Wednesday, 26 March 2008

This Sunday, Jezebel and life at RFC

So this Sunday I am preaching on Rev 2:18-29 and am pondering the meaning of tolerating Jezebel.

Jezebel was an Old Testament woman who incited King Ahab and Israel to compromise by worshipping the false God 'Baal'. (1Kings 16:31, 2Kings 9:22,30-37). She was a nasty piece of work (1Kings 19:1-2) and hated God's people. In the New Testament city of Thyatira it seems as though a 'Jezebel figure' was an established influence / teacher in the church who was arguing that some degree of participation in idolatrous aspects of local culture was permissible.

So here is my question: in our desire to be in engaged in and exposed to our culture (and not be in a christian enclave) where can we slip into pagan idolatry? For example, what aspects of our culture try to define us or promise us self worth?

5 comments:

thebluefish said...

Mark Driscoll was highlighting prayer labyrinths as pagan recently, which is kinda obvious. I guess it's the more subtle things that are going to slip in under the radar that need to be rooted out.

thebluefish said...

What a picture of The King of Psalm 2 who will strike down the paganqueen who is infiltrating his church.

Sean Green said...

Mr Bish - what are the more subtle things then?

thebluefish said...

"some degree of participation in idolatrous aspects of local culture was permissible"

The obvious is the way we buy into the rights culture we live in, the expectation that certain material things are deserved. Materially speaking I wonder if it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between the world and the church.... That could be one area. But then maybe that's an obvious one...

Richard Walker said...

I know this comes late, but it only came to mind, as I have been reading the Mahaney book you have lent me.

I think we as the materially prosperous Western church could glean a lot from Deut. 8 esp. v17-20. There is a slow but definite transition from dependence on God to trusting in oneself. God slowly and subtly moves from being in the foreground to being in the background as human strength and ingenuity is exalted.

Our idols are not blocks of wood or stone, but mirrors.