By Danni Moss
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It blows my mind when God puts together a new insight from the Word when I’m not even looking for or expecting to find it. The night before last, He showed me the Scripture and insight that I wrote in my previous post, Abuse in the Church? Be Ye Warmed and Filled!. This morning in church He drew some additional connections to this.
First, I need to backtrack to a post I wrote a few months ago, Sodom and Gommorah & the Modern Church. I was astounded to realize that the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality, but pride, materialism and self-gratification, idleness, and failure to stand up for the afflicted and needy. In light of yesterday’s post, this underscores the significance and relevance of Sodom’s sin and the sin of modern Christianity.
This morning God showed me Isaiah 1:10-26. This is a long passage, so I am not going to copy it here. I strongly recommend that you stop and read it before proceeding.
Instead of copying it here, I am going to paraphrase it as I see it applying to the situation of the modern Church’s failure to stand up for the afflicted and oppressed inside its doors. Look at the original to judge for yourself that I’m not going completely off a reasonable understanding of an appropriate application of the text. I am not intending to be flippant or to twist Scripture. I think the context bears out the point I’m attempting to make.
Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of the church!
“What are these many services and programs you multiply in offering to Me?” says the Lord.
“I have had enough of great music, and impressive media bites; and I take no pleasure in your series’ of missions offerings.
“When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this modern shrine of architecture and polished programming served to throngs of congregants each week?
“Bring your worthless offerings no longer, your programs are an abomination to Me…
“I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
“I hate your festivals and your special events, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you;
Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.
“Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,
“Learn to do good; seek justice, RELIEVE THE OPPRESSED, DEFEND THE ORPHAN, PLEAD FOR THE WIDOW.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord…
“If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly the mouth of the Lord has spoken!
How the faithful church has become a harlot, she who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, but now murderers…
Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone panders to what will bring in new members and large offerings.
They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them.
Therefore the Lord God of hosts…declares, “I will be relieved of My adversaries and avenge Myself on My foes.
“I will also turn My hand against you…
“Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; after that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.
Think this doesn’t apply to the church? Do you think this only applies to the Israelites whom God was comparing to Sodom and Gomorrah? The Word says the church is not exempt.
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.