Thursday, March 10, 2011

false optimism

Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, "Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us."
Micah 3:11

There is always money to be made in making people feel good. That is what Micah takes the leadership of Israel and Judah to task for in this passage. They were more than willing to disobey God with selfish motives, all the while proclaiming a message of peace with God. This was the kind of thing that kept the nation from repenting. They had no reason from the leaders to do otherwise. A false message of comfortable optimism made the leaders complicate in a spiritual conspiracy.

And this kind of thinking still goes on. Every year Christian publishers put out more books than I have time to count, let alone read. Many of them are perfectly fine. It is the best sellers that can be bothersome. We have evangelical leaders embracing a life of ease, and a theology that Christianity is best satisfied right now. There is no serious thought that God is working a plan for His glory for a future kingdom. When was the last time a Christian bestseller centered on the judgment of God? We have a practical denial by omission of any future worth working toward. We have books that make sensual pleasure a spiritual reward. We have books that deny much of what scripture teaches. And the church at large just vacuums it all in.

We are suckers for false optimism. It is what got us in trouble with Satan's first lie to humanity: "You shall not die, but be as God knowing good and evil". And we have been falling for that line ever since, in one new shade or another fresh nuance that deceives us.

The text warns that the leaders who were doing this were "lean"ing on the Lord. They were presuming on God Who at the moment was preparing judgment against them. They were not doing anything for God, just content to prop back against a comfortable theology that denied His right to judge. And they would be the first to suffer under His correction. That is the destiny of false optimism. We would do well to look to it.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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