Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Vision (5/27/10): A famine of hearing the word of the Lord
An article in the local newspaper last weekend described a recent new age “Whole Life” Conference that was held in Charlottesville. In reviewing the various opportunities the conference presented, the writer observed: “Today you can heal through gratitude and zero balancing, chase your shadow to expand your spiritual growth and dance, dance, dance.” Classes offered last Sunday included “advice on birthing, Afton Mountain’s spiritual legacy, Tibetan Bon Buddhism meditation and balancing the body through charkas.” Other courses included ones on how to “talk to your angels” and how to communicate with your pets (or “animal partners” as the article refers to them).
We could echo Paul’s observations concerning the ancient city of Athens, “Men of Charlottesville, I perceive that in all things you are very religious” (cf. Acts 17:22). G. K. Chesterton’s quip comes to mind that when men stop believing in the God of the Bible the problem is not that they will believe nothing but that they will believe anything. When Old Testament Israel battled with false worship and syncretism, the Lord spoke through the prophet Amos to announce, “Behold the days are coming …. That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). We will meet many spiritual seekers in our community, but they are usually not seeking the jealous God of the Bible. As Paul put it, “There is none who seeks after God” (Romans 3:11b).
It is to such a time and such a place that the Lord has called us to be his witnesses. We need not be dismayed. Our call is to announce to this city, as Paul did to Athens, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given us assurance of this by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Let us be compassionate, bold, and confident in bearing witness to the risen Lord in this community.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle