As the lights began to dim and the music began to swell, I remember not thinking of how angelic the timbre was, or how majestic the heavenly chorus was, but how my heart was in the wrong place. I remember sitting and wondering if I began to idolize the vessel instead of the treasure. I sat in my seat for a few minutes, prayed and meditated, and then worshiped with the congregation still struck with the question of where I went wrong.
I’m not going to lie, the Kari Jobe concert was phenomenal, but all I remember hearing before the worship night was how amazing of a worship leader she was. It was almost as if the whole campus of Central Bible College was star-struck. By the end of the night, I just remember thinking not how great she was, but how great God was for using someone as ordinary as her to be a vessel of his glorious praise.
I think sometimes we idolize “Christian celebrities.” I think that we assume that God’s anointing equals infallibility – no slam on the Pope. I know I have been guilty of it – my heart was weighted that way the night of the concert. But one thing I’ve learned when reading the Bible is that there has only been one man who has ever been a man of true virtue:
You know… God incarnate?
Example: when writing the book of Revelation, John sets up a key theme early in the book against false teaching and idolatry. He warns and rebukes some of the seven churches for dealing in what he treats as a heinous act against God. Yet by the end of the book, there are two instances where John himself is caught worshiping angelic beings (19:10; 22:8-9). When discussing specifically the latter instance Osborne writes: “He has already been rebuked for the same thing in 19:10, but like so many of us, he has not learned his lesson.” And with the angel we all shout in our minds “DON’T DO IT!”
This apostle and gospel writer to the very last chapter of his final writing is caught in the very act he rebuked within the opening paragraphs of his prophesy.
So what do we do? Do we just wait for the next big televangelist to get caught in the act of adultery? Do we sit and take the harassment and label of being a heretic from our peers and co-workers? Do we stop trying for perfection if perfection is impossible on this side of eternity? We need to remember what Christianity is all about:
By faith and not works we are to receive salvation. We need to remember that in ourselves, if we reach for obedience, we won’t reap anything. We need to walk not by works but by faith in Christ. And in walking by faith in Christ we don’t become slaves of the shackles of sins, but we are walking in the freedom that comes only through Christ – freedom from sin. Remember that there is a difference between seeking obedience and seeking Christ. And remember that only Christ is virtuous, and the rest of us are villains until we come to submission of His Lordship.
One thought on “Virtue vs Villain”
True that! That week was more than a little frustrating.