Saturday, January 31, 2009

A NATION DESPERATE FOR HEROES

Really, a world desperate for heroes....The adulation of the airline pilot who landed his craft in the Hudson is another example of the on-going search by the world for a Hero. Two things about that specific incident before I go on to "make an application"--Captain Sully did a good job. But that's exactly what he did: his job. If he's anywhere near the man I think he is, he would be the first to tell you that 99% of professional pilots would have done the same. He's a fighter pilot. That says it all to anyone who knows pilots. Yes, he's good; that's what fighter pilots are. Secondly, I hope he eschews the glory being heaped upon him knowing that only the hand of God kept that from being a disaster, despite his skills and reflexes. Very few of the reports credit God with much in this matter, which is typical of the world.

What the world wants is a man to worship. Captain Sully is the Man of the Hour right now. We have often heard of men having a god-size hole in their being which only God can fill. Some truth in that; men have a need to worship, and their innermost desire is to worship themselves. We work to fit ourselves into that hole and seek to establish ourselves as God. Only the true and living One, the Creator/Redeemer Lord Jesus Christ can cast out that self-worship and establish Himself in our hearts. When men fail in establishing themselves as god, they seek other men to put into the place of worship. Thus the need for "heroes."

It's especially difficult to work around the true God's role in the advent of heroes like Captain Sully because even the most casual unbeliever casts a few crumbs of credit in the direction of his amorphous "god" for delivering the aircraft passengers. But, for the most part, care is taken to clarify that God would have failed had it not been for the uncanny skills of the crew.

This hero-seeking carries over into the church and professed Bible-believers. So often we hear Hebrews 11 referred to as the Hall of Fame...an extraordinary appellation, equating those named therein with sports or music celebrities when in fact the scripture emphasizes the weakness and sinfulness of men who were nonetheless useful instruments in the hands of a great God.

What greater examples of man-worship and idolatry are there in the "church" today than the near-deification, at least beatification (the Protestant form of canonization...) of preachers and other church leaders? The triumphalism which runs rampant in the modern evangelical assembly is displayed by the boasting about large congregations ("we have 25,000; we have 35,000"...ad nauseum); boasting about celebrity members in the congregations; and most egregious of all, boasting about the leadership--"Reverend Doctor Big Shot is my pastor!" "Brother Neverbeen Humble is my preacher!"

A good look at the New Testament should reveal that "being somebody," being a "hero," is not high on the list of Christian character traits. Paul said he would boast in being the scum of the earth if that's what it took for Christ to be the focus of his ministry. God chose the weak and foolish, he called the discards and the despised of this world for a reason: that no man could boast in the presence of God.

The world looks for "heroes" while God looks for His sheep. Sheep are pretty humble creatures, wholly dependent upon their Shepherd. There's only one Hero; His name is Jesus.

1 comment:

mefrye said...

An excellent post Brother Ed! You have once again put your figure a very important fact. God is worthy and He only is worthy.