Have it your way, have…
Sometimes you feel like a nut…
Oh I wish I were an…
I bet you were able to finish each one of those phrases. Those clever jingles are selling a product and the catch is chasing after your desires. That’s how Madison Avenue sells products; they validate our wants. Is there anything wrong with this? Sure, because it leads to the entitlement mentality that is the bedrock of American society today.
And this entitlement mentality is why half of the Americans pay taxes and the other half do not. It is the essence of class warfare and it is a view of the depth of man’s depravity. It was the entitlement mentality that lead Eve to sin.
“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:4-6)
It is because of the entitlement mentality today students think all they have to do is go to college and bam, they’ll earn a six-figure income when they graduate from college. Just put in your four years, get your degree and you’ve arrived. The idea of working hard over a long period of time to reach financial and vocational success is not a good recruiting strategy in today’s give-it-to-me now America. And the church plays right along by “meeting the needs of the flock”; making sure the music is just right or worse yet, have different services to meet the different musical and theological tastes, which only separates a church by design.
I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: if I could strike one word from the American lexicon it would be entitlement. We are entitled to nothing; we “are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Everyone likes the idea of happiness but far too many forget that we are to pursue it; that is to attain through our own industry, not by someone else’s. That’s called stealing, not someone paying their fair share. So if you are still thinking that today, I would like to help you with some Biblical counseling: STOP IT!
Okay, I’m only half-kidding, but the Bible indeed tells us to stop pursuing get rich schemes and desiring other people’s property:
“He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.” (Proverbs 12:11)
The Hebrew word for understanding literally means “heart.” Frivolity is “the quality or state of being frivolous” and frivolous means a “lack of seriousness; self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.”
Following frivolity always leads to covetousness, which leads to entitlement. And what does the Bible say about coveting?
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
Yep there it is in black and white…”you shall not.” In other words: STOP IT!
So how does this entitlement mentality creep its way into our churches and seminaries? Two words: social justice. That is a liberal, leftist, socialist, communist, whatever name you want to give it, that is the way the entitlement mentality works its way into the sermons across America and the textbooks in our seminaries. Let’s make the people feel guilty about the poor.
Um, pastor…how about you preach obedience, the people start bringing the tithe, and all that social justice mumbo jumbo will work itself out. I don’t need government doing the work of the church. That’s why too many churches are now aligned with the G-O-P instead of G-O-D.
Whenever the church starts trying to be like the world, well it never works out for the glory of God:
“But they mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works; they served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and played the harlot by their own deeds.” (Psalm 106:35-29)
Sound familiar? I’m just sayin…
One of these days the church will learn that it is not to be associated with evil; that we are counter-culture and not supposed to go along to get along. We are never allowed to compromise with evil nor are we to choose the lesser of two evils. Evil is evil no matter its degree.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
Ah yes Bro Dave, there’s that unequally yoked thing again. What does that actually mean? Does it mean we can’t be around unbelievers? Hold that thought.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers