The Church that God Hates
I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Amos 5:21
I’ve often been a hypocrite, but nowhere have I been guiltier than in church on Sunday morning, where I have sung of my love for and obedience to God, while using drugs. I wanted my words to be true, but I wanted the high more, so I remained unwilling to do what it took to repent and find recovery. But still, I went to church, saying all the right words while doing all the wrong things.
This gross hypocrisy is similar to the Israelites transgression in today’s passage. They held their religious services, sang songs, and offered animal sacrifices, all of which God commanded them to do. Yet God condemned their worship in harsh, caustic language. I hate your fake version of church. Do not claim to love and obey me while following yourselves. I despise that.
The application for us should be more than a little uncomfortable. We may not be using drugs, but how often do we sing of our steadfast love for God on Sunday but then love only ourselves the rest of the week? God’s people can and should worship him, but God has many times made it clear that he desires obedience rather than false sacrifice and fake worship (1 Samuel 15:22).
Why do we do it? Why do we live for ourselves and then engage in pseudo-worship? We do it to appease our own consciences. We believe in God, yet remain unwilling to do what it takes to be disciples, living in radical obedience to him. We sort of want to live for God, but we want to live for ourselves more. So, we create a facade of worship that looks good to anyone watching on Sunday morning. Fake worship may make us feel better, but God is not fooled. I despise that.
If we want to be disciples and if we truly want to please God, then we must strive to make our actions on Monday match the words we sing on Sunday. If we want the life we were made for, then we must do what it takes to abandon ourselves, following God every day.