“Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the Lord and the palace treasury and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king. So the king of Assyria attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. He also killed King Rezin. King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. While he was there, he took special note of the altar. Then he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail. Uriah followed the king’s instructions and built an altar just like it, and it was ready before the king returned from Damascus.” 16:8-11
Oy vey. I can’t help think of the American church and most American Christians when I read this. We love imitating secular culture. It’s why popular Christian music sounds so bad. It’s why next to Guitar Hero in the store sits “Guitar Worship”, a similar game replacing hit music with worship songs. You name it and Christian culture has made something identical. Like Ahaz, we mimic what we like, even when we like stupid things. Here’s what the Bible says:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:21-24
We are not suppose to take note of what people outside the church are doing; we’re suppose to offer them something different.
Take a minute and reflect on your approach to Christian culture. Are you expecting it to be identical to the rest of cultural? This is usually a symptom of not being willing to fully step away from your false self, and step into your new life with Christ.