Rat Race Theology

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Have you noticed our culture idolizes the Rat Race?

When was the last time you asked someone how they are doing and they did not answer with: “I’ve been busy”

Isn’t that the standard American answer? We are all… busy. The Rat Race is defined by busyness and achievement. We must multitask. Buy more technology to get more things done, faster. Do more with less time. Go to bed later and get up earlier.

For, achievement is our god.

The Rat Race is what we love. Because in the Rat Race we find importance, identity, and even value. Think about it.  Don’t we think more highly of those who are leading the pack in the Rat Race?

Average is weakness in the Rat Race.

Ordinary is not good enough.

Rat Race theology says: You must take this ordinary, average life and make it better. Average? Nope! That won’t do.

“In a culture that rhapsodizes over every achievement and idolizes many of those who stand out, it is easy for the church to drink from the same intoxicating elixir and swoon over gifted expectations.”  D.A. Carson

This drives people to find a new city, get a new job, or land a new spouse. Because, the old one…. well, it’s not that it’s bad it’s just… average.

Reinvent yourself

Make a splash

Work more hours

Gotta get ahead

Are you buying into the Rat Race Theology?

our-greatest-fear

Last year I was on vacation with my family. (By the way, have you noticed we can bring the Rat Race on vacation with us? What is wrong with us!?) We had some in between down time. The idiot box, I mean the TV, was in front of us and my youngest popped it on. The Lego Movie had just begun. I had not heard of the Lego Movie and when it came on I assumed it was going to be dumb.

Have you seen it?

It is incredible! Instantly we were all laughing.

Favorite part?

The driving song of the movie. “Everything is Awesome!” If you have seen the movie than you know what I amLego Movie talking about. When you read the title, you probably smiled a little. In the world of Lego, Everything is Awesome, which means… nothing is.

It is also the theme song of the Rat Race. Everything is awesome. God forbid, we or something we are engaged in, is not….awesome. What if our careers and dreams are just… average. How incredibly terrible would that be!

What if at the end of our lives, all we have done is served the Lord with the mundane tasks He has put before us? How awful?

“Everyone wants a revolution, no one wants to do the dishes.”  Michael Horton

At the end of the movie Emmet says to Lord Business:

lego-movie“You don’t have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, most extraordinary person in the universe….”  (Pause – and then Emmet adds) “And so is EVERYBODY.”

Because everybody is awesome – that is the only rule in the Rat Race.

The Rat Race gets better.

How crazy are we?  We mock the Rat Race. We talk down about it. We know the Rat Race is not good. We counsel others to get out of the Rat Race and yet…. we lust for it, pursue it, and we are incredibly jealous of those who are out in front of the race!

Is that not insane? We mock the Rat Race and then strive with all that is in us, to get in the lead of that very race!

Friends, the Rat Race can be the death of relationship, family, pursuit of God, sitting on the couch with your spouse and children, having a meal without the cell phone close enough so you can reply to the text that just came in…. because it’s soooo important.  The Rat Race is the death of real relationships and communication.

God save us from the Rat Race

Further Study:  Read Ordinary By Michael Horton

Or

Listen to this sermon about average, Simeon:  iPlod

Trinity (2): One God In A Many god World

coexist

 

Bill Maher

Recently, talk show host and comedian Bill Myer had a moment of brilliance when he tweeted:

Isis- “one of thousands of Islamic militant groups” (NYTimes) “beheads another. Lets keep pretending all religions are alike”

Not only are they not all alike!  But, the implication of the above is ALSO, that not all are serving the same God.

Yawn, so what, who cares, says the society that trumpets all roads lead to heaven.  Culture cries:  “it doesn’t matter which God or which book (Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc) one turns to…  they are all the same…all seeking their version of God….aren’t they?”

Well, I would love to take another post to lay out the HUGE differences between the Bible and these other books – another time….  But, in this post I will keep my focus narrow.

Is there any difference between praying to Allah, or the god of the Jehovah Witness, or ______ and the God of the Bible?

The answer is YES!  And we need to look no further than the Trinity.  The Trinity shouts loudly – “Yes, there is a difference that is bigger than epic proportions!”

Culture:  We live in a many god culture.  We have gods of money, fame, materialism, relationship, substance, and then there is Buddah, Allah, and on and on it goes.

What is idolatry?  Idolatry is devotion.  It is anything that rules and controls you – including anything that controls your emotions, decision making, and your loyalty.  What controls us, what we build our life around, or what we faithfully serve…. that is an idol and that is our god or God.  And….  wow, have you noticed…..culture has many gods!

But, that is nothing new.  This has been true ever since Genesis 3. Remember, it is in this “many gods” culture – the Bible’s opening words are… In the beginning God…

Eve’s temptation in the garden wasn’t hunger or better fruit from a better tree.  It was a temptation of:

  • Being like God
    • See Genesis 3
  • She essentially sought to dethrone the true God and become like God herself!  Imagine the created seeking to become the Creator.  No longer worshiping God, she became an idol to herself…. thus, she was seeking to worship herself.

Christianity:  What does the above have to do with the Trinity?  A lot!  Christians are monotheistic.  Meaning: We believe in ONE God.  But, so does the Muslim… right?  Well yes and no.  They believe in one god but that god is NOT the God of the Bible.  The God of the Bible is:  1 God in 3 persons.

The Father is God

The Son is God

The Spirit is God

Islam, or any other religion, does not believe in the God of the Bible.  The 3 in 1.

As Christians we need to wrestle with WHO God is. Christian, it can not be both!  One cannot say: “she is a moral, good person… she believes in HER VERSION of god, she is going to heaven…”  Either the God of the Bible IS God or He Is NOT God.  But, it can’t be both.  You can’t have the God of the Bible and the god of the Muslim and the god of the Mormon and say:  “we are all good to go – you pick your god and I will pick mine….it doesn’t really matter.”

The reality of the 3 in 1 tells us something.  It tells us IT MATTERS!  To live for, worship, and serve a god who is NOT the 3 in 1 is to NOT worship God.  Because this IS who God is!

The Point?:   My point is to stress to 2 things:

1.)  The doctrine of the Trinity is no small matter!  It is greatly important.  It has incredible implications for the Christian.  So, let’s not entertain some “wishy – washy” – or hold to a vague understanding of the Trinity.

2.)  The Trinity IS WHO GOD IS!  We should labor to know and understand God as best and as accurately as we can.  This labor will have great and lasting implications on our lives!

 

A Parting thought:

For the believer ask:  How has the Father / the Son / the Holy Spirit each brought about your salvation?

 

 

Thirsty? (Part 2)

snickers

 

Snickers Satisfies

 

Does it?  Isn’t the advertising scheme of Snickers that it does NOT satisfy.  Is the marketing scheme of Snickers aimed at ultimate chocolate bar satisfaction? Of course not!  That would be the death of Snickers.  The marketing hope of ALL marketers is to create a longing for their product so strong that you will return again and again and buy their product. They want to create a hunger for, yet ANOTHER, “satisfying” Snickers bar?

Continue reading Thirsty? (Part 2)

Thirsty?

desert

They say a good writer grabs your attention with the first sentence.  That is how Psalms 63 was written.  Right out of the gate David lands on the dry and weary soul.  It’s a thirsty Psalm.  A hungry and parched Psalm.  Written from the wilderness, the psalmist knows something about living thirsty.  Check it out!

Continue reading Thirsty?

What Do You Treasure?

Popcorn

 

When I was a kid many matchbox cars were exchanged among friends.  Then, I grew up into a mature 10 year old and it was  baseball cards that were traded on the school playground during recess.

When we make a trade we are placing value on what is being traded.

Continue reading What Do You Treasure?