Over the last few weeks we've been "treated" to three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate. Generally speaking I cannot stand watching these debates because they aren't true debates. It is a lot of empty rhetoric, grandstanding, and mudslinging. I'd prefer candidates engage in a true "Lincoln-Douglas"-formatted debate over a lot of talk with such little walk. Watching portions of these debates got me thinking how often I hear similarly empty rhetoric from fellow Christians. It all sounds so good when people talk about being gospel-centered and when they speak as though the Word is so central to preaching, worship, church life, and daily lifestyle but is it all talk with no walk?
If I had a nickle for every time I heard someone say "we just need to focus on the Word" or mock other Christians and churches for not "being about the Word" and then I see that person with the same kind of materialism as anyone in the world or with a fickle commitment to being present when the Word is taught or with a apathetic attitude toward sharing the Word with others... well I'd have a bank full of nickels. It is inconsistent and self-righteous. Having a high view of God's Word is essential but having a high view of His Word does not mean you can just quote some verses, or that you listen to a few podcasts of celebrity preachers, or that you can quote theological terms. Having a high view of the Word means that you take it all seriously and not just the parts that are convenient to American comforts and consumerism.
So if the Word is so essential and important to you-- as it should be-- then don't just pride yourself in saying that. Do it. Quit treating the church--the Bride of Christ-- like a hooker. Quit treating the gospel as something you earned and don't have to share. Quit treating your calendar as the idol by which God must conform to. Quit treating your job as a means to your gain rather than as an arena for God's glory. Quit treating your body as something outside God's concern (we're not gnostics). James 1:21-22 says, "Put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."