It would probably serve us well to step back just a bit. In fact, it might be a good idea to take several steps back.
The Bible teaches that God became a man. What a person believes about this claim – has no effect upon it. For centuries, God had worked with one particular culture, and chose to make His appearance there. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came into His own things (Israel), and those who were His own did not receive Him” (Jn 1:10,11). Over those centuries, much had been revealed about His personality, priorities and goals. Israel should have welcomed Him, but, as a whole, they did not. We are told He had “no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him” (Isa 53:2). Most likely, His enemies hated His looks and mannerisms … maybe even the pitch of His voice. They were determined to silence that voice. Eventually, they framed Him, and had Him executed.
At one point in His ministry, Jesus stated, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Lk 6:40). Human nature has not changed. If given the opportunity, many will silence a voice they do not want to hear. For any Christian, a life that does not end like the Teacher’s … well, that pupil has been spared. That’s fine with me. I have no desire to end this life on a Roman cross – or any contemporary equivalent.
In spite of this, over the millennia, Christians have shared their encounters with the living God in many ways. Political and technological advances have often granted new avenues for the expression of this witness. Whether it’s a government granting religious freedom, or the invention of the printing press, radio, or television … great platforms have opened for a Christian’s “voice.” Let’s look at a new one.
A few years ago, there was no such thing as the Internet … or a Christian website. This medium is truly astounding. Christians can now upload their work to the internet and have a worldwide impact – without ever leaving their desk. And Christians who live in countries where they are free to exercise this “voice” are the recipients of extraordinary favor. Such fortune is remarkable. Words cannot convey the magnitude of such an opportunity now available to an individual Christian. Personally, I am amazed God has placed such a “megaphone” at the end of fingertips attached to such faulty hands.
Surely a new medium also brings with it … new rules. New boundaries for new opportunities in a new time … right? Well, you already know what I am going to say. All the old rules still apply. A Christian website is not “a free zone.” And what are these rules? “Each man must watch how he builds on (the foundation). For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each man’s work will become evident; for The Day will display it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work, which he has built upon (the foundation) survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss ….” (1Cor 3:10-15). Of course, any material about God that springs from a different foundation has absolutely no hope of prevailing before our Creator. It will be dismissed out of hand.
One primary determinant between fire and reward is the accuracy of the proclaimed knowledge. “Good intentions,” or one’s “interpretation,” or what “seems right,” or “feels right,” will not prevail over bad information. God is under no obligation to use error – yours or mine – in His Kingdom expansion. What an oxymoron. Error is destined for fire. Whether springing from “innocence” or malicious calculation – it matters not. Its origin is irrelevant.
Those who decide to represent God, need to know that grave warnings are directed their way. He wants to be represented accurately – and repeatedly warns anyone taking on this endeavor. “Let not many become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgement” (Ja 3:1). This warning is aimed at Christians – who have been wholly pardoned! So what awaits false teachers, and false prophets and others who promote contrary religious constructs? God is extremely intense about this … far beyond my understanding. (See 2Pet 2:1-22 and Jude: 3-19 for starters.)
But along with accurate content, there is another bedrock consideration for “how” one should properly build upon the foundation. Let’s talk about money. Before I became a Christian, I always knew when I stumbled upon a Christian radio or television station. Within minutes (or less) they would be calling for money – my money, grandma’s money, your money, everybody’s money – anybody’s money. I instinctively knew many were charlatans, but as for the rest … what kind of “God” needed to have His servants in my billfold? This turned me off … and, with the flip of a switch, I turned them off. Fortunately, the Author of the Bible did not remain silent about my complaint on this matter.
At one point, I decided to read the Bible. To my surprise, I discovered a lot of material about money … and religious frauds. At the time of this writing, I have been a Christian for over thirty years. God has never charged me a penny for any of His information – or acts – on my behalf. And He never will. So, as one claiming to represent Him, why should I? Of course, I have heard “why” for three decades … but most “whys” are rationalizations – not reasons. “Freely you received, freely give” (Mt 10:8). Shouldn’t the Christian seek out this option first?
So, let’s look again at a Christian website and the Bible. By investing just a few dollars in their own work, Christians can share what God has shared with them … all over the world … for free. This is exciting … and shocking. When I think of Christians past (and present), who have never been given such a “voice” … it is clear this has nothing to do with fairness. But, even more shocking, when God Himself was here, did He give Himself a megaphone like this? The reality of such a platform … for a pupil?
Do you have a Christian website? Purpose to make it solid in content – a treasure chest – with no money barrier in front of His treasure. Whether we like it or not, every detail of our work will be scrutinized for content … and procedure. Why “toil for fire” (Hab 2:13)? May God have mercy upon us all.