Monday, March 13, 2006

giants of faith

Through out history, the church has always had her celebrities. She has always had men (and more recently women) who have stuck-out, head and shoulders, above the rest of the pack. Men, of whom, she can look back on centuries later and call her “Giants of Faith”.

Paul, Augustine, Luther, Wesley, Spurgeon, Tozer, Lewis, etc.

The list is long and its credentials debatable. But as long as the church has existed, there have been at least one or two men who have stirred and inspired, studied and taught. We followers of Christ are a strange hodge-podge of broken and sinful people; people who can turn a ladies luncheon into an angry mob in an instant.

The church desperately needs God-fearing leaders to help her in journey through history.

But I am noticing a very dangerous trend that has come about in the last 30 years. Our contemporary “Giants of Faith” are no longer men who are known for their zeal and boldness, or for their rigorous spiritual disciplines and profound biblical insight. No, our current batch of celebrities is a group men and women who are known for their keen marketing sense and fortune cookie philosophies. Their pretty words fall like drops of honey on our ears. And we follow. They have earned their place, center-stage, not by standing firm in the face of persecution or agonizingly producing volumes upon volumes of scriptural commentaries by hand. No, they have drawn their attention with big smiles and bigger buildings. They are talented, clever and shrewd. Certainly, these men and women would have been every bit as successful in the business world should they have chosen that route.

What happened to the individuals who simply did not fit the world’s mold and thus shaped ours? What happened to the leaders who were more comfortable kneeling in the dark than standing in the spotlight? What happened to the ones who gave us steak, and not candy? What happened? Where are they?

Well, they are out there. Rest assured, they are out there. The church is always desperate...but her God is always faithful. Our true “Giants of Faith” are indeed out there and they are leading the way. But you are not going to find them on highway billboards or cable TV. No, they are too busy for all of that. But eventually, when the lights have dimmed and the smoke dispersed, the church will look back, and she’ll know.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I'm sure you know who I'm thinking of after reading that...