10-11 Aug 2019, Christ Mountain Top
Praying the Scripture, Psalm 88, selections
Children, Mark 1.14-20
Message, Jonah 2.1 – 4.1
Last week: the accidental evangelist, how NOT to witness
Today: the hypocritical evangelist, how NOT to pray
Next: the suicidal evangelist, how NOT to be happy
Then: Jonah and Jesus
Hypocritical evangelists? We’ve seen them…
The TV preachers who encourage extravagant generosity yet live in extravagant wealth.
Those who select certain sins to emphasize, as long as they don’t have to convict themselves.
An internal disconnect, beliefs/values not aligned with practice
A created distance, between the evangelist and others
exceptional: the rules that apply to you do not apply to me
judgmental: I am better than you, and you’re a failure
Hypocritical driver’s ed teacher, bus driver: Do what I say, not what I do. Any disconnect? But he was MUCH better than the bus driver who smoked a joint before driving us home. And, that comparison is at the root of hypocrisy’s distance and disconnect, a huge part of hypocrisy’s defense.
Hypocrisy is a part of life, woven into our lives, and most of the time we do not recognize the different faces we wear.
Dad is a chauvinist, the nice kind. He goes to a woman doctor. He’s open to a woman being president. He loves and respects his wife. He holds the door open. He’s even open to a woman preacher.
Dad’s compliment to Robin: “You think like a man.”
“You’re such a chauvinist, Dad.” “No. I’m not. Well, I guess I am.”
Story of racism and welcome in a local church
OR – Elias Chacour, memorial wall
White privilege is a real thing
And like other forms of hypocrisy, we too easily minimize
Hypocritical evangelist and How NOT to pray:
How NOT to pray?
But both prayers (Jonah, Nineveh) are answered!
Jonah misses the true function of prayer. True prayer is about:
NOT to get God to do what we want (mechanical)
but to help us become aligned with the heart of God
In the first case, answers are accidental to our praying
purely the grace and the glory of God
In the second case, answers are incidental to our praying
when compared with God’s transforming work
Yet, God answers
Nineveh is simply ignorant spiritually. God describes them metaphorically in chapter 4 as people who “do not know their right hand from their left.”
Even so, God answers
Jonah not only misses the true function of prayer. He is hypocritical in his prayer itself: “Deliverance belongs to the LORD”
But, only Jonah, not Nineveh should be delivered!
There’s the judgment of hypocrisy showing up
Disconnect, distance, defense
Jonah as comedy
· This preacher has his own deathbed conversion: “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried.” (place of the dead)
· This preacher spends three days and three nights in solitary and has his own jailhouse conversion
Yet, he doesn’t seem any better for all that conversion and salvation.
· He’s just as mad after as he was before.
· He’s just as hateful and racist toward the Ninevites.
You’d think he’d be happy to have a successful and high profile mega church. You’d think he’d be jumping for joy at the over 120,000 people who listen and repent. But no: “this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry” (4.1).
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls (Romans 14.4a-b).
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12)
Judgmental living is IDOLATROUS
Distance:Jonah and Nineveh
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gifts there beside the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother and sister, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).
Husbands … show consideration for your wives in your life together … so that nothing may hinder your prayers (1 Peter 3:7).
Jonah is doing everything wrong, and his prayer is still answered
Nineveh is spiritually ignorant, yet their prayer is answered
glad about that graciousness of God
“deliverance belongs to the LORD”