As some of you know, we are in a short blog series where we are discussing Skye Jenthani’s Faith Postures. Which takes a good hard look at with young people are growing up and leaving the church they’ve been raised in. There are four postures that Skye says the church uses to teach its people and each one is ultimately giving a poor theology of what Christianity is all about.
Each of the postures is a response to the fact that the world is a dangerous place, we are afraid of what that means for us and our families, so we seek to find a way to control the world around us. While this may seem like an oversimplification of how we live our lives, if we simply take a look at most of what happens in our day to day lives, we’ll see this cycle plays out just about every time.
Posture 2: Life Over God
While posture one talked about living a life under God, where we follow all of God’s rules and rituals and hope that He blesses us because it, posture two is called life over God.
Life over God says you don’t need to the rituals and rules of Christianity to control the world around, science can give you control. Essentially saying you don’t need God, we can take direct control over our world. An obvious example is Atheism, which says God doesn’t exist at all and you can take direct control over your world.
So, how in the world does this type of posture make it into our churches? This doesn’t seem like anything I’ve ever heard taught from the pulpit. But, we do in fact see this being taught. While we don’t blatantly stand in the pulpit and say you don’t need God, you can control your world, we do teach a sort of legalism at times. This is to say that we teach people to fall in love with biblical principles and guidelines to control their world in lieu of following the principles of day time talk TV.
In John 5:39-41 Jesus is talking to the Pharisees when He says,
“39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.”
If we aren’t careful, we will begin to elevate scriptural principles over the life giving relationship Jesus died for.
We can see how easy it is to gradually shift our focus, however unintentionally, from developing a deep, loving relationship with Jesus to following a set of guidelines to receive a specific outcome. By doing this we are saying thank you God for teaching us how to live, now that You’ve taught us, we don’t need you anymore.
Most of us haven’t intentionally flipped through the Bible for ways to control our lives and then leave God on the sideline, but unfortunately through the circumstances we find ourselves in, we take what we know, apply it, and forget shift the focus back on the Cornerstone.
I for one love to work with my hands. When I’ve got tools in my hands, I feel right at home. That doesn’t always mean that the projects turn out like an episode of Fixer Upper, but my work doesn’t end up on the Pinterest Fails site either! I can see a problem and find a solution. God has given me that gift. Unfortunately, I take that and apply it to emotional and spiritual issues as well. Meaning I can find myself falling into posture 2 where I take what I’ve learned from the Bible and use it to correct my world, all the while, God is nowhere near in my mind. I have to be intentional and specific because I know my tendency is to immediately try to fix a problem on my own. I can generally tell when I am leaving God out because the solutions are way more difficult to come by when He’s not involved!
When we teach young people (and old people), it is our job to not only teach the biblical principles as a get out of trouble or gain control of your situation card. We have to be certain that we cite the source of our control.
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