The Christian Tendency to Fix Everyone Should Be Fixed

Job was a righteous man and he got nailed when God made a bet with Satan.

Job, wallowing in his pain and misery, desired someone to talk to, someone who was able to go between him and God to sort some things out. Job was confused. He knew he was righteous, but why all this bad stuff?

Job says, “Know now that God hath overthrown me.” The word “overthrown” is the same Hebrews word translated “crooked” in Ecclesiastes. Job is basically saying, “God has made me crooked!”

Job’s argument with his friends goes like this: “I know I didn’t do anything to deserve this. I don’t know why this is happening. I know God did it to me. I have no idea how to get rid of it. I have no clue. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”

How beautiful! Job knew he had been made crooked by God, thus he also knew there was nothing he could do to straighten out his crookedness. That which is crooked can not be made straight.

Job’s friends, on the other hand, knew exactly what to do! In Job 8, Bildad says

Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression; If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.

Bildad asks whether God’s judgment is perverted. The Hebrew word for “pervert” is the same word translated “crooked” in Ecclesiastes. Bildad knew God’s judgment couldn’t be perverted, THEREFORE, Job is merely getting judgment for his sins. Job should repent and then God would straighten!

Fascinating! Bildad was wrong! Bildad’s hypothetical question, “Doth God pervert judgment?” implies a “no” answer, but his explanation of that answer is wrong! Does that mean God’s judgment of Job is perverted and crooked?

By all appearances, yes! Job didn’t know what was going on, he just knew God would take care of him.

Bildad knew exactly what was going on and exactly how Job could take care of it, and was utterly wrong!

Here’s the thing about straightening crookedness: We don’t even know what the background issues are, how can we possibly think we know how to solve these issues?

Yet who do Christians tend to resemble when they hear other people’s problems:

Job: I don’t know, lets wait and see. No matter what, lets trust God
Bildad: I know what God is up to. Here’s how to fix your problem.

Let us be swift to hear and slow to speak. We cannot straighten that which is crooked. Never forget that we’re part of the crooked.

We Can’t Fix the World’s Problems

Two times Ecclesiastes says, “That which is crooked can not be made straight.”

Crooked things are twisted, perverted, messed up things. Like pretty much everything around us.

This is a fascinating concept. You can’t fix things.

Humanity cannot solve humanity’s problems. Are we aware of this? Or do we just ignore this bit of wisdom like we do the rest of Ecclesiastes?

Isaiah talks about crooked things being made straight three times. Each time the one straightening the crookedness is God.

God is the one who dropped crookedness on us as a result of our rebellion against our Creator. He made the world good; sin made it bad. God warned us that would happen.

God is not crooked, but He’s not afraid to give us crooked results for our crooked actions. God also, however, says that through His goodness we can be made straight.

But nothing else can straighten our crookedness. Got that?

Are you sure?

Government cannot straighten our crookedness. We can not pass laws enough to make us and our problems straight. The war on drugs and the war on poverty demonstrate this quite well. All our best philosophies and tons of resources have gone into solving these problems. Yet the problems persist, and in some ways are worse than ever.

The Church cannot straighten crookedness. Not even if all our guys were voted into office and all our constitutional amendments passed, all our laws were enacted, and Ten Commandments monuments were on every block, still society’s problems would persist.

You cannot solve everyone’s problems. No matter how much you think you know, you are not the one who is equipped to solve other people’s problems.

That which is crooked cannot be made straight.

How depressing.

Actually it’s not depressing, it’s a main reason why people end up going to God! He’s the only one who can straighten our crookedness.

But hang on, before you start thinking you know how to get God to do your bidding, the ultimate straightening is not until He returns, removes the curse, and sets all things right.

We won’t get peace in the Middle East. We won’t solve poverty. We won’t be able to stop homosexuals from getting married. We won’t be able to stop abortion. We won’t.

I know this is not what various organizations who need your donations will tell you, but it is what the Bible says.

So, what do we do? Just sit by and watch the world flame out? Sort of. But we also know the One who can put fires out.

We are to 1) obey God. 2) Stop complaining. 3) Hold onto and hold out the word of life. In so doing we stand out like lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:12-16).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer. Not politicians. Not the church. Not Ten Commandment monuments. The Gospel offers deliverance from crookedness.

But remember, even there, you still live in a crooked world and will get crookedness no matter how much you believe the Gospel. Faith does not deliver you from the curse of the Fall in this life.

That’s why Solomon concludes that life on this earth is vain. This is not our home. Our home is much more straight. Bring the reality of that home into your own life.

No, you can’t solve poverty, but you can help those in need. No, you can’t stop the homosexual agenda, but you might be able to help a homosexual. No, you won’t be able to end abortion, but you may be able to help a young girl care for her child.

Stop worrying about solving all the world’s problems and take advantage of the opportunities around you. Live the Gospel. Preach the Gospel. Let the Lord do the straightening.

Talking About God Does Not Equal Knowing God

Talk is cheap, which is why people do it so much. If we had to pay for everything we said, I guarantee we’d maintain silence.

Talk is also cheap in that words mean next to nothing. Putting your trust in the words of others is a fine way to be let down.

Faith is firmly rooted in God’s Word. God, who knows all things, limited His written revelation to about 1,000 pages. When you consider this, it’s astounding! The amount of words I have written far outnumber God’s! Guess who has more valuable stuff to say? The One who said less. Go figure.

God seems to measure His words, not saying too much nor too little. Sure, we’d like Him to have said more about certain theological issues we argue about and less about genealogies and stuff about ram fat. But God knew what He was doing.

God, who knows all things, said very little. People who know little, often say a lot. In fact, we often substitute verbosity for knowledge. We try to cover ignorance with words.

While Jeremiah bemoans the nearly ruined people of Israel, he describes them to God like this:

You [God] are near to their lips
But far from their mind.

Religion often uses words in place of knowledge. Since few actually know God, yet aren’t comfortable admitting that, they use religious blather to fill the gap. We all lose.

We lose because we have to listen to religious blather.
We lose because we think being religious means being wordy.
We lose because the most vocal people who take over are often the least informed.
We lose because while listening to empty words, we waste time not getting to know God.

The most important thing is to know God. If you don’t know Him, don’t get caught up in verbose religiosity. Don’t try to fool others by using much speech to cover your ignorance.

Long prayers don’t please God, nor does long speech of any kind! Be still and know God. Let the talk flow out of your natural growth in knowledge; don’t let it be a substitute for knowing Him.

“Survival of the Fittest” is the Atheist Version of “God’s Word is True Because It Says it’s True.”

People make many statements, a large portion of which make no sense after a little bit of thought.

Circular reasoning is the basis of many of our “factual” statements. When you catch one of these in action, they’re quite fun to point out.

If a guy were trying to be impressive, he would use the word “tautology.”

Tautology is being redundant, saying the same thing over again, repeating yourself. Exactly.

A tautological statement then is an “empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow.”

Here is a classic piece of tautology widely accepted by many: Survival of the Fittest.

Pointing out the tautology of the Survival of the Fittest goes like this:

Animals who survive are the fittest.
How do you know they are the fittest?
Because they survived.
How did they survive?
Because they are the fittest.
But how do you know they are the fittest?
Because they survived.

And on and on. Survival and Fittest are equated thereby saying the say thing. Survival proves the Fitness, and Fitness proves the Survival.

A classic Christian tautology goes like this:

I believe God’s Word is true because God’s Word says it’s true.

Now, as much as you may believe God’s Word is true because it says it is, you can’t be shocked when someone who doesn’t take God’s Word as truth rejects this line of reasoning.

God’s Word is true.
How do you know God’s Word is true?
Because it says it is.
How do you know that’s true?
Because God’s Word is true.
But how do you know God’s Word is true?
Because it says it is.

Come up with something a little better. Repeating your circular reasoning will win few arguments.

If we demand higher logic out of evolutionists, perhaps we should start with us.

Coexisting With Other People’s Sin

The Bible tells us that we are all sinners. I don’t think universal sinfulness is any sort of new revelation. No kidding.

But the Bible has a point to make about the fact we are all guilty before God–Don’t judge too harshly, consider your own faults before dealing with others, and lighten up would ya?

No really. That’s one of the main points. Consider:

Ecclesiastes 7:20, proof text extraordinaire for this subject, says, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Look at what comes next:

Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”

Since we are all sinners, you must regret some things you have said or done. Therefore, take it easy on others who probably regret what they just said or did that is currently offending you.

Sin is bad. We’re not supposed to do it. But the Bible seems pretty consistent on the fact that we must learn to coexist with sin. We’re not to make peace with sin in our own lives, we are to battle it. This battle WITH OUR OWN SIN should produce humility.

You know you are fighting your own sin seriously when you are humbled enough to lighten up on the sins of others.

Jesus is our ultimate example. He just didn’t seem to have a problem with the awful sins of sinners. He mostly had a problem with people who had a problem with other people’s sins–Pharisees, scribes, elders, “judgmental, self-righteous church people.”

We should learn from all this. The Church should be a place where we’ve learned our lesson and been humbled sufficiently.

Yet the Church seems to major on hammering the sins of others. We’re offended at everything. One person says one thing just a little bit off on Facebook and we must set them right with all the self-righteous verbiage at our disposal.

Good night people! Have you never said anything a little bit off where maybe you can ease up a bit?

The Bible says when we judge others, God will use the same standard to judge us. That should make us never open our mouths again. Ever.

Instead we can’t keep the gaping hole shut.

If you view sin as a problem, shut up about it and fight off your own.

Hey Church, Fight the Right Enemy

James McPherson is an excellent Civil War historian. He has written volumes on the Civil War.

In his recent book he talks about the arrogant Union General, George McClellan, who completely failed as a general. The more he failed, the more arrogant and mean he got. Here is a snippet of one of his tirades against people ON HIS SIDE.

The Secretary of War, he wrote his wife, was “the most depraved hypocrite & villain” he had ever known. If he “had lived in the time of the Savior, Judas Iscariot would have remained a respected member of the fraternity of Apostles.”

I have to admit, that’s pretty funny.

McPherson goes on to explain that McClellan had more animosity and hatred for other generals and politicians of the Union than he ever expressed toward the actual enemy, the Confederates.

Wow, if that doesn’t sound like church!

McClellan had early success as a leader of troops, which vaulted him quickly into the echelons of power. Immediately this new-found power went to his head, and the jerkness began.

McClellan began to lead troops not to win, but to not fail to maintain his reputation. The more he was criticized for his inaction and losses, the more vile his blame of others became.

Although one of the most despised Civil War Generals by historians, he is a fascinating study in human behavior.

Early success is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. We watch athletes and pop singers hit the big time at a young age, and before long they are bombed out on drugs and committing suicide.

It’s a sad thing. But most of us don’t get that sort of extreme stuff. But we find something out, something no one else knows, some new insight into Jesus and we think we’ve arrived.

We then begin to belittle and bash all those who don’t see things like we do, since we had our big experience and insight.

Knowledge puffs up. Pride and arrogance are our biggest dangers. We ought to fight the true enemy rather than blame fake enemies.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. You are your biggest problem, not anyone else. Fight that fight first. Take the beam out of your eye before worrying about dust in others eyes.