[anzac] AMERICAN IDOL - David Kirkwood

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 13:00:08 -0500
"American IDOL"
-by David Kirkwood.

Imagine a person taking a block of wood and carving it to look like
a bearded man in a robe. At the bottom of his wooden figurine, he
carves the name "Jesus." Finally, each day he bows before it in
worship. Does that make him a Christian?

No, that makes him an idolater. He is worshipping something that
he has named Jesus but who is not Jesus at all. His wooden god
is a grave insult to Jesus.

In a similar fashion, modern American Christendom has created
many versions of Jesus that hardly resemble the Jesus who is
revealed in Scripture. Having created a god to their own liking,
those who worship "American Jesus" are no less idolatrous and no
more Christian than the woodcarver I've just described.

What are the differences between American Jesus and Bible
Jesus? American Jesus comes in many varieties, but let's
compare a few of the attributes of the most popular versions with
Bible Jesus.

Bible Jesus said that only those who do the will of His Father,
keeping His commandments, will enter the kingdom of heaven. All
others will be cast into hell, even those who called Him their Lord
(see Matt. 7:13-27). Bible Jesus warned that the hateful, the lustful,
the unforgiving, the selfish and greedy would not saved (Matt.
5:21-22, 27-30; 6:14-15, 19-24; 25:31-46).

By contrast, American Jesus doesn't stress holiness nearly so
much. He certainly never says that obedience is essential for one
to gain eternal life. Those who believe that are legalists, he says.
He is always stressing God's grace, but it is a grace that
overlooks and forgives yet doesn't transform. American Jesus
believes that faith without works can save and that there is an
entire class of heaven-bound believers called "carnal Christians"
who are indistinguishable from unsaved people.

Using unmistakable terms, Bible Jesus warned His closest
disciples of the possibility of their not being ready for His return if
they returned to sin. He warned those closest disciples that they
would be cast into hell if they weren't ready when He returned
(Matt. 24:32-51; 25:1-30).

American Jesus, on the other hand, believes that once you are
saved you will always be saved. You are guaranteed a place in
heaven regardless of how you live your life. He often tells his
audiences that he died for all their sins, past, present and future,
and so there is no sin that they can commit for which he didn't die.
So they are quite safe in his grace. (No one ever seems to ask if
that means that everyone will be saved in the end, since Jesus
died for everyone's sins, past, present and future.)

Bible Jesus, not knowing the time of His return, told His followers
that they might well need to run for the hills because of the great
tribulation which would arise at the time that the antichrist would
enter the Jerusalem temple. Some of them would be martyred. He
promised that after cataclysmic events, He would "send forth His
angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect
from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other"
(Matt. 24:3-36).

American Jesus promises that all his own will be taken up to
heaven before any tribulation begins, because surely God would
not allow the people he loves to be so persecuted. (Those who
believe in American Jesus often have little idea of how much
persecution is being endured around the world by those who
believe in Bible Jesus. Neither do they care.) American Jesus will
return twice, and His second return will follow His first return by
seven years. He forgot to tell his disciples about this.

Bible Jesus commanded His followers to sell their possessions,
give to charity, and lay up treasures in heaven. He commanded
them not to lay up treasures on earth. He said that those who do
are full of darkness (see Matt. 6:19-24; Luke 12:33). Even those
who scrupulously tithe, like the scribes and Pharisees, could be
lovers of money (see Luke 11:42; 16:14; 18:12).

American Jesus often tells his followers just the opposite. He
wants to give them more treasures to lay up on earth and make
them even richer than they already are. He promises prosperity for
just 10% of their income. Interestingly, according to pollster
George Barna, no more than 8% of the people who believe in
American Jesus actually do give at least 10% of their income to his cause.

Bible Jesus taught His disciples to pray that His Father's name
would be hallowed, that His kingdom would come and His will
would be perfectly done on earth. He taught them to make request
for their daily bread and for deliverance from evil (see Matt. 6:9-13).

American Jesus teaches his disciples to pray the prayer of Jabez
and to claim their covenant rights to gain more wealth.

Bible Jesus told everyone to repent, and warned them if they didn't
they would perish. He declared that repentance was a requirement
for forgiveness (see Matt. 4:17; Luke 5:32, 13:3-5; 24:47).

American Jesus rarely mentions repentance. He most often just
asks people to accept him as savior.

Bible Jesus often spoke about hell and warned of its terrors (see
Matt. 5:2, 29-30; 8:12; 10:28; 13:41-42, 49-50; 18:9; 22:13; 23:33;
24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28).

American Jesus doesn't want to scare anyone by mentioning hell,
as it might offend people who are going to hell, and that hinders
church growth.

Bible Jesus told His ministers that their goal was to make
disciples who would obey all of His commandments (see Matt. 28:19-20).

American Jesus tells his ministers that their goal is to gather the
largest possible crowds on Sunday mornings.

Bible Jesus promised freedom from sin to those who would
become His true disciples and abide in His Word (see John 8:31-36).

American Jesus makes no such promises. Sinners and addicts
must wait until heaven for any hope of freedom. American Jesus
does offer psychological counseling and support groups.

Bible Jesus believed that being a believer in Him and being His
disciple were synonymous. He called everyone to take the first
step in a relationship with Him by becoming His committed
disciple (see Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 14:25-35; John 8:30-31).

American Jesus believes one can be a heaven-bound believer even
if he never becomes a disciple, which is an optional step for
believers who really want to commit themselves to him.

Bible Jesus calls for passionate devotion. He declared that we are
not worthy of Him if we love our parents or our children more than
Him.  We can't come after Him unless we deny ourselves and take
up our cross (see Matt. 10:37-38; 16:24).

American Jesus doesn't mind taking second place to more exciting
things like football, NASCAR and WWF.

The chief difference between Bible Jesus and American Jesus is
this: Bible Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, almighty Son
of God, and soon-coming Judge of all, whereas American Jesus is
only savior and friend. The chief difference between those who
believe in Bible Jesus and those who believe in American Jesus is
this: Those who believe in Bible Jesus obey His commandments
and love the brethren (see 1 John 2:3-6; 3:9-10, 14), while those
who believe in American Jesus possess a thin veneer of holiness
and don't care about the brethren. In fact, they often hate and
criticize Jesus' true followers, calling them "unbalanced fanatics"
or "legalists" or "holier-than-thous" (see 1 John 2:9, 11, 19; 3:14; 4:20).

But here is the most sobering fact: People are saved, not when
they believe that salvation is by faith, but when they believe in a
person, a divine person named Jesus Christ (see John 3:16). That
being so, it ought to concern us when so many people who claim
to be Christians believe in a Jesus who is so vastly different from
Bible Jesus. People who believe in American Jesus actually don't
believe in Jesus at all. American Jesus is an American idol.

"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
¬óJesus (Luke 18:8).
To learn more about how the contemporary gospel differs from the
biblical gospel, please read the on-line version of The Great Gospel
Deception. Go to-  http://www.shepherdserve.org/false_grace_gospel.htm