Jonathon Rosenblum, a Jewish news correspondent writing in the Jerusalem Post some time ago, was bemoaning the state of Jewish religious faith in America by stating that “In place of theology, American Jews have an attitude: no one, not even God, can tell me what to do.” He went on to say that
he found American Jews acted as if all Jewish law “was only a matter of personal choice, and the only relevant law was that which a particular individual happened to find spiritually uplifting at the moment.” The kind of religion they want, he says, is one “that makes no restrictive personal requirements and does not interfere with their social lives.” And yet, he says, none of them can defend their beliefs in terms of the Bible, because they lack even the most elementary knowledge of its contents.
I found myself thinking that all he had to do was change the word “Jews” to “Christians” and he was describing the state of things as they are in our American churches right now. In fact, he is describing a problem that cuts completely across the American religious scene. We do not want to relinquish control of our lives to someone called “God” for fear He may lead us in a direction we are not willing to go. So instead of the Bible being our guide we have substituted our own personal reasons, spiritual intuition, or fleshly desires. Whatever the substitution, the outcome is always the same: a form of self-worship. The end result is that we bring ourselves right back to that sorry situation that existed during the darkest period in Israel’s history when
“each man did what was best in his own eyes.” Cut off from God, cut off from His revelation and directions, we
wander about in darkness.
I write these words not to discourage you but to throw a challenge your way. It is our goal to help you become people who are firmly committed, not to the latest religious fads, but to the Faith of our Fathers. We want to see you become people of the Book, whose lives are being shaped according to a divine pattern and whose direction never deviates from the path that leads to Eternal Life. Such a life becomes a stark contrast to the wishy-washy person who believes nothing for sure and tolerates all ideas as leading to the same destination. It’s what Jesus meant when He said “Let your light so shine that they may see your good works and give glory unto your Father in heaven.” Let’s continue to work on such a life this Sunday. See you there.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship