…“‘These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me.” (Mark 7:6)
As I was sitting at a busy intersection waiting for the light to change, I couldn’t help but notice the huge Playboy logo on the back window of the SUV in front of me. A few moments later, the light turned green and, as everyone began to move forward, I noticed something swinging from that same SUV’s rearview mirror. Yep, you guessed it: a cross.
I smiled and told my son, “That’s what I call ‘mixed signals.”
Years ago, during a Graduate Recognition Service, our pastor told the high school graduates, “Don’t hang a cross in your dorm room, or stick a Christian fish decal on the back your car if you’re not planning on supporting it by the way you live out your life.” Now, why would he say something so bold and potentially abrasive?
Because Jesus did — with force.
Few things angered Jesus more than being misrepresented: “[You religious scholars are] Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.” (Matt. 23:27-28, The Message Bible)
Satan knows well that “mixed signals”, where our faith in Jesus is concerned, leads to spiritual confusion, doubt, and indifference — and he’d prefer that lost people stay that way.
Author, Brennan Manning, once wrote, “The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
19th century atheist, Friedrich Nietzsche, stated, “I would believe in their Savior if they acted more like they have been saved.” Singer/songwriter, Keith Green, once during one of his concerts, made it real simple: “I’ve discovered what the world hates most about Christianity: Christians.”
Centuries before Jesus made the indicting statement cited at the top of this blog from Mark 7, David prayed, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight.” (Ps. 19:14) Translation: may my signals regarding You, Lord, be consistent.
May that be our prayer, as well.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick