Updated: Oct 16
There is a powerful lesson to be learned from the life of King David that speaks volumes to the church age – especially to the contemporary church that is making the same disastrous mistake that David made when he attempted to bring the “Ark of the Covenant” to Jerusalem. ¹
We are told that the “Shekinah Glory” (God’s presence) dwelt upon the Ark between the “Cherubims”. ² It’s important to note that God had chosen the Levites to bear the Ark upon their shoulders when it was carried. ³ But in David’s misguided zeal to bring the presence of God to Jerusalem, he thought it would be a progressive step forward to copy what the Philistines had done by transporting it upon a brand-new oxcart. His efforts to do so met with disastrous results.
David’s heart may have been right, but choosing to ignore God’s word resulted in a severe reprimand from God and a lesson which reverberates to this day. There are severe consequences when we do it our way instead of God’s way just because it seemed like a better idea. Furthermore, when the Ark was being carried to Jerusalem, Uzzah was struck dead by God when he sought to steady the ark with his own hand. That divine judgement underscores the willful arrogance behind the whole scheme and serves as a warning to all those who try to further the power and presence of God through their own understanding, efforts, and initiative. It is also a warning against trying to build His church through worldly know-how.
How many times has the church borrowed from the ways of the world to build His church? Following Emperor Constantine’s legalization of Christianity in the 3rd century, a floodgate of religious rituals, observances and traditions borrowed from pagan and Levitical sources was thrown open. The church that man began to build in earnest thus became increasingly compromised as her spiritual integrity and biblical authenticity drained away.
The church has been borrowing from the ways of the world ever since in order to be more appealing, captivating and popular. This pattern of worldly influence continues today in earnest. While the contemporary church tries to justify this under their all-encompassing umbrella of “becoming all things to all men that they man win some”, it is a gross distortion of what Paul had intended. This “Pandor’s Box” of worldly compromise led to the church system we see today. What we now have is a church system which is largely impotent, ineffective, and harmless to the world. She has become so much like the world that you can no longer discern the difference.
Today, it is all about being relevant, relatable, tolerant, trendy, and non-judgmental. The contemporary church often accepts cultural correctness, alternative lifestyles, progressive politics, multi-gender inclusion, cultural correct theology, worldly prosperity teachings, and “seeker sensitive” gospels. This worldly church often adopts worldly lifestyles, worldly trends, worldly music, worldly marketing strategies, worldly know-how, worldly gimmicks, worldly hype and even worldly experiences if it will bolster their church attendance.
The church has faithfully followed in the pioneering footsteps of David by borrowing from the world an endless parade of shiny new oxcarts offering all the latest bells & whistles. What’s more, they've got their hands all over it as well along with a lot of hyped worship accompanying it. But despite man’s obsessive quest to be culturally relevant, innovative, and appealing to the world, the church that man has built has become hopelessly irrelevant and displeasing in the eyes of God.
1. II Samuel 6:1-10; 2. Exodus 25:22 & Psalms 99:1; 3. II Samuel 7:9 &15:24-29