Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rebuilding the Church

A recent post on John Michael Talbot's blog hit home. I am increasingly concerned about the "commercialization" of Christianity. I long for the day that our message and image in the public eye will no longer be characterized by our seemingly incessant greed for money, fame and influence; but rather our love, devotion and passion for Jesus and people. JMT writes:

Luke 19:45-48

My house is meant for a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. v. 46

The Jews had externalized and commercialized even their place of prayer, so they had come to externalize and politicize God’s peace. They had missed the internal, so God would never give them the external.


Ironically, God will give external graces if we first seek the internal ones. "Seek first his kingship over you, his way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides." But we must also have a detachment from the external before we can find the internal. "You cannot give yourself to God and to money. What man thinks is important, God holds in con­tempt." Or, "If anyone comes to me without turning his back on his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, indeed his very self, he cannot be my follower." Yet he goes on to say there is no one who has given these things up "who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as much - and persecution besides - and in the age to come, everlasting life."Without internal prayer we can never have lasting peace. We cannot have real prayer with such a gross commercialization of spirituality.


And what about today? Never before has there been such an overflowing torrent of Jesus "junk." Today we must return to a reverential use of our houses of prayer. It is fine to have books available as a ministry and service to the people of God, but commercialization in God’s name will surely bring down God’s wrath!Is our present abundance God’s gracing of externals because we have sought only the internal? Are we truly detached and poor in spirit? Or have we simply set up an abundance of money changers’ tables in the house of the Lord? We cannot have peace until we pray, and we cannot pray without overturning these money changers' tables within our own hearts and souls, as well as within our local house of prayer.

by John Michael Talbot

Here is a link to John Michael Talbot's blog: