The Church of MORH
Many are convinced that God truly wants them to spend their days in bliss as a result of having all their wishes granted.
- Gimme MORE!
- I want MORE!
- I need MORE!
- I deserve MORE!
- God wants me to have MORE!
I had thought to write an article titled, "The Church of MORE", focused on dissecting this ever-popular blasphemous mentality, where a loving God exists but for to serve man's every lust or whim.
Mankind has little, if any, comprehension of God's love. Many teach that for God to express His love, let alone "be" love, He must be a working combination of Santa Claus, their own personal ATM, and a winning lottery ticket.
Sadly, the love of the world has overtaken them and they and their followers have been deceived and set up for a great fall. Yet I suggest there exists in our day an even more insidious mindset, one that includes but expands well beyond the false teaching of "God wants you all to be filthy rich!"
I have created an intentional play on words in an acronym meant to uncover the sophisticated belief system of reliance on one's own strong right hand for salvation (help, the way out, deliverance, means of escape, assistance, guidance, comfort, assurance, supply, provision... everything).
M.O.R.H. - My Own Right Hand
It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory...
Membership in The Church of M.O.R.H. does not actually require belief in God, though church leaders do insist that one must believe strongly in oneself. A central theme of church doctrine is to know that I am special and that the world is my oyster. According to the teaching, if I wish to retrieve my pearl from that oyster, I must stop waiting for things to happen. I must stop being a victim of circumstances. I must stop waiting for things to magically change. I must stop waiting for someone to come save me. I don't simply possess an ability to make changes - I am the instrument of change! Change starts with me. I have the power to make things happen. I have the power to make a difference. I have the power to face and overcome any obstacle. I have the power to obtain all that I want. I have the power to help and save myself. All this power is in My Own Right Hand.
Do you feel inspired, yet? This is a most appealing message to my flesh. If it is really all up to me, then what am I waiting for? If I really do have the power in "My Own Right Hand", then I should be devoting all my attention and energy to developing and deploying that power. I need to adjust my thinking and make changes to my environment. I can't be afraid of what other people will think. I certainly can't have negative people yapping in my ear, dragging me down. I can't afford to be around those who would seek to dissuade me from wielding my power, such as those who would try to tell me to "wait on God" or to "trust in the LORD.".
When I am discontent or dissatisfied with what I have, and want more, I typically find a way to justify going out and getting it. All that is in the world (the lust/desires of the flesh, the lust/desires of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life) beckons to me constantly to add to my life that which I am convinced is currently missing from it. Appetites, cravings, longings, and yearnings constantly tempt me to go out and get MORE. Add to that an unceasing barrage of advertisement of all that I need, but don't currently possess, and I become prime bait for being hooked with the message that I have the power to go get what I want... Look! It is in My Own Right Hand.
When I am not feeling particularly righteous, or if I am attempting to overcome guilt through anything other than forgiveness, such as through resolutions, improved behavior, so-called "right living", etc., there are myriad teachings, laws, chants, rituals, disciplines, fasts, cleanses, diets, relocations, makeovers and surgeries available to me that I can select from to effect change. Living in the days that Daniel was told about, the days where "knowledge will increase", information is available everywhere to everyone. There may actually be more self-help programs accessible online, in bookstores, or on recorded media than there are selves to help. I have the power to change. It is up to me. It is in My Own Right Hand.
I witness the injustice(s), the double standards applied by those in authority (one law for me, a different law for thee), the deliberate efforts on the part of those in power to harm those they are supposed to serve. I see the lies, theft, adultery, murder, disobedience, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, envy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, idolatry, greed, worshiping wealth, illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, drug use, drunkenness, wild partying, dirty stories, foolish talk, obscene jokes, foolishness, and more. And I think, "I have the power in my own right hand to do something about it!"
Inscribed on the altar at the Church of M.O.R.H. are the words:
The lord helps those who help themselves
Not surprisingly, what is written in the Scriptures is the opposite of what men teach:
The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
Note that it is God alone Who helps, delivers and saves the people "...because they take refuge in Him" - not because they trust in their own right hand.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
"...my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me." The psalmist does not say, "I trust in the strength of my own right hand, and God helps me help myself."
It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up. Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
God says, "Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God." He contrasts these with those who "light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches." Relying on our own right hand to light your way is not without consequence, as God says to you, "Go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment."
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Are you hearing a recurring message, that being to trust in the LORD completely? Such trust does not allow for trusting in one's own right hand. I know there are those who would agree, not because they trust in the LORD but because they are tempted to trust in someone else's right hand. These look for another champion, another shepherd, another savior. They look to other men to lead them, but they do not look to God.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
Why am I making such a big deal out of this?
Because men trust in themselves. Men trust in one another. But men do not trust in God! Worse yet: men are teaching that God wants you to be even more self-reliant!
As the threat of personal discomfort grows, we hear messages that seek to call out the policies, mandates, edicts, and even laws that are encroaching upon our so-called freedom(s). The chatter intensifies in indignance over the trampling of our alleged "God-given" rights. But as the grim reality of actual hardship is imposed, that message shifts to vilify the policy makers and enforcers, those evildoers responsible for our suffering. We are told that they are the enemy, they must be held to account, and we must do something about it. We must fight back lest we be extinguished! Or worse: we might be accused of doing nothing.
What is behind this "right hand dependence", this lustful desire for self-reliance? Is it just pride? Though pride is nearly always present in men, fear is a much more likely candidate. Fear motivates us to go where pride, alone, would never dare to tread. There is fear that paralyzes and there is fear that causes flight. There even appears to be a fear of fear, as in the fear of being overwhelmed with an even greater, terrorizing, dreadful fear. Fear has been said to be as close to 180° away from faith as can be experienced. Perhaps this helps to explain why, when an angel of the LORD addresses a man, any man or woman, the conversation typically begins with the angel saying, "Do not be afraid..."
You may recall that Zechariah, John the Baptizer's dad, was apprehended by Gabriel, the angel of the LORD. When he saw the angel. Zechariah was gripped with fear. After opening with the usual "Fear not" intro, Gabriel told the elderly man that Elisabeth, Zechariah's aged, barren wife, would have a son. In classic form Zechariah, fully cognizant of both he and his wife's abilities/inabilities, and being not merely a devout man, but a priest, responded with a hearty, implicit, "That's impossible!"
After all, Zechariah was no dummy. The science of the day was clear and could be trusted: his wife could no longer bear children. God could either give the man a plan, a strategy that Zechariah could get his head around, something like what Sarai came up with when she offered Abram her handmaiden Hagar, or God could expect some pushback from the man, right? We assume that Zechariah would have been intimately familiar with the full story of Abraham. Ignoring the fact that Zechariah had just been visited by an angel of the Living God - not anyone's daily experience - and the fact that the message the angel brought was the declaration that He would be repeating the same miracle that He had performed upon Sarai when she became pregnant with Isaac, Zechariah wanted proof! Gabriel had something to say about that:
And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I have been sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their proper time."
...because you did not believe my words...
Most of mankind falls into the Zechariah category, but there are a few people who have responded to God differently. Noah began a 100-year ship building project as a result of God having told him the end of all flesh was impending. It is written:
Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
In a word: wow!
I have already mentioned Abram, the 75 year old idol worshipper who lived in Ur of the Chaldees, who was suddenly told by the Living God to pack everything up and head out in yonder direction to a land that God would give to him. Incredulously, Abram did as God said. After a few adventures Abram opined to God that it sure would be nice to share all this that God was doing for him with his own offspring. As with Zacharias's wife Elisabeth, Abrams's wife Sarai was also barren. Being 65, she was well past childbearing years. God informed Abram that the man would not only have a son, but that his descendants would be innumerable. That means not countable. It is written:
Abram believed the LORD, and it was credited to Abram as righteousness.
But let us pursue Abram's adventure a little farther, to witness a demonstration of leaning on one's own right hand. Ten years had passed since Abram left his home to follow God and come to dwell in the land of Canaan. Sarai, Abram's wife, could not give her husband a child. As a faithful disciple of the Church of M.O.R.H., and wanting to be the instrument of change that forced the fulfillment of God's promise, Sarai did the next most honorable thing for her husband: she gave her Egyptian servant Hagar to Abram to wed and bear him a son. Her reasoning:
...perhaps I shall obtain children through her.
Fearing that she would never realize her dream, and mixing in God's own words where applicable, Sarai was inspired to make it happen, herself.
Who is in charge?
Who is running things?
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my being delivered up to the Yehudim (Judeans). But now my kingdom is not from here."
If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight...
But His kingdom is not of this world. What does that require, then, of His servants?
Rather than completely abandon their philosophical beliefs regarding God's role in their lives, and their role as His servants, men simply adjust those beliefs. This allows them to get their heads around their boxed version(s) of God while maintaining control of any given situation.
There is an increasingly popular teaching among American Christians, specifically those who seem to have confused America with the kingdom of God. You may recall the nation was birthed in rebellion and bloodshed after a war was sparked due to a refusal to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. The men who provoked the rebellion are exalted as godly heroes and patriots, and followers of this teaching are exhorted to "go and do likewise."
Curiously, I don't hear much talk about God founding the nation of Guatemala, or Lichtenstein, but all my life I have heard about God's role in establishing the U.S. of A.
A given American's purpose for existence appears to be to right the wrongs of all other societies, everywhere. They are here to carry out God's justice in the Earth. Details vary, but most agree this justice should be based on some combination of the Law of Moses, the intent of the founding fathers, the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and something they call "democracy." Lawbreakers must be prosecuted, injustice must be appealed, countries must be invaded, tyranny is a shackle that must be removed, oppression will not be tolerated and must be overthrown, etc.
While they won't come right out and say it, they imply that God has already done what He has done, and is all done doing it. The rest is up to us!
This teaching further implies that, if we all do a good enough job of cleaning things up, when Maryah Yeshu Meshika (Jesus) returns He can descend directly into the Oval Office of the Whitehouse and pick up where the last President left off.
The central theme of this teaching is that evil must be stopped, and it is the duty of Christians everywhere (but mostly in America) to stop that evil! Since evil is perpetrated by evildoers, stopping evil means stopping the evil people carrying out the evil. I hear the growing fear, frustration, and desperation as they cry out, "As Christians we can't sit around and wait for things to change! We refuse to be victims of inaction." Psalm 96:16 is often quoted to support the idea that God is still out there searching for an army who will fight the bad guys on His behalf:
Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
There is a massive problem with this interpretation: It isn't God who is asking the question... It is the Psalmist! In the next verse, the author answers:
Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
You see, God is our Savior; we are not His. This Psalm begins with:
The LORD is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve.
God is not looking for a few good men who can go kill all the bad guys. Nor is He looking for a few good men who get out there and make America great again.
But he said to him, "Why do you call me good? There is none good except God alone...
God has said to His people (His faithless people, mind you):
It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
This is the latter half of the song (Psalm) of Moses:
"It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." The LORD will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. He will say: "Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in, the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!
"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders."
Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.
Do you trust in the strength of your own right hand? Or do you put your trust in the LORD?
M.O.R.H. coming ... soon...
Grace and Peace be with you,