Friday, May 19, 2006

God is the End, Not the Means to an End

I was listening to the panel discussion MP3s from the Together for the Gospel and was caught by a statement that was attributed to John Piper. The statement was something like this: Men seek after God as a means to an end rather than the end itself that is God I think this epitomizes the nature of most preaching and ministries today. I am not saying that we are not supposed to help others and have ministries to do so but all too often the message people hear is something like: “come to Jesus and get this.” Is it not enough to come to Jesus and see God?

All of the issues with gimmicks and such used to keep people entertained are a necessary out come of a Gospel that sees God as a means to some end rather than being the “END.” If we feel that those that we preach and teach to need more than God’s word then in many ways we use God’s word to lead them to whatever it is we see as more important. Now I am sure that many will not proclaim this is so many words but as with most things actions speak pretty loud.

Over at the Founders there was a link to an article on Video services, Godcasting (notice the source of the article). The idea is that there can be satellite services where the Pastor does not have to even be in the country but instead his likeness is beamed to the various locations and the message is given. Now some may say the word is preached but the bigger message to me is that it is not the message that is important but the messenger. So as with any other gimmick the church is so afraid that the message is not enough that more has to be done. I firmly believe that many preach in a manner that is boring and impassionate and thus do disservice to God’s word but even if this is so it is not a reason to, in the name of being relevant, stoop to methods that put the focus on the medium rather than the message. Is not the goal of preaching God’s word to deliver it in such a way that people do not see the messenger but the Holy and Sovereign God that is the message?

Why is it that the church has to endlessly look to a lost world for direction? Maybe it is a lack of understanding of the condition of man. If the church truly understood the condition of man we would not seek after its advice. Why ask a sinner, who by the way loves sin, what it would take for them to enjoy church, the answer is “sin.” That may sound harsh but it is true since the best the unbeliever can do is sin what they would see as beneficial comes from a sinful desire.

I pray that we could all see that God is the ends we are to seek and not simply a means to some other end, no matter how spiritual that end seems to be. That we are to look to God and His word for direction and not to a world that enjoys sin.

1 comment:

Grosey's Messages said...

G'day from Australia.... I bounced in here from Strange Baptist Fire's blog. I ntoiced the photo of your church. Can you tell me if it use to be a motel in say 1990? I travelled and visited Chuck Swindoll and John Macarthur and stayed in a motel near 1st Ev Free off Brea Blvde back then. :) thanks for your kindness in answering... Its just a matter of interest for me.