Friday, August 19, 2005

Sent to the cornfield

Sent to the cornfield.

When I was growing up and TV was black and white only, one of my favorite shows was THE TWILIGHT ZONE. An episode which few who saw it can forget is ”It’s A Good Life”. A young boy named Anthony Fremont has the power to shape reality however he wishes it. A great gift, which he turns to selfish and evil use, instead of blessing the world, he turns it into a living hell. If something annoys him, he gets rid of it. If it does not meet his standard, he kills it. No one can do or say or act in anyway that does not meet his approval. All joy and love and kindness and graciousness are removed. He alone can do good in the world he has created: all others must be killed.

Anthony is a spoiled, prideful, arrogant, self-centered child, with no humility and no awareness that someone greater than himself has given him this power! When he wishes to kill or remove someone that points out his shortcomings, he sends them to oblivion by “sending them to the cornfield.”

In our reality, thank God, none of us have this ability; but that does not mean we have no temptation like jealousy, envy, or pride brought on by our “discovery” of some great theological (in our own sight) “truth”. We do fall to these weaknesses. Since we cannot kill those we disagree with or envy, we send them to a cornfield of our own making by assassinating their character, always of course while hiding behind the flag of doctrinal purity, and usually not to their faces.

In this regard, Anthony is better than we are because he usually is not afraid to go man to man. We slide the knife in very subtly, like Satan. Some of the phrases I have found helpful to use are: “He is an Arminian”, “He is not reformed”, “He is a Catholic”, “He is a “Methodist”, “He is dispensational”, “He is charismatic”, and of course the all-time-send-them-deeeeeeeeeep-into-the-cornfield, “He is a Baptist!” (That last one will make sure that no one listens to or reads anything that person writes!) Off with their heads!

The newer versions that are popular are: “He is not covenantal”, “He is not confessional enough”, “He is one of those seeker-friendly people”,” His worship service is not ritualistically liturgical enough”, ”They do not really have a worship service”, “They do not even have robes or anything!” ”Why they do not even kneel for prayer! Do you think God still hears their prayers?”

Maybe it is time for each of us to humbly examine ourselves with God’s Word and see where we fall short. Again, where WE fall short, as in ME!

When I played on a golf team, occasionally the coach would walk out onto the course to see how I was doing along with the rest of the team. When he said to me, “How are you doing?” I told him how I was doing. Again, how I was doing! Imagine his amazement if, when asked that question, I answered it with “Better than Bill up there on my team. Let me tell you how bad his game is today, blah, blah, blah…his form is just terrible. Let me just tell you about how much better I am than he is! Why I am not so sure he is really even playing golf!”
One more time for the record, and please get this straight: putting another Christian down or badmouthing his beliefs will never make yours correct; neither will it elevate you in God’s sight. It certainly does not edify anyone, especially in the context of a worship service.

If you do not have a Christian worldview of your own -- one that includes humility -- DEVELOP ONE! Do not waste your time criticizing others. This is exactly what the left is doing in the political realm. They do not have a plan for Social Security, so they just criticize Bush’s plan. They convince no one, they solve nothing, and they set an example of which many of their own people are increasingly rightly ashamed.

I will end this with a request. If, like me, you have participated in any of the aforementioned activity, read James 3:8 -18; 4:10,11. I will remind each of us that the Bible says, “Knowledge puffs up.” How important is this point to God? His anointed, the Apostle Paul tells us: he saw and heard things that cannot be spoken, and so that he would not get puffed up God gave him a thorn in the flesh. Our God says, “Touch not Mine anointed.” We better heed this warning, lest He send us to HIS cornfield!

In Christ,
Shawn

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