>Nitpicking? I Think Not…

>I have already recommended (and told you I’d buy it back if you bought it and didn’t like it…as long as you began your Amazon journey from here!) “Marks of the Messenger.”

The author (J. Mack Stiles) not only has written an very instructive and corrective work (C. J. Mahaney says, “If you, like me, want to grow in evangelism, I highly recommend Mack’s book”), but he has a large dose of guts!

Take this, for instance, in which he talks about “me-centered love” in the chapter “Wordly Love and Its Fruits”:

Me-centered love easily bleeds into Christian thinking about God’s love. We start thinking God’s love is about my world and me. We start treating God as a celestial butler, and singing songs that make it hard to tell if Jesus is a savior or a boyfriend. Take this refrain, for instance: “Like a rose, trampled on the ground/You took the fall and thought of me,/Above all.”

This song about Christ’s crucifixion is wildly popular. But constrast the words of Christ as He approached His crucifixion: “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name! (John 12.27-28)

Jesus above all desired for the Father to be glorified. He was not thinking of me above the Father. He was not thinking of me more than another person, for that matter. Doesn’t this song point to our Western privatized selfishness? Yet Christians by the thousands sing this song and never realize its message is more culture than Bible. Unfortunately this son reinforces a worldly concept that the love of God is focused on me.”

(to be fair, the author points out that he does, in fact, like most of Michael W. Smith’s other stuff!)

Just in case you’re not familiar with the song (which I’ve always thought was a little, well, odd…) here it is:

Author: Jack Hager

Jesus invaded my life shortly after my arrest at age 26. I spent the first few years of my new life incarcerated. Went to Bible school after parole; have served with Kansas City Youth For Christ, Headwaters Christian Youth (Rhinelander, Wi), Family Life Ministries (Bath, NY), and now with Midland Ministries (Saint Joseph, Mo). Married with four children, work with youth, adults, inmates. Heavily involved in Bible quizzing for four decades. Narrow minded about Jesus and the gospel; fairly open minded about most other things. Speak in churches, camps (both teen and family), civic groups, public schools, Christian schools and colleges...amazed I get to do what I get to do....favorite verse Romans 15.13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may overflow with hope."

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