A Dead Battery
|Should you really want to know what is wrong with the present
Christianity of all sorts and persuasions and the reason for
the lack of true and real religion in the world today, the
answer is obvious. It is also simple. The battery is dead.
Now what is the battery? It is the personal communion with God and Jesus Christ, an “I and Thou?? interchange. It is what is often called a personal relationship with God. In order to have the energy we need to do the will of God, we must be connected to His energy and grace.
The churches of all persuasions and sorts of today are like cars with a dead battery. The car, the shell of faith is there, only the energy connection, the battery is dead. So the churches preach what they think, and they may be wrong, ought to be done, but that doesn’t really matter. The energy is not there to go anywhere. They have fine road maps and plenty of eloquent talk about where they want to go, but so what? The battery is dead.
How do we as church groupings (or you as an individual) gain this sense of grace and God that will ignite your awareness of the Divine Soul and the purpose of mankind, give you the energy and push, the consciousness, that comes from being intelligent and good hearted about a loving God. I suggest this is not going to come from the directives of dead churches or their boring bureaucratic departments.
How do you obtain the sense of grace bestowed that will wake your soul, that will, so to speak, ignite your heart and thus being? It may come in various ways. Grace drops down on us everyday like snowflakes fall in winter. That is each is uniquely formed. Some grace is given dramatically, like that of the Apostle on the road to Damascus. Other grace is bestowed slowly and steadily in Christian growth through prayer, Bible study, church attendance, sermons, Sunday School lessons, study of the great Reformers, a perusal of the early church fathers, revivals, or a subtle appreciation of spiritual things in silent meditations. Great is the diversity of God. Grace is everywhere.
There exist myriads of doors to grace. Scripture assures us we may find one in God’s Good time. “For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:8 ) But the scripture does not say the time frame in which we will receive an answer. So do not expect, “instant God on demand.”
The Apostle said the love of God constrained him. We might translate this that the love of God motivated him. If we do not know the love of God, how shall it motivate us? Know not, love not. To truly serve God, we should know Him. True there are those doing the will of God who do not know Him and those He is using who have never heard of Him or have rejected Him. But leave them to Heaven. Heaven has its mysteries.
To find God, it helps to go inside yourself. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) Inside yourself is where the awareness of God and grace may be sleeping. You may be missing one of the great experiences of full living. As Philip Doddridge wrote in 1755 “Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve, And press with vigor on.” You need to wake your soul to the love of God. Wake up your being.
You MAY need to Reward Your Being With God, that it may experience the true meaning of wholeness and healthy living. Do not be flim-flammed into an empty hearted bureaucracy that recites a creed as it hates everyone else, observing along the way all sorts of diddles and dumbness in piddling spiritual rules and legalistic living.
If you wake your soul from the coma it may have been in, you will want to laugh for joy in God and to rejoice in self. You will wish to join with others in churches and groups to glorify God and do His will. His will is intelligent love and good harmony. If you know God, you love God. Then you wish to please Him, “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” as the “Auld Catechism” says.
It is the duty of our churches “to go out into communities and give them Christ." This is what the Apostles of the New Testament did. And as the Apostle did, I preach Jesus Christ and Him Crucified and Risen. It is my desire through GRACE to call people to grace, making them aware of the Reality of Christ if they are not. Therefore I preach the Gospel. Christ has not left us. But HE has been driven underground in a non-spiritually balanced, abnormal and unhealthy era.
Squarely, I tell you this. The churches today, at least most, are in empty buildings preaching to battery-dead, spiritually moribund or Christ-dead folk. This is a time having the need for Reformation as sure as Luther lived and as certain as the Bible. By Reformation I mean a rediscovery of the Reality of Christ.
We need to bring the good news and spiritual balance to a world of unspiritual grotesques sick with hate, terrorism, materialism, technology used wrongly, and which often misuses and abuse virtues. Some misuse religion and make it an anti-life experiment in emptiness and cruel dogmatic insensitivity.
Do not frightened by Christianity because you think you have to be perfect. No one save God is perfect. We are all unperfected vessels of God. In trying to achieve perfection, we often make a new and bizarre imperfection of being holier than thou and being judgmental about the motes in the eyes of others, not seeing our own motes. (Matt. 7:3)
But we do need spirituality to bring a balance to modern lives. They need a balance of the spiritual with the unspiritual and that very badly. Nor should we criticize Christians for not being perfect. We are all imperfect vessels of God. The call of God is not that we be perfect for we are made perfect through Christ’s redemption of us. But it is fair, just and good to ask that we as Christians be better than we would have been without knowledge of Christ and God. I think everyone who has found God is.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.