Bench warming for apathy
I was talking with a long time friend and we were discussing those people who have read and understand too much of scripture to be content with what church offers for the average believer. My friend made the comment that many believers who find themselves frustrated end up being dissatisfiedly involved in their local church, figuring it is better to do something than nothing at all.
Should believers exchange the gifts of the Holy Spirit in church for participation in some ministry? Should believers be forced to forsake the office of Prophet and Apostle for the office of the Pastor only? Should we be forced to accept commentaries and well planned humor in place of the power of God in our services? The list goes on and on as to what frustrates the believer who reads his word, when one looks at their church in the light of scripture.
So what of it? Is it better for the believer who is frustrated with their church to continue to participate in their church, even though the practices and in some cases the preaching doesn’t really reflect what we find in God’s word? If it doesn’t line up with God’s word, isn’t it really idolatry that we now practice, in the name of “It’s better than doing nothing”.
I know of a man who kept the worship, kept the sacrifices, kept the priesthood, and even made it more accessible to those seeking. But he offered spiritual death in all of this. He offered idolatry.
Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.” After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there. Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.
Should Israel have participated in such worship? Absolutely not! It was a sin. But what do we as believers do that is any different than what these men of Israel did? Do we participate in something the Holy Spirit has been wrestling with us about? If we have come to understand the gospel we put our hope in differently than what is taught and done in the church, what credit is it of ours if we participate any longer? Why do we think the Holy Spirit wrestled with us in the first place? So we can console ourselves with, “at least we are doing something”. With that attitude go join the idolatry of Israel. They at least were doing something too.
I can hear Jeroboam’s priest already, “Forsake not the fellowship.” Fellowship with what, light and darkness, God’s word with man’s wisdom?
Remember we will be judge by the word of God, not by the word of man.
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.
So go ahead and think it ok to be a bench warmer for the church. After all it is better than doing nothing, right?
Here at The Gospel According to the Gospel it is advocated that we need to forsake the god of our fathers and get back to the God of scripture. Don’t let you bench warming for apathy keep you in a practice of idolatry when the Holy Spirit is prompting you to seek that which is found in scripture.
If we do not stick up for the word of God in church, how can we say we are not ashamed of God before men?
 1Kings 12:26-31
 John 12:47-49