill Baptist church. Her response was that “they don't believe in the Holy Spirit.” I asked my wife what she meant, and she said they weren’t clapping, jumping, and raising a ruckus during service.

This style of service used to be reserved for “Charismatic” congregations or (pardon my antiquated terminology here) “churches for black folks.” They were loud, active, and definitely spirited. In more modern times, though, this has leaked into what most call “contemporary services” aimed at attracting younger people. Of course, every side has its own opinions on the merits and failures of their side vs. the other side. That in itself makes me think of the house divided against itself (Mark 3:23-26), but that’s another subject.

Loud volumes produce adrenaline, according to several articles I have read. It gives way to the thrill of the adrenaline rush that makes thrill rides such as roller coasters fun for many people. The problem is that continued adrenaline can cause medical issues down the road.

Consider This: if you go to a church to feel good, what happens when you stop feeling good?

Jesus offered a different look at how life in Him works. He referred to suffering (Romans 5:1-5), persecution, and other unpleasant situations. Some choose to “fake it ’til you make it” with a deceiving smile. Is that not a lie? Is that, therefore, not a sin?

There are going to be days when the faithful will find himself or herself in dire straits. Just look at the book of Job! Depressing? It can be, even when trying to lift some measure of hope from it. I’ve been there lately, with a number of medical and family issues going down. Do I “speak positive into the situation?” Job didn’t! He admitted that he hurt. He also retained his faith in God!

Consider This: if you go to a church to worship God, what happens when you don’t feel good?

The person who worships a feeling will find that feelings don’t make good foundations of faith. They aren’t faithful. They don’t deserve our trust. Only Christ does.
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