Saturday, February 5, 2011

Foamhenge

A good while back a friend and I visited a surrealistic place in Natural Bridge, Virginia. It's called Foamhenge.


That's right, Foamhenge, not the famed Stonehenge in England. It's Stonehenge duplicated, well, in Styrofoam.

We were awed as we stood in the midst of a site that shouldn't be in Virginia.

It looked so real but it wasn't the real thing.

The Apostle Paul warned of Christian leaders who pretended to be something they were not.
And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
(2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV)
People claimed to work for God when, in fact, they were slaves to Satan. It shouldn't come as a surprise, really, but we continue to be shocked when some people represent themselves as one thing when the light of God's day reveals that they are not. Christianity receives bad press, in part, because the world doesn't seem able to make the distinction between true believers and false professors.

We in the Church world are tricked, too, because we often measure a person's relationship with God (or lack thereof) by his apparent gifting and talents. The larger a pastor's church then the more spiritual he (and it) must be. The better a person's singing voice the more "anointed" she surely is. We deal in pragmatism but God deals in holiness.

The measure of a man (or anyone else) is his character, not his talents.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before him." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:6-7 ESV)
Even the prophet Samuel fell prey to this thinking. When he came to find Yahweh's selection of King Saul's successor he thought God picked Eliab when the Lord picked the youngest, David. Jesus warned of people who seemed to be successful Christian leaders but whose character was corrupt:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' (Matthew 7:15-23 ESV)
Note carefully that Jesus didn't deny that these people will look successful or gifted. However, their character will be rotten and, thus, they will be thrown into hell, not granted entrance into heaven.

They may look like Stonehenge but, in actuality, just be Foamhenge.