Only One Hero in the Story

Singer Steve Green is known internationally for his gospel music. I had several tapes of his good music years ago. What he says at the beginning of this video clip below is what I found important today.

The landscape of evangelical Christianity is littered with man-made religious kingdoms everywhere you look. These self-anointed leaders and ministry entrepreneurs collect followers. Names become famous, because, as Steve says it so well, impressiveness works in the church. We admire talent, commitment, good works, big schemes, the Next Big Thing on radio or TV or online.

But in all the hero worship among Christians, we miss the essential point: There is only one hero in the Christian story, and it is not any of us. No, really, it’s not.

I’m watching a slug fest of epic proportions play out in the world of online “discernment” ministry and broadcasting. Jesus is nowhere to be found. Threats of lawsuits, claims of defamation, open letters and counter open letters are flying. The gauntlets are being thrown down, insults hurled and ugly names used, lines being drawn all over the place. Why? It’s about ego, territory, “brand protection”,  and self, and it reeks of sulfur.

What is needed? Humility. Real Christian humility is the recognition that we daily sin much, as Luther put it. It’s understanding that we don’t any of us have a good record no matter how many radio shows we do or podcasts we  load up or articles we write or conferences we hold and on and on. There is only one with the perfect track record, and without that track record covering our sorry one, we’re doomed.

That perfect track record belongs to Jesus Christ. We can engage in personal or public ministry with false humility (there’s plenty of that) and labor to build our little kingdoms, but that has nothing to do with the living Christ. The fruit of the true presence of our Lord is the profound recognition that we are nothing. He alone is all.

7 thoughts on “Only One Hero in the Story

  1. terriergal says:

    Brilliant. Tears in my eyes. I love this guy’s singing, always have. Look at the very real precious tears in the corners of his eyes too.

  2. terriergal says:

    It looks like he was in essence taking issue with the song of his friend — right there in front of everyone. And he did it *so* graciously and humbly (I have no idea if “john” was upset or not).

    And seriously…when I see a man speak truth like this — earnestly, unrehearsed, freely vulnerably, boldly, graciously, risking the negative feedback of his friend or anyone else there who liked that other song to which he referred, being realistic and truthful about himself and everyone around him, pointing us earnestly toward Christ and away from himself, my heart wells up and I sometimes feel as if I could willingly submit to and follow a church leader like that to the end of the earth. Because I know he will keep pointing me to Christ.

  3. paula knutson says:

    How refreshing!!!! It gives me hope to know God is still speaking to him who has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. I also Ingrid have watched a slug fest recently on the internet. it makes me sick to see what passes off for Christianity. I have deleted most of my blogs as of late. I found myself looking for the latest insult or accusation. I had to be honest and ask myself about my own heart. I have shut down and tuned out, and turned off for the most part. I’ve gotten alone with Christ and oh the joy I’ve experienced. I’m thankful for the work I see Jesus doing in you Ingrid, I have prayed many times for you. Even though you don’t know me. I pray we will be found faithful in Him!!!!!

  4. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Terriergal, I think when Steve mentioned John on there, he was referring to some sort of praise John had given to him that he felt he didn’t deserve just prior to this.

  5. Beverley says:

    A blessed reminder and exhortation “to be found faithful to the very end”. Being found faithful is passing the torch of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to the next generation; at least we should try even though many do not want to hear. Ingrid, in the past you had posted an article recommending a Children’s Bible. I can’t remember which one it was? Would it be possible for you to do another posting on this and perhaps could others share what they have found to be excellent age appropriate Bibles for children? Being found faithful and putting Jesus Christ first among all the idols of our hearts? Ingrid, you stated it so well, “The fruit of the true presence of our Lord is the profound recognition that we are nothing. He alone is all.”

  6. Marilyn says:

    It looked to me that Steve was not being critical or corrective with John’s songs, he said he loved singing the songs John wrote. Steve was simply pointing to himself and re-affirming that Steve is, like the rest of us, not “good” or “a hero”.

    Steve is one of my favorites. My family was privileged to see him at a local event (one of Luis Palau’s “Festivals”) and it was obvious his humility is not the fake that can be seen on other prominent Christians. I love Steve Green!

  7. Rose says:

    Thanks for this post, Ingrid. What we have witnessed the past week or so in the on-line ministry world is very disheartening…especially when no reconcilation or repentance ever takes place. With the world growing darker and more dangerous every day, we Christians should be building each other up, forgiving, loving and supporting each other more than ever, putting our petty differences aside. I am deeply saddened by it all. Like Paula, I am deleting many blogs/programs I used to follow/listen to and plan to spend more time just studying the Bible.

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