TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD – UH HUH!

There is a song popularized by Rufus, an American band from Chicago, Illinois, “Tell Me Something Good”. The beat is rhythmic, I would say it appeals to our ‘baser nature’ and the lyrics are quite suggestive. The chorus goes this way:

Tell me something good,
Tell me that you love me, yeah,
Tell me something good,
Tell me that you like it, yeah.

Those who might be uncomfortable or uneasy with some of the lyrics, such as,  

“Got no time is what you’re known to say. I’ll make you wish there was forty-eight hours to each day. The problem is you ain’t been loved like you should. What I got to give will sure ’nuff do you good”.

We might tend to overlook the sexual innuendos because the rhythm, the beat and the sexy guitar and bass play are so appealing as to make you ‘move to the beat’, even if just a little!

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I am no prude, (although I suspect those who know me would probably say otherwise), but there are many in churches around America demanding the same thing from sermons and ‘worship music’ as Chakakhan gives us in this song – it stirs our emotions.

It’s not always been this way. In fact, it’s only in the last 40 years that the religious landscape, attitudes and appetites have shifted. But, the Bible tells us this time was coming!

Read 2nd Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires”.

I could give you hundreds and thousands of examples of the worldly excesses found in our church services and church cultures now-a-days. But to save time, just click on this one link for just one example: Prestonwood Baptist Church.

I think the church and their Christmas production, I am citing, would be wildly fun. I would go see the show. Wouldn’t you? I would probably overlook the cost, attention and effort required, which could go to better Gospel causes because it would

Tell me something good,
Tell me that you love me, yeah,
Tell me something good,
Tell me that you like it, yeah.

You think I’m kidding? Not at all!

Am I saying churches shouldn’t have fun and do entertaining things? No, I am not saying that at all. So, where do you draw the line?

The Bible. That’s where you draw the line. Go to the Bible and see what kind of holiday presentations you find there.

I was on staff at a small church in Virginia when the youth pastor recruited a young lady to be the lead singer for the ‘worship band’. The problem was that she liked to wear short skirts (not a good idea on an elevated platform) and see-through blouses. I suggested she either be replaced or told how to dress. The youth pastor suggested ‘she spiced things up’ and the senior pastor chuckled. (Not a good sign, folks). I went to some ladies in our church and asked if they would politely and kindly counsel this young woman and talk with her parents. That went well, and she reformed her dressing style. But the root of the problem was still there, and over the next few years proved to be the undoing of the credibility of that church. (We left what had become a ”religious 501-c-3 organization”.)

Or, how about Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church? Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, remains the largest church in America, with a weekend attendance totaling 52,000 people.

Those that go there will readily tell you, ‘IT IS FUN! It is uplifting’. And honestly, I would like to go see this performance, at least once.

GotQuestions.Org, a para-church ministry helping people find answers to their spiritually related questions, says however, that:

“Osteen’s message is sweet, attractive, and pretty. It comes with the million-dollar smile, a heaping helping of the feel-goods, and all the motivation of the best self-help gurus.

“What Joel Osteen pushes is a shell of legitimate biblical Christianity, at best, and a dangerous counterfeit at worst. When all you have to offer is materialism and emotion, you’re not an evangelist. You’re a motivational speaker who borrows religious terminology. Nothing Osteen says is going to help a person with legitimate questions about faith and salvation.

 “His message won’t build real disciples; there’s no more substance for the believer than for the unbeliever. Nor is his message going to sustain faith in a crisis. When things go bad, people quickly realize God’s blessings don’t come merely because they think happy thoughts. And if personal prosperity is the measure of their success as a Christian, then Osteen’s teaching has merely set them up for a fall.”

What often happens and what this can and often leads to is many being SHIPWRECKED with regard to their faith. What is this world is going on? And how is this happening? It seems so many preacher and churches start out so well and end up veering away from the Gospel of Jesus. Oh, they still use the images and many of the ideas and the words of the Bible, but sooner or later people wise up for a while. Then, sadly, these same people forget these events as time goes by – and the offenders of the Gospel count on that forgetfulness, and they continue with their worldly ways and evil deeds,  unimpeded.  (See this article: Shipwrecked.)

THE REMAINING FACTS:

The Church has always possessed the moral compass for America and the world.

Much of the Church has lost her way, and is now being led by her nose in the ways of the world. (See the 5th Tribulation Seal).

Most people in the Western world have replaced the desire for prosperity that comes from goodness of the soul, strength of character and knowing right from wrong for the things that give temporary self-pleasure, spontaneous entertainment and immediate gratification (endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine).

There is no power inherent in positive thinking, and we do not create our own realities. God is not our servant, standing by and waiting for us to fire up our imaginations, so He can lavish us with material goods and/or an easy life. Jesus told His followers to “give up everything you have” (Luke 14:33), not to seek to get more.

Jesus did say, in John 10:10b, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” “More abundantly” means to have a superabundance of a thing. “Abundant life” refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy and strength for spirit, soul and body. “Abundant life” signifies a contrast to feelings of lack, emptiness, and dissatisfaction, and such feelings may motivate a person to seek for the meaning for their life and a change in their life as described in the Bible.

Abundant life for a person begins with a new birth, a new relationship with God, new motivations, and a new relationship with mankind. The process of Christian maturity for that person continues with learning to live abundantly, being cleansed from sin, and learning to fight spiritual battles. Christian salvation and maturity is not reliance on the self-efforts of rituals, devotion, meditation, good works, asceticism, and self-control over desires, but by believing in the redemption from sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24, 1 Cor 15:3–4). Through faith in divine agency, the working of the Holy Spirit, God transforms a person’s desires to be more in conformity with God’s will (Ephesians 2:8–10, Romans 12:1–2).

Abundant life teaches prosperity and health for the total human being, including the body, mind, emotions, relationships, material needs, and eternal life. The Bible, the good news (Christianity), and salvation are essential elements of those teachings. Other elements are faith, prayer, evangelism, and concern for human worth in the areas of spiritual oppression, poverty, disease, hunger, injustice, and ignorance. In order for these teachings to affect a person’s fullness of life, it is essential for that person to align their goals with God’s goals.

Abundant life teachings may include expectations of physical and material prosperity and good health and well-being, but may also include other forms of fullness of life, including eternal life, when persecuted or suffering. For a Christian, fullness of life is not measured in terms of “fun” and “living large”, or in terms of wealth, prestige, position, and power, but measured by fulfilled lives of responsibility and self-restraint, and the rewards and blessings that accrue over a lifetime of pleasing God. According to the abundant life interpretation, the Bible has promises of wealth, health, and well-being, but these promises are conditional promises.

The source of abundant life is identified as the Spirit of God in Galatians 5:22-23, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance”. A Christian is a person who has the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9) received according to Acts 2:38.

Becoming a Christian means a change to a different way of life with a different purpose. Fulfilling this purpose and experiencing abundant life go together, as described by Matthew 6:33, “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Finally, not all churches are adrift or lost. There are many churches that still preach and practice the Good News of Jesus. They still have fun without losing their focus on Christ Jesus, His Gospel and The Mission and Calling of the Church (you).

There is no greater adventure than to go on this Spiritual Journey to Perfection with God at the helm and no greater satisfaction than to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” afterward!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

2 thoughts on “TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD – UH HUH!

  1. Why isn’t there already multiple comments over this well-presented basics of the Christian faith?
    you stated: “The Church has always possessed the moral compass for America and the world.” We’ve lost that compass in the church. Instead we’ve opted for “seeker friendly” churches rather than confrontational churches that lead people to conviction and salvation. My son recently told me about his mission trips to Haiti and how their prayers are for growing closer to Jesus Christ and not about material wealth. God is not saving treasures for ourselves, but instead counting on us to recognize that knowing Jesus is our eternal wealth.

    Like

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