“Visit a church on Sunday morning – almost any will do – and you will likely find a congregation comfortably relating to a deity who fits nicely within precise doctrinal positions, or who lends almighty support to social crusades, or who conforms to individual spiritual experiences. But you will not likely find much awe or sense of mystery. The only sweaty palms will be those of the preacher unsure whether the sermon will go over; the only shaking knees will be those of the soloist about to sing the offertory. . . reverence and awe have often been replaced by a yawn of familiarity. The consuming fire has been domesticated into a candle flame adding a bit of religious atmosphere, perhaps, but no heat, no blinding light, no power for purification. When the true story gets told, whether in the partial light of historical perspective or in the perfect light of eternity, it may well be revealed that the worst sin of the church at the end of the twentieth century has been the trivialization of God.” – Donald W. McCullough
I read the above quote this week as I was preparing for this Sunday’s message. The quote stuck in my spirit and I have been thinking about it ever since. At what level does this quote ring true for you? At what level does it bother you? How does it challenge you? Seriously, I want to know . . .
This idea is important to our study of the book of Hebrews for at least two reasons:
- The entire book of Hebrews is written to people who have been Christians for some time, but who have begun to drift away from the Rock of their Salvation. Could it be that part of the reason for their drift was a loss of a sense of holy reverence or fear of God? Could it be that the reason why we drift away from our Savior today is because of our lack of holy reverence?
- The passage we are looking at Sunday morning begins with the command to “Fear” (Hebrews 4:1). What role does fear play in our relationship with God and the living out of our Christian life?
How do we avoid trivializing God and what are the consequences when we do? These will be the topics we will dive into Sunday morning as we look at Hebrews 4:1-11 together as part 3 of our Anchored series. Join us in either the 9:30 or 10:50 service and post to this blog post your thoughts related to the quote and the topic. This is a difficult passage of Scripture and I would love to dialogue with you all on it both now and after the message on Sunday in this virtual space.
2 thoughts on “Trivialization, Fear, and Rest (Anchored, part 3 Preview)”
I wonder if, during the forty-year wandering in the wilderness, Caleb and Joshua ever secon-guessed their faith in God that led them to stand against the majority report of the spies. It would be strangely comforting to me to know that they had at least SOME struggle with faith during that time. Clearly, it did not cause them to harden their hearts in unbelief, but did they have a sense that their “good fight of faith” was only maintained by a constant worship of God and humble submission to God’s methods for preparing the people to enter the land? At any rate, those two men are heroes of the faith, in my opinion.
Thanks for the comment. I wonder what it would have been like to be Caleb and Joshua. For the entire desert wandering, they knew they would be the only one of their contemporaries to both live in Egypt AND the promised land . . . yet they had to wait so many years for that promise to be realized. Their faith is truly a model for us who wait in faith for our eternal inheritance. Great observation!