Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Be a Friend, Change the World (Or Maybe Not)

Bill Nissen, a local pastor, posted a video on YouTube this morning with a message he believes to be the most important he has ever recorded or ever will record.

Really?  Some quick thoughts on his points:

1.  Be a friend of God – How does someone become a friend of God?  (Is there a meet-and-greet?)  How does someone maintain a friendship with God?  Which God are we even speaking about?

2.  Be a good friend, and 3.  Make new friends – When my daughter was in Camp Fire, one of the songs they learned had the lyrics Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, and the other gold.”  Are people unable to form close friendships?  Is friendship with God actually a requirement to be a good friend to others?

In fairness, the three points do correlate to biblical truths, but they are being couched in relational language instead of God's word.  The video should have been a spin-off of something Jesus said:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  (Matt 22:37-39)
Is any of this nation- or world-changing as the video asserts?  No, it is simply hyperbole.  This is what happens when an under-shepherd of God's flock gets confused with his other occupation as a network marketer.  Only God Almighty can change people and nations.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.  (Ezek 36:26-27)
Perhaps his subsequent videos will bring out more of God's word for explanation, but I am not holding out much hope.  If a message intended for public viewing by a diverse audience is devoid of the simplest facts of sin, righteousness, judgment, and Jesus' satisfaction which could lead to the relationships being suggested, what assurance is there for a proper explanation?

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