Sunday, September 26, 2010

Discernment and Devotionals

My younger son is playing Upward flag football this year. At halftime, while the players are meeting with their coaches, a devotional is given for the parents and friends on the bleachers. During the devotional yesterday, the person leading the devotion asked us, “What does God want?” He then proceeded to tell us that we find the answer in Genesis, that it tells us in Genesis that God was lonely and wanted to create man to have a relationship with him.

My jaw dropped, I whipped my head around to look over at my husband and saw that he and the friend he was talking to had both raised their eyebrows. I was making mental notes to talk to my older son afterward since he was sitting there at the end of the bench listening to the devotional, too.

After the man was done speaking and the game started again, my older son slid down the bleacher and sat next to me and said, “I don’t think that was right. God wasn’t lonely, was He?” I was overjoyed to hear him say that. We talked about how, no, God doesn’t NEED anything. He has perfect fellowship within the Trinity, hard as that is for our minds to grasp. We were created for His glory. Yes, we get to have relationship with Him through Jesus Christ alone, that is a glorious benefit we receive through faith in Christ, and He does love us. But God was NOT lonely. And reading Genesis will not tell you that He was.

I also told my boy that’s why it’s SO important that we read the Bible for ourselves and know what it says so we can discern when someone tells us something that isn’t right. I told him one of my favorite things that I’ve heard Alistair Begg say when preaching is, “You’re sensible people. Go and read it for yourself and make sure that what I am saying is true.”

I’m thankful that the man sharing on Saturday wants to share the gospel with the people sitting on those bleachers. He is also not the first person I have heard try to explain it that way. I just wish that we in the evangelical church would get over ourselves and stop trying to make it all about us humans and realize that it really is all about God. All about His glory. I wish we would see God for how truly awesome He is. We are created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. And I really wish we would read our Bibles and be like the Bereans and know what it says and speak it clearly. Just because it's a short devotional doesn't mean we can be careless with our theology. Bad theology from a “Christian” or “church” setting is more dangerous to my children than the things they hear out in the world, if you want to know the truth of the matter, because they expect to hear the truth in those settings and it is presented as being biblical.

And I am so very thankful that God is working in my son’s heart and granting him the discernment to recognize error. May we be faithful to teach him God’s word and to encourage him to read it for himself so that he will grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord who is saving him.


Lisa writes... said...

Good for your boy! Way to show discernment and wisdom both! How cool he went to you for truth!

Reminds me of a discussion we had at church recently in which we discussed the poor theology of (by way of example) the song "You thought of me above all." My friend who loves Michael W Smith had never considered that song as heresy; she was disappointed--but she got over it. We had great fun at her expense.

No, He was not lonely; we do not meet some previously lacking relationship need He had; and no, He does not think of us above all!

Rebekah said...

I agree about that song. I haven't been able to sing that one for a long time once I really started thinking about it.