jesus fish

November 30, 2012

Lying Liars

Filed under: Old Testament, Songs of Ascents — Karen @ 4:30 am
A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find motivation to set out on the Christian way

As long as we think that the next election might eliminate crime and establish justice or another scientific break through might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety into a life of tranquility, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith. A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace.

Peterson, Eugene. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Downers Grove, Ill., Intervarsity Press, 1980

Psalm 120 is an admission that we have been lied to. Friends lie to us. Enemies lie. Lies of strangers and lies of lovers. This world is a lie and a fraud. The lie consists of the notion that the only thing that is required is a little more effort, a little more discipline, a little more planning. We can fix ourselves. We don’t need God.

It is an insidious idea, often wrapped up in the form of well meaning advice, but a lie all the same. Particularly in the United States, we treasure the idea of the self made man. Success is measured in dollars and cents. Churches may tally their worth indirectly, in membership or number of baptisms or Sunday attendance but the bottom line is the bottom line. Bigger is better. God helps those who help themselves.

I’m doomed to live in Meshech
Cursed with a home in Kedar.
Psalms 120:5

Despite the discouragement of the psalmist’s voice, Peterson frames the lament as a positive. His dissatisfaction is a good thing. He should be disgusted with the status quo. The world is no friend to faith. Christians who are comfortable with the lying liars of self sufficiency need to re-examine their allegiance.

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