On Tuesday night I had the privilege of filling in for my good friend John at his church in L.A. The church is the First EV Free Church of L.A., and we met in the basement, with about ten or so people. I started out with just introducing myself, and showed some pics of Micah (always a crowd pleaser). After establishing some type of relationship, I shot into the message.
I decided to speak on the importance of glorifying of God with our minds. I had already preached this in big church a few months ago, so it wasn’t something that I needed to do too much work on, just gearing it down to high schoolers. But the message, in short, explores the Biblical Theology of the mind. I discovered that the same mind we are to glorify God with is the mind that was rebellious and hostile against God (Col 1:18 and Eph 2:3).
We looked back at the role of the church in glorifying God with their minds. It used to be that the leaders in every field was Christian. The greatest in the fields of Mathematics, Science, Art, Literature, and everything else were Christians. Now they are all liberal athiests, and the Christians have run into the corner to concentrate on making crappy Christian Romance novels, Christian music, corny videos, and the like. At one time Harvard and Princeton were Christian bastions. At the time of the Puritans, literacy in Mass. and Conn. was 89-95%.
J.P. Moreland says, “Our society has replaced heroes with celebrities, the quest fora well-informed character with teh search for a flat stomach, substance and depth with image personality.”
The second Great Awakening, which was largely based upon emotions and feelings and not solid theology like the first Great Awakening, led to the emergence of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism. A shallow faith turned out to be a cess pool for heresy.
And today, our churches have largely given up on learning and challenging themselves. They no longer want to think deeply and use their minds for anything that is not trivial. Christians have stopped learning when they are done with their ‘formal’ education.
In the end we talked about some of the common objections to using your mind. People say, “I’m not smart” or “I don’t have time” or “i’m not a pastor, I’m just a normal person”. All of these are invalid objections. None of them stand up to the Word of God.
So what is the average Christian supposed to? My main three points of application were that
1. Dedicate ourselves to our trades. We need people that are Christians at the forefront of their respective trades.
2. Dedicate ourselves to our Bible. This is the life source of every Christian. We must continue to challenge ourselves and contend for the truth. Cotton Mather said, “Ignorance is the mother not of devotion but of Heresy.”
3. Finally, we must dedicate ourselves to our Lord. We are to gird up the loins of our minds and prepare for action. This is all about bringing glory to God and living for Him with our entirety. Holding nothing back.
Here’s a quote that I ended with:
“The church is safe from vicious persecution at the hands of the secularist, as educated people have finished with the stake-burning circuses and torture racks. No martyr’s blood is shed in the secular west. So long as teh church knows her place and remains quietly at peace on her modern reservation. Let the babes pray and sing and read their Bibles, continuing steadfastly in their intelllectual retardation; the church’s extinction will not come by sword or pillory, but by the quiet death of irrelevance. but let the church step off the reservation, let her penetrate once more the culture of the day and the…face of secularism will change from a benign smile to a savage snarl.”