Ignorant Worship

March 26, 2015

Allen Michael Rea | Pastor
Dunn Memorial Baptist Church, Baxley, GA

I do not know the weather the day Paul strolled into Athens, but the atmosphere was one of persecution, and his broken heart was stirred. Paul’s heart, sold out but never burnt out, was moved because of all the idols he saw. I believe Paul’s heart would break if he were allowed to walk down the roads of evangelicalism. He would see our preacher idols and missionary elevations and be moved to nausea. Paul even saw an altar to an UNKNOWN GOD. Paul used that temple as a springboard for his message. He tells those Athenians  plainly that what they have worshiped in ignorance he would declare to them openly and honestly. You see, idolatry always leads to ignorance of the True God. When you worship the wrong thing you cannot know the Real Thing. The problem Athens had is the same one that the modern church currently possesses.

God, for the most part,  is not known by the modern church. This is not a problem caused by God. God has revealed Himself in the Scriptures. God has not hid Himself from the modern church; however, the church has attempted to hide away from God. As we hide in the bushes keenly aware of our own nakedness, God walks by and we curse Him for His concealment. Ravenhill said “a man may read because his mind is hungry, but he prays because his soul is hungry.” Our souls are deprived, but they believe themselves to be sufficient. Depravity never confesses itself, but it will exhaust all energy concealing itself. The church doesn’t know God, because the church doesn’t want to know God. The tares seem to be outnumbering the wheat. The goats seem to be multiplying while the sheep sit idly by. We sing our hymns because carrying a tune is easier than carrying a cross. We show up at church because attendance before peers is easier than attendance before God in prayer. We lift up our hands and we toss into the plate, but it’s all in ignorance. This is not just any ignorance, but the worst kind because it is self inflicted ignorance. I do not doubt that it may be sincere ignorance, but it is ignorance all the same.

We need the declaration of Who the True God is. Truth is the cure of ignorance. We need powerful proclamation of the potentiality that man can know God. Worship does not have to be ignorant. It should be invigorating, enlightening, and unmistakable, but never ignorant. Ignorant worship has never glorified God and it never will. It is difficult to process that 2000 plus years later, the modern church has yet to come to terms with the Athenian enigma. The most revolting notion of this is that the modern church is ignorant and its ignorance. There appears to be bliss implanted in the ignorance! I do not want to be happy; my passion is truth. My love is holiness. Oh sure, if we leave well enough alone, the modern church will happily and ignorantly “worship” on as it has been. Church members will keep on “believing that they believe” (to use Tozer’s words) but never actually believe. Ignorance has a high price. Ignorant worship means that we have no Gospel to share. We have become the proverbial “blind leading the blind”. I’m tired of ignorance. We all need some war torn preacher to walk into our cities, and get stirred up enough to tell us the truth. We need some man of God to love us enough to share the truth with us. We need a missionary declaring to us what we thought we already knew. He won’t be a babbler, he’ll be a beggar. One true worshiper will clear out one thousand ignorant ones.

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pam knight

Well said….Praying this will convict challenge and move all of us who read this to respond the way the Lord would have us to. Thanks for the sweet Word of conviction..
In Christ
Pam Knight

    Allen M Rea

    I am thankful that you were edified by this piece. Blessings!

Max

Allen – You do my heart good! About the time I wonder if there is any hope for your generation of preachers, I find this article. While your peers are off trying to bring in some new thing, you give a clarion call to return to the ancient paths. Some of us old guys see it – I was wondering if any of our youth did. It’s not a question of being uninformed or misinformed, our church members are willingly ignorant … thus, 21st century Christendom finds itself doing church without God in far too many places. Our “worship” must sound like fingernails on a chalk board to the Creator. I’m praying for you, young man. It will take this kind of preaching to bring us back to our spiritual senses … if that is indeed possible at this juncture.

    Allen M Rea

    I was trained by your generation. I am so thankful for Pauls such as yourself, because us Timothys would not have a leg to stand on with you all. I covet your prayers. I am aware that I am not preaching to my grandfather’s, or even my father’s, generation.I have heard Jeremiah’s call to return to the ancient paths. My heart also resonates with a few verses earlier in the same sixth chapter of Jeremiah:”To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.” Thank you so much for your encouragement.

      Max

      Allen- Your words remind me of an exchange between Paul and Timothy in 2 Timothy 4. Paul described a time time when people would not put up with sound doctrine. He advised Timothy, should he live to see that time, to do the work of an evangelist. Allen, we are living in that time. Unfortunately, a new wave of Southern Baptists have largely silenced the voice of the evangelist … just as my generation silenced the prophet. The old gray mare ain’t what she used to be in SBC churches. We’ve got enough preachers and teachers in the mix, but we are missing the offices we need in this age. Do the work of an evangelist young man … sound the trumpet as a prophet. Redeem the time for the days are evil.

        Allen M Rea

        Aye, Captain! I promise.

Reagan Marsh

Good words, my friend.

    Allen M Rea

    Thank you brother.

Montie Matlock

And that is the truth, Tozer also said “Failure is being successful at the things that God does not care about”

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