Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I will be preaching at the Senior Fellowship in Chinatown. It has been a while that I did not share my ministry with the senior citizens in our church, who have been faithfully praying for our ministry. Pray that God will use me to be a blessing to them just like they have blessed me with their support.
Eugene Peterson pointed out a common problem that Christians would easily stumble upon – which is to portrait a wrong image of God in our culture. Satan is very smart to penetrate our culture and alter the image of God through the manipulation of mass media (T.V. and movies etc.). Unconsciously we accept the ideology or value system that Mass Media delivers. As a result we develop a wrong concept about who God really is.
It is wicked to tell a person that God is an angry tyrant storming through the heavens, out to get every trespasser and throw him into the lake of fire. It is wicked to tell a person that God is a senile grandfather dozing in a celestial rocking chair with only the shortest of attention spans for what is going on in the world. It is wicked to tell a person that God is a compulsively efficient and utterly humorless manager of a tightly run cosmos, obsessed with getting the highest productivity possible out of history and with absolutely no concern for persons apart from their usefulness.
If we believe that God is an angry tyrant, we are going to defensively avoid him if we can. If we believe that God is a senile grandfather, we are going to live carelessly and trivially with no sense of transcendent purpose. If we believe that God is an efficiency expert, we are going to live angry at being reduced to a function and never appreciated as a person.
It is wicked to tell a person a lie about God because, if we come to believe the wrong things about God, we will think the wrong things about ourselves, and we will live meanly or badly. Telling a person a lie about God distorts reality, perverts lire and damages all the processes of living. While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude (Galatians 2:4, The Message).
That’s why I openly speak against Santa Clause as a celebrative figure of Christmas. Even though genuine Christians know that Santa Clause is only a man-make myth, unfortunately, people accept it as a portrait of God. God is like a Santa Clause who will reward children with gifts for their good behavior. Is it a true image of God? Yes, God is loving and kind like Santa Clause. He is a fair judge who will reward people for doing good. But God is more than that…and Christmas is not about this mythical figure. Christians need to know and tell who God really is. Amen.
Love you because God first loves us,