(Image courtesy of http://www.driverlayer.com.)

By way of introduction...

Everyone has an opinion.  Everyone has something they want to say.  Everyone wants to be heard.

If you have Facebook you know what I'm talking about.  What do you post on Facebook?  What do you see other people posting?  Stories.  Complaints.  Videos.  Gossip.  Bragging.  Problems.  It is a world saturated with self, dripping with
self-indulgence.  Every post is connected with one person; one profile name pops up with each post.  It's all about you.

If you don't believe me, think about it a little longer.  Ponder it.  Let the world of Facebook (to just take one example of many) soak into you until it melts down to the core.  At the core, we want people to "like" our statuses, our pictures, our videos - we want others to like us.  Why?  Because we want our voice to be heard.  When we get "likes," we know our voice is heard.  Or, at least, it gives us the perception that we are heard.

"It's all about you."  Totally consumed by self, we go on with our happy, blissful lives.  And we live a lie.  We live the greatest lie ever.  Period.

Adam and Eve were deceived in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter 3.  The first man and the first woman fell.  And they fell hard.  Now, all humanity is suffering the effects of their decision.  Their sin of eating a piece of forbidden fruit was simply the action, but the motive comes from what the serpent promised them: "Surely, you won't die.  But your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God Himself!"

There it is!  Do you see it?  The serpent told us we would be like God.  He deceived them to believe that it was all about them.  And now we suffer because of it, just like our father (or former father, I hope) the devil suffered when he wanted to be like God - and was violently removed from Heaven for all time.

"It's all about you."  A lie.  A lie from the pit of hell.

I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing what "you" think.  It holds no power over me, what you think.  It doesn't even matter what I think.  I hold no weight in the truth of the world.  I can speak no truth.  For I am a sinner in the flesh, deceived, thus only capable of deceiving.

Let me offer a bit of a disclaimer.  I am not ranting against freedom of speech or in regards to building relationships with other people through the speech-communication process.  There is some talk that is beneficial, some talk that bears no more weight than joking among friends.  If I was operating under the premise that all speech was a waste, then there would be no point of writing this or reading anything else except the Bible.  But I am speaking about the way of Truth.  Let me be more blunt: Many well-meaning Christians believe what they believe simply because their pastor or mom or dad taught them to believe that.  That is the way I was, until recently.

Of course, not everything my mom and dad and pastors taught me was false.  In fact, probably very little of it was.  But to let the Word of God teach and mold your beliefs is to know Truth.  And the Truth, my dear friend, will set you free - from deception, from lies, from "you."

I am sick and tired of going into a physical location known as church and listening to the pastor open up the Word of God, read the Words of Life from the pulpit... and then ramble on and on for an hour, sharing illustrations trying to prove his point and deliver a feel good message of the blessings of God for our lives.  The focus has been removed from God and been placed on us.

Look at the praise songs we sing in church.  How many times are we the focus of them?
"Oh how He loves US..."
"WE are His portion and He is OUR prize..."
"Jesus loves ME..."
And now compare these to the praise songs of Heaven:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain..."
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come..."
"Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things and by Your will they existed and were created."
Instead, we focus on ourselves.  We look to other men to teach us the way of salvation.  We go to "church" (FYI: the church is the body of believers, the bride of Christ, NOT a building!) and focus on ourselves.  "Oh, I just love your dress."  "Did you see the pastor's tie?  It did not match his shirt."  "How He loves me!"  "I want you all to know of God's free gift of salvation for YOU!"

No, no, NO!  STOP IT!

We were created by God and for God (Revelation 4:11).  We were created to worship Him (Colossians 1:16).  We were not created to receive God's blessings, although blessings from God are a result of obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 12:28, Deuteronomy 28:2).

Our focus has been backwards ever since Adam and Eve sinned.  God does not exist for us.  We exist for Him (Revelation 4:11)!

The world doesn't need more well-meaning Christians sharing good things.  The world needs the TRUTH!  The church-goers need the Truth!  And here's the irony: The church goers have the Truth right in front of them - and probably many of them have it as an app on their smartphones too!  But a closed book does no good.  Open the Word of God and "examine yourself to find out if you are in the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5) and let the Word of God "transform your thinking" (Romans 12:2).

Enough with ramblings from the pulpit.  Enough with church culture focused around humans.  Enough!  Pastors: We want the Truth!  We want the Word of God!  We don't care about your opinions of Scripture or your own illustrated, five point sermon, carefully prepared.  We want you to break down the context, the setting, the message of the Word of God!  I can log into Facebook and read other, fruitless material.  But when it comes to Truth, the Word of God must be held preeminent.

Oh dear Christian, open the Word of the Father and read for yourself, discover for yourself the Truth.  Find out who you are and who God is.  Know the Truth!

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success" (Joshua 1:8).

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God" (Deuteronomy 8:3).