Counterfeit Conquering

I have a theory as to why video games like “Call of Duty” are so popular these days.  I believe all of us, especially men, are created with a desire to conquer.  It is an innate desire to overcome evil, to defeat enemies, to be the hero.

Video games offer a chance to get the satisfaction of conquering, the feeling of accomplishment, without any real risk.  I can defeat the enemy without having to really fear for my life.  I can become the hero without having to chance anything real.  The greatest real danger I face in a video game is carpal tunnel syndrome.

I think the same can be said for social media.  We were created with a need for community.  In the Garden of Eden God said of man, “It is not good for him to be alone.”  We are wired for connection, for fellowship, for intimacy.  Social media provides the chance for me to find community, again without any real risk.  I don’t have to make myself vulnerable on Facebook.  I don’t have to uncover anything about myself I wish to keep hidden.  I don’t have to look someone in the face and reveal who I really am.  I can have lots of friends, yet lack a single friendship.

Entertainment, pornography, shopping: all are counterfeits meant to give us a certain feeling without responsibility.  I get a temporary emotional high, yet I haven’t had to open myself to inspection by another human being, or by God.

I think our modern model of “church” has created this same isolation and lack of vulnerability.

We go to a building with several hundred (or thousand) other lonely souls, sit in a pew, listen to a sermon.  The whole time, no one has to know I’m suffering.  No one has to know that I’m depressed, or that my marriage is falling apart.  We get the spiritual satisfaction without the real vulnerability to which Christ has called us.  We can hide in a big church, we can’t hide in a small group of real community.

There is a real world out there, with real problems.  It is in need of real people with real solutions. The world doesn’t need counterfeit conquerers, it needs real warriors.  The poor don’t need fake help, they need real people who are willing to lay down their lives on their behalf.  The broken and wounded all around us don’t need institutional church, they need real people, serving a real God with real answers.

When we truly experience the gospel in our lives, it frees us from the need for the counterfeit.  

God intimately knows everything about me, and has redeemed me anyway.  He is my Father, He is my protector, He is my power.  I no longer need to fear enemies.  I no longer need to hide behind a false face.  I can be real, because I serve a real God who is on my side no matter what.

Let’s put down the fake.  We’ve settled for second best for far too long.  Let’s quit seeking those false emotional highs.  Let’s allow God to ground our feet in reality, becoming His ambassadors to the world around us.

Let’s start building a real kingdom.

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  1. #1 by Claire Grasse on August 2, 2011 - 9:39 AM

    Great post! Very timely.

  2. #2 by Cathy Joulwan on August 2, 2011 - 10:42 AM

    EXCELLENT Dave – thanks once again for hittin’ me where I live. 😉

    • #3 by Dave Kirby on August 2, 2011 - 10:55 AM

      Thanks Cathy. It hits me where I live as well. That’s why I wrote it. 🙂

      Dave Kirby 863-608-4071

  3. #4 by David on August 5, 2011 - 11:02 PM

    I agree with your perspective. Those trap in the middle of such war (honest believers who don’t know better, and people finding truth) are the ones affected.

    In the meantime, those “christian leaders” who encourage, organize and support the believers in such a “mission” are deep inside conscious of how little that culture war has to do with the gospel of salvation by grace in JC alone. But, maybe is something that fulfill their personal agendas in which control, division, and peoples alienation are means to an end ……We’ve been foretold about that and it is written. It is call apostasy.

    Now I have a question I would like you to address.

    In the epistle to the ephesians is written:
    “and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of the darkness, but rather reprove them.” (ephesians 5:11 KJV)
    That “reprove them” could mean that we as God’s children are entitled and exhorted to confront the ungodly in his/her unrighteousness?
    It also comes to my mind how John the Baptist called out Herod on his illicit relationship with his sister in law…

    I will really appreciate your insight on that.

    Peace be with you.


    • #5 by Dave Kirby on August 6, 2011 - 10:57 AM

      Great question. In fact, it caused me to think and pray about an answer. I think it’s important enough that I’m writing a blog post about it right now. I’ll have a more complete answer for you when it posts this week. But here’s my short answer:

      1. Notice the scripture in Ephesians says “unfruitful WORKS of darkness” and not “unfruitful WORKERS of darkness.” It’s focused on the acts, not the ones who do them.
      2. The word “fellowship” in this passage could be better translated “participate in”. In other words, “Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness.”
      3. The context of this passage is encouraging believers not to engage in sinful acts like those in the world around them do. It’s real focus is on me and my heart, and not the hearts of others. It’s about how I’m living my life, not a challenge for me to go out and change others.
      4. The word “reprove” as used in the KJV could be better translated as “expose”. I believe this is a challenge for me to live my life in such a way that the darkness around me is exposed for what it really is by contrast.
      5. While John the Baptist did speak out against Herod, we don’t have any record of him organizing protests against Herod or some sort of revolution against him. I think there is a big difference between speaking the truth and waging some sort of war against those who disagree with us. Truth be told, while John the Baptist did speak out in this situation, the majority of his harsh words were reserved for the same people Jesus spoke out against, and the same people I speak against today, those who self-righteously hold others to a higher standard than they themselves can or do keep.

      Thanks for the comments and question. I’m honored, not only that you read my blog, but that it inspired you to think and question and engage. Blessings!

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