Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
-- Feeding Jesus' sheep
-- Equipping His servants
-- Proclaiming His Gospel

Right in Their Eyes

By Dennis Pollock



The Book of Judges takes us from the earliest days of Israel as a nation to the point where they will soon insist upon a king. It was a wild time in Israel. There was no capital city, no centralized government, and there were no synagogues in those days. It was a lawless time. At certain times God anointed men to rule and lead the people, and for a season, relative calm would reign. And then that ruler, known as a "judge," would die and it would be every man for himself.


The author of the Book of Judges summed up the state of Israel in those wild days this way: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." In reading this, you get the feeling this was not a compliment. The idea of all the people of Israel doing what was right in their own eyes signified that they were not overly concerned with doing what was right in the eyes of God, which, of course, is what they should have sought to do.

As I read this statement the other day, I could not help but reflect upon the state of the church in our generation. As in those days, all of us, both Christian and non-Christian have certain ideas and beliefs about life, God, the Bible, and what is right and wrong. The question is this: "From where do all these ideas and opinions come? Sadly, for most people today, their convictions, beliefs, and values come from their internal sense of things. Things are right or wrong because they feel they are right or wrong.


But that means nothing. For everyone who has a feeling about a certain behavior, standard or belief, you can find plenty of other people who believe the exact opposite. We may feel that our beliefs and values are proper because to us, these things are "self-evident," to use Jefferson's term. But although we may see our ideas this way, someone else may have "self-evident" opinions entirely opposed to our own. The murderous monster Adolf Hitler had views he was sure were "self-evident," yet he could not have been more wrong. We must have a higher authority than self – we simply cannot trust our own opinions, feelings, and ideas. What values we may suppose are perfectly correct may be in truth, entirely false. And therefore, we Christians base our views, attitudes, convictions, and beliefs upon the Bible. This inspired book, we believe, comes from a higher authority than our own opinions and feelings. It comes straight from the heart of God, and the closer we base our beliefs upon the Scriptures, the safer, wiser, and more correct we become.


How Things Have Changed


However, things have changed drastically in the last generation or two. There was a day when most evangelical Christians were orthodox Christians. They believed in the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the Sermon on the Mount, the epistles of the apostle Paul, heaven and hell, and the new birth. We may have had disagreements over Calvinism vs. Arminianism or whether Jesus was returning before the Rapture of the church or after the Rapture. However, on most of the fundamentals, there was not much variation.


Today it is not so. Many people who will forcefully declare themselves Christians are all over the map when it comes to the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. One thing that has made me keenly aware of this has to do with the constant, bizarre comments left under my YouTube videos. People who are certain that they are Christians hold such unbiblical and heretical views that it takes my breath away. I wonder, "Where in the world, did these folks get these odd and wacky ideas?" They range from people who absolutely despise the apostle Paul, to those who feel the teachings of Jesus are entirely irrelevant for Christians today, to those who deny the Trinity, to those who deny the Personhood of the Holy Spirit. They believe so many more strange doctrines that run entirely opposite to what Christians have believed and preached for the last two thousand years. I wonder to myself, "Where did they learn this nonsense? How is it that so many millions of self-professed "Christians" have strayed so far from the path of theological soundness?"


What Happened to Sunday Morning Church?


I believe there are several key reasons that make this a particular problem in our generation. The first reason is inconsistent church attendance. There are not nearly as many people who attend church regularly as there used to be. In previous generations in America, on Sunday mornings, nearly everybody up and down the block would be getting ready early, having a quick breakfast, and heading off for the local Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Assembly of God churches. Traffic was light on Sundays between the hours of ten and twelve.

Today, very few people go to church, at least regularly. Many Americans love to say things like: "I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious." Very few want to admit they have no spiritual experiences. Nor do they want others to think of them as stone-cold atheists. By saying, "We’re spiritual but not religious," they give themselves an air of being highly sensitive and deep people, without the nuisance of going down to their corner churches with their Bibles under their arms, or saying things like, "Halleluia," "Praise the Lord," or "Jesus is Lord." It is so much cooler these days to skip church and ignore the Bible and instead meditate, practice yoga, and think deep and "spiritual" thoughts about climate change, global warming, and "equity." But of course, when you ignore the Bible, you could not possibly be expected to know the Bible or to hold to traditional Biblical, evangelical, orthodox Christianity. Without the constraints of the Biblical revelation, your liberated mind is free to roam wherever you let it to go – in other words, to do and believe "what is right in your own eyes."


Unorthodox Television Preachers


A second reason people are so far off from the classic doctrines of Christianity is that refusing to attend a solid, Bible-believing church, they will instead watch an occasional TV preacher. After watching a one-half-hour program of theological drivel, they will feel good about themselves and tell others, "I went to church this morning – I listened to Pastor so and so on television."

Sadly, if Christians are all over the map theologically, the television preachers are more so. You do not have to pass a theological test to preach on television. You are not required to demonstrate orthodoxy or Biblical balance. The only pre-requisite for preaching on TV is that you must put up the money to pay for the airtime. And that generally means you will have to be a pastor of a large church who can pay those TV bills. But many men become pastors of large churches, not because they preach sound Biblical Christian doctrines, but because they tell people what they want to hear and only what they want to hear. Thus, they will never preach about repentance or of God's hatred for sin, or the necessity to live a holy life. They will simply announce that every single person has a great destiny in God, and if you will only allow God to lead you, He will make you great, He will make your wildest dreams come true, He will give you lots of money and other stuff, and you will achieve a destiny beyond anything you can imagine. Of course, that sounds great to many people, so if this minister has an engaging personality, a nice smile, and speaks well, he will often build a very large church. And before you know it, he will be talking to a TV network and writing out a fat check so he can tell millions that God wants to make them all great, rich, and famous.




A third reason many professing Christians hold such unbiblical beliefs is that our nation and much of our world today have stopped reading. In the old days, reading was what you did in the evenings. After dinner, you sat in a chair in your living room, read until you got drowsy, and then went to bed. Today, with the Internet and YouTube, video games, cable television with hundreds of stations; who reads anymore? Not many. This is bad in general, but it is especially bad for Christians who will not make time to read the Bible. And with virtually no Biblical knowledge, they are susceptible to some of the wildest, craziest, and most unbiblical doctrines that have ever existed in the history of the church. They swallow falsehoods that our great-grandparents would have immediately seen through and rejected out of hand. But we have become an illiterate world, and we in the church have become a Biblically illiterate people – so illiterate that we cannot discern between the doctrines of demons and the doctrines of Jesus Christ. So, when some false teacher spews theological poison from his mouth, we nod our heads and shout "Amen," congratulating ourselves on being so thoroughly enlightened.

Fourthly, professing Christians are seduced away from Biblical Christianity because, in today's church, there is often a lack of emphasis on Jesus. Jesus is the anchor that holds all the classic doctrines together. If you look at the cults, you will find that they all have departed from Jesus. They do not believe He is God in the flesh, they do not emphasize Him, and they do not preach the new birth through faith in Him. Rather, they emphasize their own "unique" doctrines because that is what makes them special. They attract others who want to be special and understand the deeper, mystical doctrines in which ordinary Christians do not grasp. Professing themselves wise, they become fools.


Back to Basics


The solution is simple: We must get back to the Bible and get back to centering our lives, our churches, our sermons, our teachings, and our faith in Jesus Christ. Sadly, the need for this is not only for cult members – many who consider themselves mainstream evangelicals have so little Bible knowledge and insight that they either cannot answer some of the most basic questions or they fear to do so.

A popular Christian singer was asked by someone what she thought about a particular sin – at least, the Bible certainly calls it a sin. Today many Americans do not. When she was asked whether this behavior was a sin, she answered, "I can't say one way or the other, I'm not God'. So, when people ask questions like that, I just say read the Bible and find out for yourself and when you find out, let me know because I'm learning too."

I found this astonishing. This incredibly popular Christian singer said that she did not know whether something the Bible explicitly condemns, is sin. My thought was this:  This singer is either A) intellectually challenged, B) never reads the Bible and doesn't have a clue of what it says, or C) is afraid to declare what the Bible says for fear of being controversial and losing some of her fans.

We who follow Christ are Bible believers and lovers of the Scriptures. We are not free to create our own values and standards or to allow our morality to shift and morph with the prevailing winds of our culture. Nor are we free to stray from a Christ-centric belief system that respects and clings to the time-honored doctrines that the church of Jesus Christ has always embraced. We will not do, nor will we believe that "which is right in our own eyes." We will believe the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to shape our lives and thinking according to its precepts. And while there "was no king in Israel" in those days of the Judges, we have a King today. His name is Jesus, and we will follow Him always.




For a full listing of all articles, written and audio, go to our Devo Catalog Page.



        For inspirational devos, bios of Christian leaders, free downloads, and the latest SOGM news:
Sign up to receive E-newsletter

Your donations are needed and greatly appreciated!



Just for you!

Missions Outreach

A major part of Spirit of Grace Ministries is our ministry in the great continent of Africa. There is a tremendous harvest going on in the world these days, and we are privileged to be a part of it. Above is a brief music video featuring video clips and pics from our recent mission in Nigeria in Oct/Nov, 2019.

Audio Devo: "Why is there suffering?"

People have debated this question for millennia. And we cannot speak concerning specific individual questions of suffering, but the Bible clearly speaks as to why suffering has always been a part of the human experience.