Continued from Spitting on the Holiness of God, Part 1: The Story
You might be thinking, “What an absurd story,” and you would be right. It is an absurd story. But what makes the story absurd is not the selling of coffee mugs, or the painting of pictures, or the putting on of dramas by Israelites during the Exodus, but it is their response to God’s holiness. People do not behold the holiness of the Lord and then proceed to make him who is holy appear to be common. There is a fear that naturally grips the heart and soul of a man when he realizes what holiness means, and that fear changes his life.
A casual look at the church today would reveal that we are a diseased people. We are people who possess God’s holy revelation, and yet we cannot grasp God and his holiness. Oh, we sing songs with the word “holy” in the lyrics, but we never tremble as a people before the Almighty or even show a sliver of respect toward the Being who is wholly other. We love to embrace the humanity of Jesus Christ and his “likeness” to us, and yet we only ascribe to him deity when he must be so to cover our sins. Do you not see the disease of the church? The symptoms are everywhere:
Disregard for His Commandments
If Christ demonstrated anything in his discourse in the Sermon of the Mount, he demonstrated that the law is not a stepladder, but it is a demonstration of God’s holiness. No man can ever keep the law, because no one is holy but the Lord. This is the very reason that Christ came and died, to demonstrate that he is Yahweh by keeping the law perfectly, and then to die in the place of unholy persons so that they might be counted as holy.
We know this well as the Church. We know that Jesus Christ died for sinners to reconcile them to God, but what we do not know well is the command, “Be ye holy.” What that translates to in practice is an apathy toward to commandments of God because our mistakes are “covered.” For example take the second commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Now take a look at the phrase, “Any likeness of anything that is in heaven.” Then ask yourself, “Where presently is Jesus Christ?” Now ask yourself if you have ever seen anything that has attempted to portray the likeness of Jesus Christ. Right, they’re everywhere! Pictures of Jesus, crucifixes with Jesus on them, statues of Jesus–all idols transgressing the second commandment. And your response? “What’s the big deal?” “It helps the children.” “The commandment is kinda fuzzy on that.” “I like nativities.” These are real responses from past conversations that show that we in the church want to walk as close to the boundary of Mt. Sinai without being struck down by a holy God. And you will probably lightly nod your head in agreement with that and still keep your pictures of Jesus and your nativities showing that you still don’t give a rip about holiness.
The next time you step into your local “Christian” “book”store, survey what is there for you to buy. To your right and to the back there’s the t-shirt section, where the t-shirts take catchy secular sayings and manipulate them to put Jesus on a Reeses cup, an Abercrombie logo, or in a punchline from a perverted TV show. To your left you’ll see a rack of auto decals that have things like a fish with an American flag on the inside (because you know, the U.S. is a Christian nation), a Godfather movie logo manipulated to say “GodtheFather,” and a quote borrowed from those infamous billboards, “Don’t make me come down there. ~God.” At the front counter you’ll see a collection of “Christian” erasers, pencils, fingernail clippers, and some Testamints that sanctify your breath. All these are designed to press you on to the comprehension of the holiness of God–to portray God as the glorious, unfathomable, infinite Lord of the Universe and his Son as the Holy One, Yahweh Incarnate in whose presence you would be incinerated. Testamints do that, they really do.
Mocking the Revelation of God
There are few things in life that cause me to lose sleep at night, but I lost sleep two nights in a row over the mockery that happened at a local church this past Sunday. During the morning service, some sacrilegious imbeciles thought that it would be a good idea to put on a drama where someone would act as Moses receiving God’s revelation, and another would, in Wizard of Oz fashion, speak as God over the speakers, justifying to Moses his not entering into Canaan. And what was this drama for? To demonstrate the justice of God? To pay tribute to God’s greatest prophet? No! It was a promotion for some upcoming conference! Really! Someone thought that it was worth making trite the holy revelation of God, through the voice of a puny man, with words that God never spoke, all to advertise a conference! Fools! Praise be to the immeasurable mercy of God that withheld his hand from striking down those who permitted such blasphemy!
All this is to say that God is holy, and we need to be a people who know that God is holy. The American church obviously does not understand the holiness of God, and it demonstrates that by its flippancy toward God, his commandments, and his revelation. We should be utterly terrified at our state, because the Lord is not idly watching.