Friday, August 12, 2011

Notes on the Deficiencies of Youth Part 4 or 4

It’s all about worship

The last and most particularly dangerous expression of naivete that comes to mind is the "it's all about worship" expression.  And by worship, these young Christians have in mind song and corporate music and all the accouterments thereof.  

The problem with this expression is not the focus on worship - for worship is of primacy in the believer’s life.  The problem is the distortion of what it means to worship God.  Scripture teaches us that worship begins with and ends with obedience.  We worship God when we obey him first.  the OT teaches us so often that great emotional worship services are worthless, even vile in the mind and face of God, if there is no obedience.  God despises worship services from those who do not obey His word.  

One way to think about worship is to see it as the ascription of worth to another.  We cannot make God out to be worthy in our lives and minds and hearts if we despise his commands.  The mature begin with the commandment. the young and naive begin with the emotional expression.  Again, it's not that they're evil or bad Christians (if in fact, they are Christians - something we should never take for granted); they're just immature and inexperienced and their emotions are going to be so useful one day, when obedience guides them.  

A good analogy is young love.  We all remember that teenagers fall more deeply "in love" than anyone - e.g. Romeo and Juliet.  But without maturity, that powerful emotion leads to not to true love, but death as Shakespeare demonstrates poetically if not figuratively.  The mature love is one that is guided by principal first and allows the emotion to express it, not define it.  It is universal to see youth get particularly emotional in worship service only to sink into sexual sin and worldliness the next day and I wonder, when and how will they learn to seek Godliness first?  I see young men confuse lust for love and clamor for an ungodly woman they're not suited for simply because their hormones are confused and excited.  I see young women confuse emotional immaturity and neediness for love and desire ungodly men.  These children in the faith have not thought it through, prayed it through or obeyed it through.  They're not seeking Godly advice or parental guidance.  They're being carried away, as Scripture says, with every enticing doctrine and style of expression.  And they feel OK about it because they can have a powerful worship experience on Saturday night or on Sunday at the contemporary service.

But emotional entanglements with the opposite (or indeed, in today’s church - same) sex is only one sin that so easily entangles our young in the Faith.  The principal sin I see ubiquitously tolerated and embraced by Christians everywhere is the sin of worldliness - that sin of taking what the world gives and embracing it into our hearts and minds.  Television, romance novels, morbid fascination with blood sucking vampires and morphing beasts and teens, movies about torture, movies about adultery, movies about deception, immodest dress, uncouth speech, lack of respect for elders, disregard for serious study of Scripture - all of these things more mark the average youth group in today’s churches than do the fruits of the Spirit.  And sadly, these are the marks of so many older Christians who have no excuse for their immaturity.

Sinful disobedience prevents true worship.  If you have sin in your heart that you have not fully repented of - turned away from - hated in your heart - confessed to your sisters and brothers - abhorred in your spirit, devised plans to prevent yourself from falling back into - if this sin still infects your heart - God does not hear your singing praise songs... He does not delight in your waving of flags or spilling of tears; God is not amenable to your ministry work, your evangelism, your short term ministry trips abroad, your digging of wells, or your feeding of the hungry.  God despises and desires obedience.  Get over yourself and stop sinning.

Concluding remarks

The Gospel is simple in that you sin, God hates sin, God provides a sacrifice for sin, God wants you to stop sinning.  The Gospel is divinely complicated and mysterious insofar as it involves God Himself acting of His own accord, accomplishing all that is Salvation - giving us faith - giving us the Spirit and providing a means out of sin.  It is simple from ten thousand miles away, but the closer you get to God, the bigger He is - the more majestic He is, the more mysterious He is, the more Glory He has, the more Godlike He becomes.  If your god is simple - you’re still too far from God - stop sinning and go to God.  Therein are the deep waters.  Therein are the mysteries.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Notes on the Deficiencies of Youth Part 3 of 4

In this four part series on the deficiencies of being young in the faith and the traps that Satan lays out for us, we have so far examined the first lie which so often besets our youth - the "everything is simple" lie.  The second deception most often follows on the footsteps - the rationalisation that "none of that stuff is important, I don't think about that.. I just try to love Jesus."  It sounds great, but we examined how it's so destructive to the Christian life.  Today we look at a close cousin of the first two lies.

You just need Jesus - that will fix everything

The third of the naive expressions I'll address herein is the "hey, you just need Jesus - that'll fix everything" expression.  For the naive, Jesus only came to save people from hell, feed the hungry, heal the sick and make people happy - their best them now.  For the naive, Jesus came to give everybody a better life by doing away with all the rules and making it simple and all about them.  For the naive, Jesus came to heal everyone - if they just have enough faith; to bless everyone with wealth - if they just claim it; to bless everyone with happy relationships, if they just love each other.  For the naive, it's all about a "personal relationship with Jesus" - a phrase found nowhere in Scripture.  

Persecutions perplex these naive ones, as do afflictions and trials.  The Christians who die every day by being hacked to death for their faith, who die of sickness and disease, who are afflicted with poverty, who are divorced by hateful spouses, who are abandoned by loveless parents, who are unjustly fired by greedy bosses, who are misunderstood, who are condemned, who are ostracized - these Christian are the exception to the rule.  But Jesus himself promises persecutions, afflictions and trials.  Jesus promised that the World will hate us.  Jesus promised that we would be tried as it were by fire.  With the exception of John, every Apostle was martyred.  The one who penned by the Spirit that all things work together for good was shipwrecked  beaten to within an inch of his life, stoned, imprisoned, rejected, ostracized, publicly humiliated and impoverished.  

Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus did not come to make our lives better as we understand it - but to make our lives better in one way - by the killing of sin in our hearts and souls (Matthew 1:21).  However, these naive ones, these little Christians who need patience and instruction and care, these little ones forget that the principal and determinative reason why Jesus came was "sin" - they forget that in the end it’s all about sin because that is what separates us from God.  The simple gospel gives lip service to sin, but does not address sin in the believer’s life.  It’s as though sin were not really important.  The puritan father John Owen famously said "be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.”  Today the simple mock and deride the puritans and live in bondage to sin because sin isn't even their focus; it's not even on their radar.  If they truly have faith that God will take away their sins, they're not evil (they're redeemed) - they're not bad Christians, they're just young and inexperienced and immature.  We, as older mature Christians, should suffer them and love them and instruct them - disciple them towards Godliness.  However, if their faith does not involve a desperate hope that God will indeed remove the sin from their hearts - if instead their hope and faith is that God will make their lives better, heal their marriage, provide wealth and comfort, heal their bodies, and guarantee them a ticket to heaven - then they do not have saving faith.

That is a remarkable statement, I know, these days.  Principally it is remarkable because the gospel has been so distorted by so-called evangelicals.  I could write tomes arguing why they do not have saving faith, but instead I will only point to one example.

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus, he asked one thing - “how do I obtain eternal life?” (Mark 10:17).  Jesus does not invite the young ruler to ask Him into his heart.  Jesus does not invite the rich young man home to supper with him - the beginning of a life-long personal relationship with Christ.  Jesus does not give the young man a sinner’s prayer.  Jesus does none of these things.  Instead, Jesus requires absolute and complete adherence to the Law in every respect.  The rich young ruler should have been devastated!  He should have seen the iniquity in his heart and his own inability to do anything about it.  He should have known how evil he was when no one was looking, that he never for even one moment truly sought after God.  But he didn’t.  He really thought he was doing well.  Jesus had to give him an extreme example to even get his attention.  Only then did the rich young man come to terms with some grief, but it was grief over money not sin.  The rich young man leaves that day without salvation - even though he desperately needed and wanted it - because he didn’t think sin was a big deal.  Million and hundreds of millions of pretend fake Christians in America today desperately need and want salvation and they think they have it because of 4 Spiritual Flaw booklets - but they lack and they die and they perish forever in hell because they do not really think sin is a big deal.  This is the perennial birthmark of the immature.

Even the immature Christian, who knows that sin is a big deal, will be deceived by sin into forgetting how important sin is in their lives and the primacy of killing sin daily in their lives. (Hebrews 3:13)  It is not compassion to these young in the Faith to ignore their irreverence for God’s Holiness and indifference to their own sinfulness.  It is indeed, the most harsh hatred to fail to admonish these youngsters to stop sinning - to kill sin daily - every day - while it is still called today.  Don’t go to bed tonight if you haven’t yet admonished a brother to stop sinning.

This mark of immaturity - this expression of naivete - is akin to the others in that it relies upon a half-truth.  For indeed, Jesus is the answer and He will fix everything - if by everything you mean the sin and hatred for God in your own heart.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Notes on the Deficiencies of Youth Part 2 of 4

In my last post we examined the first marked deficiency of being inadequately trained up in Christ - the "Everything is simple" mindset.  Today we'll look at the next trap set for our young people.

None of that is important.. I don’t think about that, I just try to love Jesus

The second expression common among the naive and immature Christian is "I don't think about that, I just try to love Jesus" -- or "just be like Jesus and everything else will fall in line.”  It’s the simple "it's just Jesus" line.  This is a particularly deceptive lie because it combines profound truth with simplistic expression.  It really is, after all, all about Jesus.  

From where do we get this idea?  The Revelation of Christ given to John tells us that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega.  Jesus himself tells his disciples “I am the Truth.”  In this regard, because Christ is God - it is all about Christ.  But we cannot commune with Christ as we are.  Something is in the way - sin.  Yes, it’s that old fiend which constantly rears its head while we’re just trying to worship God.  It’s an irritation - a constant source of trouble.  And often, we attempt to circumvent dealing with sin by making it just about God - just about Jesus in particular.  This is the error of the new prophets like Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo.  The particular problem that accompanies this error is the failure to know anything about Jesus.

One can study Scripture for 100 years every day and not know enough about Jesus.  However, most often, it’s not the failure of diligent study of Scripture which leads to a lack of understanding of Jesus, it’s the arrogant refusal to submit to the Holy Spirit as a guide to learn about Jesus.  The Breath of God gave us Scripture - all of it.  All of Scripture reveals Jesus.  However, the new prophets stick only to the Gospels.  And indeed, only to the parts of the Gospels they like.

To these new prophets, Scripture is a supporting reference for their Jesus.  They go to Scripture like a fat man goes to a buffet.  The fat man ignores the vegetables and the healthy meats and goes instead straight for the fried chicken, the buttery rolls and the dessert bar.  The new prophet goes to Scripture likewise, ignoring the law, ignoring the Righteousness of God, ignoring the Holiness of God and goes straight to the Grace of God and the Love of God.  To the new prophet, these are the only source of nutrition and just as the fat man becomes fatter and more useless, the one who comes to Scripture without submitting himself to all of Scripture becomes a fat and useless Christian.

The reality is that the Jesus of Scripture is not simple, and he’s not an impotent emotional wreck trying his best to get everyone into heaven but being frustrated by the omnipotent free will of man.  He’s not someone who takes everyone just as they are, requiring no change, requiring nothing of man - only willing to give everything of Himself so that man can commune with God just as he is - in the pig pen, in the filth that is his sin, in the mire of grotesque disobedience and hatred of all that God really is.  Indeed, to the new prophet, we still hate all that God is, so rather than deal with that sin lying prostrate on our faces seeking new hearts, we instead change God to something we don’t hate.

Knowing God is not easy.  Aside of learning new things that stretch our minds, knowing God requires two things that are equally impossible for anyone aside of the indwelling work of the Holy spirit.  First, it requires an understanding of the things of God.  Paul teaches us that we are spiritually dead and incapable of understanding the things of the Spirit.  It is, in fact, impossible to know the things of God without God’s divine work in our hearts.  And lest anyone believe in a god that is excited to do that in every one’s heart - let’s remind ourselves that Jesus confounds the simple and wicked - he hides the truth in parables only revealing the truth to his disciples in private.  Jesus tells us the reason for his parables, and it’s not to make things more clear!  It’s to intentionally hide the truth.  Shane and the new prophets do not know this Jesus.  To them, Jesus uses parables to make things more clear.  To them, the use of parables is an instrumental tool of discipleship - never mind that Jesus did not use parables for his disciples and no one else after Jesus uses parables as a discipleship tool.  To the simple, to the naive, to the new prophet, Jesus is simple and knowing him is simple.  The truth is, that Jesus himself teaches us that He is not simple, that the Father is not simple and that knowing Him is hard and consists of knowledge of Scripture, fellowship with the Father, the Son, the Spirit and other believers and obedience to His will - particularly loving the brethren and hating the world.  

Jesus confounds us on every level and in every dynamic of living.  The naive want to reduce Jesus and simplify Jesus - they make Jesus into the man in the pictures in their childhood bibles sitting on a rock wearing a perfectly spotless white robe with a blue sash smiling and entertaining children on his lap, that's Jesus to them.  To the simple, anything complex about God, anything difficult about God, anything mysterious about God is an iniquity - a defect - a problem to be solved rather than a virtue to be emulated.  They have a deep seated problem with God being anything but like themselves.. simple.  Their sin has so infected their thinking that they rebel against the Holiness of God in their minds and theology and living.  They don't want to think about a Jesus who curses trees, curses cities, leaves rich young rulers without answers, drives money changers out of the temple, refuses to give the gospel to gentiles, hides truth in parables, requires absolute obedience to the law, allows money to be spent on worship of Him rather than feeding the poor, a Jesus who comes in judgment on a white horse with a sword killing all who sin.  They don't want to talk about Jesus who specifically refuses to pray for the lost in the last recorded prayer (John 17:9).  They want only to worship a jesus who loves everybody the same all the time - grandpa jesus... Santa Claus jesus... Ghandi jesus... buddha jesus... any jesus except Jesus!

Someone recently pointed out that this sounds like the Rob Bell "there is no hell" controversy.  To be fair, Rob Bell does not argue that there is no hell, but he does argue that in the end, hell is unnecessary, trivial, of little consequence and eventually unneeded.  The naive forget that Jesus is God! And as God, He is creator of hell.  As God, He is the one on the road to destroy Sodom when He speaks with Abraham.  He is the one to destroy all living creatures, man and beast alike, in the deluge.  He is the one who judges and eventually passes sentence.  He is the one whom the world will run from in terror, hiding in caves and in darkness.  He is infinite! He is Holy! He is majestic! He is mysterious.  He is terrifying to anyone and everyone who still has any small amount of sin in their heart.  If He is not terrifying to you, right now, then you don’t know Jesus.

My eight year old son recently felt this pain of terror when he realized that one of his best friends would be destroyed by Jesus if Jesus were to come back today.  This truly hurt my son - to think that God would kill and destroy forever his friend.  I am reminded that if we love our father, our child, or our friend more than we love God, then we are unworthy - we do not love God, we cannot be said to love God in any way or fashion.  And most of us are stuck at this place my eight year old son finds himself.  He has compassion for his friend!  The question is whether my son will be able to embrace and cherish and love the Holiness of God more than his compassion for his friend.  It is not iniquity to have compassion - indeed, it is a virtue.  The  iniquity is putting that compassion at the forefront and despising God’s Holiness.  The iniquity is in changing God so that His Holiness is not a problem - robbing God of His Holiness and Righteousness.  The iniquity is in loving the World.  If any man loves the World, the love of the Father is not in him.  

But the simple will cry out “God so loved the World!”  They will race as fast as they can to a cross where Jesus dies for everyone but is impotent and might have died for no one because it’s not really up to Jesus in the end, the all powerful and determinative force which ultimately figures in where a person spends eternity is not Jesus, but a person’s own free will.  They cannot see different kinds of love in God.  They require God to love equally in all respects.  They require God to set aside His Holiness and His Righteousness in order to satisfy an inherent right to salvation available to all men.  In the end, they require God to be fair.

It is remarkable that they do so.  The hallmark of immaturity is a focus on fairness.  Every school yard child will evoke the doctrine of fairness, and every adult knows that it is a rues meant to disclaim responsibility for the true doctrine underneath “fairness” - “me too!”  It should not surprise us that the hallmark of Christian immaturity is also an appeal to the doctrine of fairness.  No where in Scripture do we find God saying “I’m fair.”  He’s truth.  He’s justice.  He’s righteousness.  He’s love.  But no where do we find that he’s fair.  The doctrine that God loves all people at all times in all places equally is an appeal to fairness.  It does not survive even the most inexperienced rational observation though.  No one would suggest that those who perished in the holocaust experienced the same grace from God as those living the good life in twenty-first century America.  Fairness is simply not.  It does not exist.  God is not fair in his distribution of wealth, he is not fair in his distribution of grace, he is not fair in his distribution of the Spirit and he even makes it a point to illustrate to his disciples that He is not fair!  The parable of the workers coming at different times during the day illustrates this truth.  Some work for a very small period of time and receive the same reward - God does not have to be fair.  The simple will twist this to mean that God is fair and everyone deserves the same regardless of what they bring...  Well, some people are going to argue that the sky is green no matter what you say.

Jesus is beyond our simple understanding.  He is not fair.  He comes in judgment.  He kills people.  He refuses to pray for the lost.  He whips people.  He creates hell.  He begs not to have to go to the cross.  He rebukes his best friend Peter and lets Peter fail miserably.  He leaves Paul with a debilitating illness.  He lets Lazarus die and his sisters suffer in pain.  He destroys Sodom.  He doesn’t do enough for Tyre - knowing that if He did more, they would be saved (Matthew 11:21).  He removes lamp stands.  He refuses to allow repentance after death.  He gives the Gospel to some countries, leaving others without it for centuries and even millennia.  He is not what the simple expect, nor what they desire.  He is not the God of the simple.  And the simple must be instructed in who God is, and how He is to be worshiped and how we are to commune and fellowship with God.  

Jesus is the answer - He is the Alfa and the Omega.  However, that does not make it any less difficult or simplify the matter at all.  In fact it requires more.  The Christian life becomes more challenging the more we understand that it is all about Christ.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Notes on the Deficiencies of Youth Part 1 of 4

I've recently had occasion to recall the deficiencies of youth in their Christian walk.  By youth, I mean those Christians who are inadequately trained up in their faith.  In fact that often means youth in age - as in pre-teens, teenagers and twenty-somethings.  However, it also means older Christians as well, even those in leadership, pastors and authors and speakers nationally well known for their exposition of Scripture or things of the Faith.  If indeed, these persons are inadequately trained up in their faith, they will be immature Christians and exhibit serious and marked deficiencies in their fruit and usefulness to Christ and his Church.  For that purpose I’ve set forth to quickly and most inadequately enumerate a few of these deficiencies and how they are marked in a young believer’s life.  My hope is that someone more skilled in doctrine and communication will take up the banner and better communicate these truths.

Before I entertain the markings of immaturity, it should be pointed out that maturity in Christ does not mean perfection.  Any mature Christian will still have defects - notable and serious often.  As a mature man or woman still has defects, so too does a mature Christian.  Maturity is the expression of the whole and admits that parts are still lacking.  We continue to mature in Christ all our lives and in some expressions all of eternity; for while our spirits will one day be perfect without sin and our bodies perfect in resurrected glory - we will always, for eternity, be creation incapable of completely knowing creator in His infinitude and complete perfection.  We will know perfectly in truth but not perfectly in scope.  That is the glory and anticipation and hope of eternity - to continue to worship God anew every new day in a New Jerusalem because there is yet more to God, more to His Glory, more to His Perfection, more to His Deity that we have not yet experienced.  And so, we will in that sense, mature for all time.

However, on this earth, and in this time, while we await the redemption and glorification of our flesh, we battle against flesh and its lust to obtain Godliness in our daily walk.  This is our purpose here - Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising its shame and has sat down at the right hand of God.”  Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another, day after day - while it is still called Today! lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”  Sin is deceitful and it easily entangles us.  We are to lay aside sin and walk in perfection.  We are to spend our days working together corporately to kill sin and avoid the inevitable hardness that unmortified sin occasions in our lives.  This is maturity in Christ.  What follows is simply a distillation of this one truth - that sin is deceitful and hardens the Christian’s heart who is not actively engaged in a daily fight to the death against sin.

It is perhaps best to remember that the young Christian experiences Christianity through naivete.  Naivete is sometimes attractive and even put forth as a virtue.  There are those who misunderstand the command to hinder not the little children from coming unto Jesus. In Matthew 18 Jesus commands his followers to come to him as a child does.  But the analogy Jesus uses is only useful in context.  The disciples were arguing about who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven!  They were speaking of ambition, accomplishment, glory in a creation.  Jesus rebukes them to see how a child comes to Christ.  The child comes for different reasons, the child is not coming for personal gain, for glory, for commendation, for reasons of personal ambition.  The child comes from a position of need.  In this way, the mature Christian comes to Jesus from a position of need - our greatest need is the removal of sin in our lives for it is sin and only sin which prevents us from coming to the Father.  It is sin within our hearts, unmortified sin, hidden sin, unknown sin, which makes us enemies of God.  Our Savior dies to cover that sin and the Breath of God comes to live in our heart to mortify - to kill that sin.  We are a Church given to each other to daily commend each other to kill sin.

But naivete leads to something else.  Naivete, as a virtue ignores sin and attempts to suggest that maturity is unnecessary - the greatest Christian is the immature naive Christian because Christ commands us to come to him as children.  This is indeed a most unfortunate distortion of Matthew 18.  And it always leads to mortal danger.

I've rarely met a mature Christian younger than 30.  I've met knowledgeable Christians younger than 30 and I've met experienced Christians younger than 30.  And I have met two or three in my life who were mature.  But even Christ himself waited till he was 30 before he started teaching and ministering.  There's just so much a young Christian needs to learn that transcends Bible knowledge and ministry experience - which requires years of time in the desert.  We can take Paul’s time in the desert as an example - the disciples years walking personally side by side with Christ as an example.

I have been asked, on occasion what I mean by "it always leads to mortal danger?"  This is a fair question and to be helpful I will explain how naivete can be expressed in different ways and how those ways lead one to mortal danger.  What follows here is a particular but incomplete list of only a few ways and the particular danger that accompanies that naive expression.

Everything is simple

The first and often most insipid expression of immaturity and naivete is the "everything is simple" argument. This is the young Christian that believes the Bible is simple, the Gospel is simple and only troublemakers and those that would confuse the church make it hard with doctrine.  Indeed, doctrine is most often the enemy of Christian growth to these Christians.  Instead of growing up in doctrine, these children in the Faith see maturity as pursuit of service, of evangelism and worship.  It’s all simple and doctrine only confuses things, brings division and stifles true Christian love and spiritual growth.

The problem is it isn't simple.  Nowhere in Scripture does God ever say it's simple.  Rather it's a mystery, it's hidden, it's deep calling unto deep, it's maturity that requires searching and study
and even then Peter, as a mature Apostle of our Lord and elder of the Church acknowledges that many of Paul's teaching are just down-right hard to understand!  (2 Peter 3:16)  Peter does not rebuke Paul for making it hard.  Rather he calls them wisdom and warns against twisting them.  What is more twisting to the deep things of Scripture than the admonishment that they are unnecessary?

Jesus confounds the crowds with parables, and then patiently explains them to men who knew Scripture.  It is never simple.  Only the naive think so, and the mortal danger that accompanies the refusal to submit to the complexity of God is 1) arrogance, 2) ignorance, and 3) indifference to the mysteries of God.  We will plumb the mysteries of God for eternity!

Arrogance arises in our hearts when we pretend to “get it.”  We fail to head Peter’s admonition to not be “led astray by the error of [ ] unprincipled men and fall from [our] firm grasp on the truth.” (2 Peter 3:17)  We fail to “make every effort to be sure of [our] calling and election [so that we might] never stumble into sin.”  Indeed arrogance is most often seen in a failure to engage in the battle against sin.  Rather than fight sin we do everything possible to avoid that battle.  We attend worship services, we seek the gifts of the Spirit, we participate in book studies, we go to fellowship meetings, we listen all day to Christian music, we teach Sunday School class, we witness, we go on short-term missions, we dig wells, we feed the hungry, we smile and greet one another with an empty and shallow sincerity because we never know our own battle much less our brother’s battle against sin.  We have run as fast as we can away from the battle against sin seeking anything that can provide a sense of security that we are seeking Christ without attempting to mortify sin in our hearts.  This is the rotten, fly infested, putrid fruit of arrogance.  Instead of falling on our knees in humble admission that God is a mystery and His words are deep waters to ponder and meditate on daily, that our purpose is to build up His word into our hearts for the singular purpose that we might not sin - instead of this posture, we walk boldly into the throne room of God with putrid and defiled clothes rank with feces and and the odor of vomit as if nothing were wrong.  Arrogance most deceives us in the state of our own need of a Savior.  This indeed is the deceitfulness of sin.

Ignorance is a necessary consequence of thinking everything is simple.  When we refuse to recognize that God is immense, complex, infinite, we fail to see God for who He is.  We fall into an idolatry of believing in a simple god who isn't there.  This is a most quick spiritual death.  The mortal error of ignorance is a lack of true worship.  We go through the steps of worship, but we must continually seek higher emotional experiences to fill a void left because we are never meeting the true God of Scripture instead substituting a simple god of our own making.  The addiction of emotion-driven worship is one consequence of taking a Majestic God and substituting a simple god.  Like the alcoholic dreaming of his next drink, like the drug addict willing to do grotesque things with her body to get the next hit, like the sex addict sacrificing family and friends to get that next comforting high - the worship addict seeks to find god in an emotional experience sacrificing true knowledge of God found in the revelation of God in Scripture.

Indifference is the last of my short enumeration of consequences to the “everything is simple” expression.  When we allow the young in the Faith to believe the lie that everything is simple, these young become indifferent to the mysteries of God.  They are inconsequential to their experience of Christianity.  Indifference is manifest in a believer who fails to open Scripture on a regular basis; who fails to admonish themselves or others when they see sin creep in - indeed they begin to fail to see sin for what it is - the abject denial of God’s sovereignty.  When we sin, we rush headlong into the throne room of God, violently shoving God from the throne, seating ourselves and calling for the death of God for imposing His will on our lives.  When we live in indifference, we don't even know we're trying to kill God - we don't see sin - we don't know sin - we don't know God - we are, in perfect spiritual death, become dead to God and the things of God.

Indifference is usually the last of the consequences of this error.  We see this most often in the young in the Faith when they walk away from the Church, abandoning the Faith of their youth.  They're usually not overtly hostile to the Gospel, just indifferent.  They stop going to church.  They see little problem with having more and more ungodly friends.  They stop reading Scripture.  They die day after day and they don't even know they're dying.  Indifference is the saddest of the consequences of believing “everything is simple.”