The man Micah had a shrine, and made an ephod and household idols; and he consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest . In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes…Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since I have a Levite as priest!” …And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The presence of the Lord be with you on your way.” Judges 17:5-6, 13; Judges 18:6
In the book of Judges we have been provided a prophetic illustration of what Christ’s church is not supposed to look like. Micah, our main character has created for himself a place of worship; one that has a semblance of authenticity, but in reality is a sham of what God desires or allows. Micah gets an ‘A’ for fleshly creativity, flexibility, pleasantry, and holisticism, but fails miserably in every area that is of divine worth. Simply said, Micah took what was holy, perverted it, and then bought into the lie that it was somehow real. In the end when all his religious stuff was stolen Micah discovered that his hand-built faith was indeed hollow.
The warning for us is to not repeat Micah’s error. Why is it then that we see churches like Micah’s popping up all around us? We do not have to look very far to find churches that espouse creative approaches to worship emphasizing feel good sermons where self worth and prosperity are stressed and where sin and hell are two themes rarely if ever spoken of. Where there is a flexible approach to theology where individual beliefs and moralities are tolerated and oft times celebrated. And finally, where there is a desire to analyze the Bible beyond the scope of its Divine authorship, omitting and inserting text as the body deems appropriate. These have the appearance of Christianity, but in reality are impure and tainted.
But They’re Preaching Jesus?
That’s true, but when ungodly things are allowed in, the entire batch is polluted. And it really doesn’t matter how small the contaminate—it still pollutes. Imagine your Mom made two beautiful cakes. “What’s in them,” you ask.
“Well,” your mom says,“for this cake I went into the backyard, scooped up a big pile of dog poo, and put it in; about a cup’s worth.”
“Umm, ok Mom, whatever, what about the other one?”
“Oh, this one has hardly any poo in it at all, maybe a small piece the size of a pumpkin seed.”
Which cake are you going to eat? A wise person realizes that any amount of contamination is too much. The same principle should hold true for the churches we attend and the preachers we listen to.