Vent warning - I have a confession. I don't know if I am fueled by frustration or jealousy when I see fellow believers evidencing their passion for play, big toys and self-aggrandisement with photos of huge campers and running around with little ATV's on Facebook. Or snorkeling in tropical waters far off - or even false eyelashes and implants. I realize that the measure I use (no pun) will be used for me as well, but I think it may be deeper than a surface annoyance. It looks like some type of justifying blindness. The justifying usually comes via a 10% check conveniently placed in a plate or box at the one location-for one+ hour-on one day a week. I'm going to once again place blame on the cultural condition we find ourselves in (therein the blindness).
A good friend (Jim Black) posted a link on FB that articulates the problem. It is an article from Minnesota Christian Chronicle Online published last month. It is called The good news in the decline of American Christianity written by Greg Boyd
This following insight jumped off the page for me as indicative but also as a personal caveat.
By contrast, whenever Christianity has become popular among those who are part of the dominant culture, it has tended to stagnate. While there are exceptions, the Christianity of the dominant culture has always tended to absorb and even “Christianize” the core values of its culture. It has thus tended to manifest less and less of the unique, counter-cultural values of the Jesus-looking Kingdom—values such as humility, simplicity, self-sacrificial service, community, unconditional love and non-violence.My response was a Charlie Brownian "THAT'S IT!"
The unique power and beauty of the Gospel tends to get diluted, and the church gradually is reduced to little more than a slightly Christianized version of the broader culture.
Lord, help me to discover the secrecy of the Kingdom virtues of dying to self on a daily basis. Sting me with conviction when I start to erect any kind of Asherim beside the altar I build to you.