When the ark was returned to the city of Bethshemesh, they all rejoiced to see it (1 Sam 6:13).
It is possible many people from the towns came to see it like a tourist attraction.
God obviously hated that.
The men of Bethshemesh foolishly looked into the ark and God destroyed fifty thousand and seventy men (1 Sam. 6:19).
Yahweh shows no favoritism and the ark was not their property just because they said they were religious and it was rightful furniture of where they worshiped.
They were just well informed religious people who had chosen the pagan idols of the Baals and the Ashtoreths of their day alongside of the true God and God was going to shut down their religious show.
If they were going to be like this, He did not want to be among them and he was for the time content to be in an open field rather than in Shiloh Worship Center. It makes one weep to think he found no place among men.
Today, many contemporary worship centers refuse to preach the scripture replacing it with a water downed version of pop theology that appeals to everyone that was ignorant of the word.
Is it possible that today, that as we see God’s sentences of justice against wickedness among the sin benighted nations-we feel justified.
You see, those who believe they can be saved by their religious practices have a low view of sin and a high view of self. Like Cain, they offer what they do to God like corrupt vegetables and toxic salad and want God to accept what they think should please him rather than what actually pleases him. They do not see how God demands perfection and that perfection is found in Christ alone.
Yet, they can never accept salvation by grace alone but they fight it they think it is never enough. Fake Churchianity and the institutional churches of today that do not align themselves with the word of the Lord will face his justice as well because they are not protected by the blood of the Cross.
Many institutional worship centers and their life coaches are coy when it comes to releasing the full force of Scripture on the consciences of their hearers. So in the name of being practical they engage people on the basis of quality of life and success rathere than on the terms of the gospel and the new covenant.
Christ warns, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mk. 8:38).
We are used to hearing that verse in terms of being a witness of the gospel message to those who are lost. But again that is not completely the case. Backslidden men and churches that are uncomfortable with preaching undiluted scripture, nervous about disclosing what the Bible teaches about Christ are an embarrassment to God and his angels.
About a year ago, we heard of a church with 7, 500 members in Long Island NY that someone who was serving communion to packed house and several services on Christmas day had Hepatitis A.[i]
But imagine something worse happening to people in the worship centers of our day.
Mulder and Scully show up and see an embarrassed pastor at his wits end because his congregation has rats scampering in the fellowship hall during Sunday school (for the churches who still have it) and unable to sit in their pews due to tumors (for the churches who still have them) during service because it hurts to do so.
After a while the pastor and his staff are being confronted by the congregation needless to say, their neighbors and businesses about the rats and the public health concern about the hemorrhoids.
They even wear masks and gloves to prevent the R5-H5 virus (taken from the five golden rats and five golden hemorrhoids analogy) to solve their problem.
Imagine that in church buildings all over the country-the same problem was spreading even to their missionaries overseas.
The story goes on that people do not want to come to church. The only thing the pastors, deacons and elders can do is tell their congregation to just wash their hands until they come up with an inoculation of some sort. It is not that they do not want to sit in church but they want to be able to sit period! So the church leadership must offer some other solution. It would be hard to attract people in our churches in such a condition, no matter the latest program because we would be infested with rats and disease. All our programs no matter how seeker sensitive would go right out the window.
The diseased message of American Churchianity has brought a pandemic global spiritual plague because what is being preached across pulpits and endorsed by churches and denominations is not the message of the Bible.
Imagine if we had a symbol of God’s presence like Israel did in the ark?
It is the Cross.
Unlike the ark that was stolen in battle, we just put it outside in the church shed. For those of you unfamiliar with biblical types and symbols the ark is referred to as the mercy-seat. It is a type of when Jesus died on the cross. It is the message of Christ Crucified, Buried and Raised Again has been neglected.
There is a movement that is out to take all classical Christianity out of the church (except of course some of the religious biblical nomenclature that we can market) and any symbols, the cross, Bibles, hymn books out of the church and set the church up with a stage and video screens.
These people use the Bible and the holy things of God for their own motives and they dress up in religiosity and spiritual infomercials. Their goal is to make God and church more palatable to those who still hate God and the gospel.
You have to eventually change the message because of the methodology. The message of the cross is too powerful, too untamed for people to handle.
The message of grace is too radical, even destructive to people’s lives. The exclusive claims of Christ create such a large gap between other religions and philosophies that it leaves true Christianity diametrically opposed to everything that claims to be truth around it.
The message of the Cross refuses to cohabitate nor takes second place to man centered fleshy ideas of church growth and salvation.
It is so radical it will leave many worship centers only with a stump left of their fishy, rat infested, diseased message.
The Cross is the great leveler of human pride and idolatry. It is too heavy for many! But the cure, the only healer is Christ and his presence among his people. It is the reclamation of the truth of the gospel that is the vital and necessary element for the church today.
© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.