“Fire Extinguishers”

Breaking Babel #064238

“Fire Extinguishers”

The approach to sin in many churches is very superficial in churches today. Maybe it’s caused by the aversion to certain teachings like the “depravity of man” or the “Doctrine of Original Sin”. Maybe these teaching are not dominating the pulpits and podcasts because they are not what the rest of the world is “pushing”. (nor will they pack the house and baskets)

The drug of today is “you” and preachers/teachers/shepherds are “pushing” this drug every weekend. People love it and church is a “safe place” to get your fix. (more on this in ________)

As we try to achieve our “best you” now and worship the gods of leadership and self-improvement, we get caught up in faulty approach to dealing with our sin. We see sin on the surface and try to use whatever tools to “buff” it out. These external blemishes aren’t attractive and they don’t show off our perfect well-managed life. We will seek after programs, teachings, and any follow any expert that has no external blemishes in the area that we are currently struggling in.

When we are a greedy and coveting creature…follow Dave Ramsey.
When we are a prideful and arrogant leader…follow John Maxwell.
When we are a lustful and selfish husband…follow Andy Stanley.
When we are a insecure and un-empowered woman…follow Beth Moore.

I’m not knocking these people and their work. I sincerely admire their faith at times, and their commitment of pouring out into others. However, they are not God and can’t fix or transform a damn thing in your life. They know that..hopefully.

The issue here is that people aren’t addressing the REAL issue and they are looking at the outward manifestations of sin, and subsequently seeking out those that can give them the wisdom to fix it. But sin isn’t external, it’s internal. It’s our hearts and our posture towards God first, then others second. The blemishes that show up in our sex life, our finances, our reactions, and our actions are not things that wisdom can resolve. Wisdom can minimize some of the “outside our cup” issue, but not the inside.

God, and God’s work, can change us and that takes place after we repent of the “wretched heart” that we have, not some slip up that gets noticed by us and/or by others.

When you have a porn problem…you have a deceitful heart issue.
When you have a money issue…you have a deceitful heart issue.
When you have a marriage issue…you have a deceitful heart issue.
When you have a time management struggle…you have a deceitful heart issue.
When you have a commitment issue…you have a deceitful heart issue.

Some outcome of this.
1. “Multitude of Experts”. Because we idolize self-improvement, we get an ever-growing amount of experts teaching us “3 easy steps” or “7 sure-fire ways” to fix that problem. We get sold-out arenas and churches with crowds of seekers seeking only what God has already fixed.

2. Legalism. Again this approach teaches us that our actions produce piety. (Luke 18v9-14) We are seeing our life as transformed strictly by our actions and somewhat measurable indicators. Our actions are an indicator but not the sole indicator. How does one access sins like coveting if you only judge by the outside expression of sin?

3. Exhausted Ministers/Churches. If your approach to sin is to put out the fires, you are going to be busy. The people in the Church will always be dealing with people’s money issues, chemical dependencies, relational issues, and anger if they try to fix people. Many churches aren’t spending time on what truly transforms the heart because they are exhausted dealing with people’s problems, which is a deceitful heart issue on both parties

Questions to help.
I. Do you spend a lot time dealing on your sins that shows up on the surface? In comparison, how much time do you seek out to understand that your desires are opposed to God’s?
II. Does your experience in church involve ways to fix you?
III.Does the Bible command you to fix yourself and improve your life?
IV. Is following men and women that are considered experts fixing you and your desires?

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