Friday, December 22, 2006

How Did Jesus Motivate?

I'm not a fan of the WWJD movement because it is the wrong question. The right question is: What Did Jesus Do? That we know. Anything we think He would do should be based upon what we know He did do. In other words, WDJD. In today's space, I will consider How Jesus Motivated? HDJM, that is, how did Jesus motivate?

In the article before last, I examined the consistency of MacArthur attacking the practice of Driscoll, focusing especially on a promotional video for a youth conference. In the comments, a Tom defended the video with what he thought was an assumption that pastors should motivate teens by offering them the temporal stuff of the youth culture. Are we going to be judged by how we motivate people? Did Jesus leave us an example of how to do that? Does it matter if we follow His example? Is how we motivate people up to judgment? Could the motivation we provide harm the growth of Christian young people and impede the salvation of unbelieving ones? Could the motivation we provide be wood, hay, and stubble, and then cause more wood, hay, and stubble for the ones we motivate? Does it even matter if we do the right thing for the wrong reason?

Tom plainly intimated that giving young people temporal motivation was acceptable and beyond criticism. Of course, we are talking about church here, not what motivates someone to eat at Burger King instead of McDonalds. When someone told the Lord that he wanted to follow Him, the Lord didn't make it easier for him. He said things like: "the Son of Man hath nowhere to lay his head," "let the dead bury the dead," "deny self, take up your cross, and follow me," "lose your life for my sake," "I come not to bring peace but a sword," and "will ye also go away?" In other words, Jesus purposefully attempted to take away the wrong motivation. When people are fed the wrong motivation, they get the wrong idea about Jesus and the life He gives and calls upon men to live. It is not a good thing to give a wrong description of Jesus Christ by associating Him with an unscriptural motive.

Jesus never motivated with fun, frivolity, self-gratification, and temporal attractions. He motivated with Divine truth. He motivated with a patient waiting for His coming. He motivated with His own character or attributes. We don't edify Christians by offering them the temporal crown when the Christian life is about an eternal one. We don't want them giving up their birthrights for a mess of pottage or their identity as the people of God to become the son of Pharoah's daughter.

It would seem that a group that declares their allegiance to the sovereignty of God would depend, well, on the sovereignty of God. The wisdom of this world glorifies man, not God. If the Gospel and Jesus and His Word are not enough, we elevate these worldly things, exalting the creature above the Creator. Is that blasphemous? You tell me. For now, I'll let you decide. I think it is very serious, indicative certainly of a lack of both a reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ and a dependence on the sufficiency of the Word of God. If the Bible is superior to a visitor from Hell, as we see in the rich man and Lazarus, and even above the experience of Peter on the Mt. of Transfiguration, as we see in 2 Peter 1, then how can we possibly be righteous in luring young people with the fads of the youth culture?

2 comments:

Kent Brandenburg said...

Tom,

I haven't been able to access the video from this remote location, which is the only reason I haven't given a blow by blow. I'm not even sure I can leave a comment.

KB

Ruth said...

I do believe some time in the past we had a semi-conversation in regards to "wasted writing talents".....but one of us missed the point.

While I have a great appreciation for you "gift-card-soap" blog and even agreee with some of the comments I still worry about the waste of such lovely writing skills.

To lure young people today into anything we must use the correct and appropiate bait. I witness a cornucopia of youth styles that come thru the doors of my office and for the most part I find them distasteful. But, I always come back to the question if "Who purchased and paid for those things?" Seventeen earrings in one ear??, young man YOU did not pay for that. Young lady most obviously with child but also with a multitude of tattos on a half naked body. Mom, did her lunch money go for that? Perhaps we should go back to the days of sack lunches. Regardless, there is but one proper and correct way to "lure"(if that is proper) young or old into God's kingdom. Old time, God fearing, hard nose, scripture based witnessing.

As the song says......"Tell me the story of Jesus....write on my heart every word".....that's the right way..the only way. Anything else will fade and die away.Just as the rich man did..Where did he go? Was he ever saved?

My bible tells me ....God will not always "strive with mans soul"...
That I beleive with all my heart.Use that talent, Pastor B.
We think you're pretty good (usually) with the written word...up here...on
Blessings Hill,
Ruth