In the past few days I read a book called The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani. Apart from the content, I mostly wanted to read a book by a guy with such a great name. But the content is compelling. Don’t read it if you don’t want to be a little uncomfortable with the way we’ve been doing church the last 25 years.
Jethani says “The reduction of even sacred things into commodities also explains why we exhibit so little reverence for God. In a consumer worldview he has no intrinsic value apart from his usefulness to us. He is a tool we employ, a force we control, and a resource we plunder.” God really has become a “genie in the Bible”.
His statement reminds me of a book I read sometime ago called The Trivialization of God.
We have taken the all-powerful creator the universe and portrayed him as manageable… a kind of glorified waiter. We have taken God who the Bible describes as the “all-consuming” fire and turned him into a pocket flashlight. There is no awe… no reverence… no fear.
It is no wonder that the world pays little attention to us.
It seems to me that we need to go back to our roots. We need to remind ourselves and those who sit in our churches that God does not exist for me. I exist for him. He does not exist to serve me. I exist to serve him. And, he doesn’t owe me anything. I am not entitled to anything. Prosperity, or health, or the “good life” is not mine to demand.
After 38 chapters of silence in the book of Job, God finally speaks. In essence he says to Job, “I’m God. You’re not. I don’t owe you an explanation.”
Job was put in his place and he appropriately responded…I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance. John 42:6
Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us to sit in dust and ashes and repent that we have turned the consuming fire into a consumer faith.