Dancing with the Stars is starting soon. I know that there are a few fans here. One Dance you will not see the contestants performing is the “Dance of the Moron”. And no you will not see this couple performing either. We laugh, but there really is a dance of the Moron that God says describes as the forbidden dance, one which He is Passionately Opposed to.
The Dance of the Moron looks exciting and wonderful to other morons, but to God, it is very deadly.
This Dance of the Moron is described in the verses we will look at in Romans 1:18-23.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:18-23 (ESV)
Before we examine this Dance of the Moron and God’s Passionate Opposition to it, it would help us to define some terms:
- A person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.
- In Psychology. a person of borderline intelligence in a former classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69.
God does not quantify morons by their IQ. God classifies people as morons based upon how they respond to the next term we’ll define. God is the one who determines who is a moron or not.
Revelation (apokalyptō – vs 17 & 18)
- The act of revealing or disclosing; disclosure.
- Something revealed or disclosed, esp. a striking disclosure, as of something not before realized.
I. God’s Case Against Mankind
- Why God Responds With Wrath? From Romans 1:18-23.
A. God has Revealed Two Things to Mankind
1. He Is and He is Righteous (vs 17)
Verse 17 says “For in it (Gospel God) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. This Gospel that we saw last week, that Paul surrendered his life to, is revealed in the Greatest Power this World has ever known-the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. By faith in God’s Message, we see, we know, we possess the very Righteousness of God. Gospel God is opposed to all those who by intent or by ignorance or by stupidity refuse to Honor His Righteousness.
Righteousness is “what God requires; what is right, uprightness, justice; righting wrong; (God’s) putting (man) in a right relationship (with Himself).”
God is not content being Righteous by Himself. This World, everything that is in it, including you and me, God desires with all His heart to set it Right once again. He created it RIGHT, but sin happened. He has revealed His Righteousness to us, His way of setting it right again, and it is by FAITH that this RIGHTEOUSNESS can be ours. Jesus Christ has made everything possible, and we must simply life in FAITH in what God has done through Him. IN THE GOSPEL, God has REVEALED HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOW IT IS AVAILABLE TO US!
2. He is and He is Passionate (orge-desire – vs 18)
Various translations translate ‘orge’ in this way:
- The wrath of God (KJV, ESV, NIV)
- God shows his anger (NLT, GW, TEV, NCV)
- God’s angry displeasure erupts (MSG)
Passion from Dictionary.com:
- any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
- strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
- strong sexual desire; lust.
- a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.
- violent anger.
Instead of viewing ‘wrath’ as some angry outburst, we should see it as a passionate display of His Righteous character. The same way married couples respond to unrighteous threats to their marriage.
- “Wrath is the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness.”
- God is not passive but active in response to sin.
- This attitude and exercise of righteous indignation against evil is no vice but a virtue which God perfectly displays against sin.
B. God is El Qanna – I am Jealous
- “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” Exodus 34:14
- God desires His Creation to Worship Him, to Walk With Him, and He jealously injects Himself into our life.
PERSONAL WITNESS: One of the most dramatic things I have ever witnessed was as I was a freshman in Bible College at a Laundromat doing my laundry. It was Thursday evening, I was watching Kung-Fu. All of a sudden I hear a screeching of tires as a car slammed on its brakes. Into the Laundromat a gal comes stomping, screaming, “you been messin with my man. You better getta away from my man”. This other gal doing her laundry starts screaming back and before I know it these two women are down on the ground pulling hair, punching at each other, biting. Before long the police come and drag them away. Now, I don’t know who the guy was, but he obviously had ignited a lot of passion between these two women. That passion led to violence. Their passion was based on their own selfishness.
- Because He is Righteous, he cannot tolerate people who deliberately turn away from Him, from His righteousness, and then declare their own! They are Morons to Him. God’s angry displeasure is against all morons, because THEY JUST DON’T GET IT, IN FACT THEY REFUSE TO GET IT. They simply keep on dancing the dance of a moron.
- The Passion of God is not an emotional outburst as people imagine. His desire is such that we know His righteousness, that we are Holy as He is Holy. When we are not, his desire for us is kindled to the point that He would do anything to get us to turn to Him.
- No exact form of judgment is specified; the present judgments of God are seen in a variety of ways–”natural” calamities, local disasters, etc.
- Whether or not you believe God had a hand in the natural disasters that have been so prevalent recently, and have been revealed from the heavens, the results have been that many people have turned to Jesus Christ.
God has done so much for us, he is shouting at the top of HIs Voice, I am Your Creator, Your God. Why won’t you give your lives to me? Why do you insist on ignoring me, on living your own way? Why do you insist on being ungodly and unrighteous? Because of my Righteous desire for you, here is a taste of my Power. Wake up and turn to Me!
In Haiti: A reported 40,127 Haitians have made professions of faith in Jesus Christ since a major earthquake hit the impoverished nation in January, according to pastors and directors of missions within the Confraternite Missionaire Baptiste d’Haiti (CMBH).
“Haiti is ripe for a spiritual movement from God,” said Craig Culbreth, director of the Florida Baptist Convention’s partnership missions department, which coordinates the work of the CMBH, upon his Feb. 22 return from Port-au-Prince.
During a Feb. 16-17 citywide holiday observance in Cap Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city, Culbreth saw “thousands upon thousands filling the streets where people are seeking God and asking Him to spare them from what happened in Port-au-Prince. For me, it was a New Testament expression of what it looks like when the Spirit of God shows up. I have never seen anything like it.”
God’s Passionate Desire is For Us to Walk in His Righteousness
You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted. Psalms 89:13-16 (ESV)
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:2-4 (ESV)
God Reveals Himself in His Righteous Acts, even though they may seem like wrath.
II. GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS VS. MAN’S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS
1. Ungodliness (asebeian). Lack of Reverence because of an innate wickedness – wanting to do things their own way.
- Injustice. What ought not to be, that which is wrong. In 1 John 5:17, “all unrighteousness [adikía] is sin [hamartía].”
- Lack of right conduct toward men, injustice This follows naturally from irreverence. The basis of ethical conduct rests on the nature of God and our attitude toward him, otherwise the law of the jungle (cf. Nietzsche, “might makes right”).
- Unrighteousness will result in deeds which violate law and justice
B. The Result of Man’s Reaction:
- The conduct of men that is a result of their lack of reverence for God actually hold’s back God Truth.
- Just as disobedience caused Adam and Eve’s eyes to be opened to see their nakedness, so sin blinds our eyes to God!
2. Sin blinds us to our need for God!
Now the holy anger of God is disclosed from Heaven against the godlessness and evil of those men who render truth dumb and inoperative by their wickedness (Philips Translation)
C. Man Chose to Ignore the Truth of God
- God Reveals Himself in Blazing Neon Signs
- Men deliberately chose to be irreverent toward God
- Men deliberately chose their own morality which leads to injustice, disobedience, partiality, greed, selfishness, and every kind of immoral behavior.
For what can be known about God is plain(phaneron) to them, because God has shown(phaneroo) it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20 (ESV)
- phaneron phaneroō
That which can be known about God is phaneros – (to shine, to make to shine or to cause to appear. Apparent, manifest, plain – it is that apparent!) You cannot escape the obvious revelation of God!
2. His Invisible Attributes Shine Big and Bright
JBPhilips: It is not that they do not know the truth about God; indeed he has made it quite plain to them. For since the beginning of the world the invisible attributes of God, e.g. his eternal power and divinity, have been plainly discernible through things which he has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse.
- Special revelation shows God as Redeemer;
- General revelation shows God as Creator!
- Special revelation is the norm for the church;
- General revelation is the norm for society!
- Special revelation is the means for salvation;
- General revelation is the means of condemnation!
Even if Jesus had been preached to them, they would have rejected Him, because they reject God Himself!
III. Why Are Men Without Excuse?
THEY REFUSE TO KNOW THE TRUTH IN THESE THREE WAYS:
A. Men Refuse/Fail to Glorify God as God
- to know by personal experience.
- En autois suggests intuitive knowledge, the sphere in which God is known (phaneron), our heart and mind.
- Murray combines the two ideas: God is known “in them” (en autois, v.19a) because He revealed Himself “to them” (autois, v.19b) in creation.
- This knowledge of God in man is a result of God’s own self-disclosure. All men possess clear (albeit limited) knowledge of God, for He has made Himself known to them.
Paul addressed the Greek Philosophers on Mars Hill:
that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Acts 17:27-28 (ESV)
God made us with the capacity to recognize that there is a God, that this God created us, designed us, and desires to have a relationship with us.
- doxázō: To honor, bestow honor upon, exalt in dignity, render glorious. CWSD
- Proper Honor means to render glory to Him, recognize Him for Who and What He is, to celebrate with praises, worship, adoration. CWSD
- Proper Glory means we seek to Worship Him with our substance, with our hearts, with our hands, with our lives.
Whatever we do we do it with the Glory of God in Mind! How many people would murder, steal, lie, cheat if they lived to give proper Honor to God?
3. How Does Mankind Refuse or Fail to Give Proper Glory to God?
- Act like He doesn’t exist.
- Ignore His Message
- Complain about What Happens
- Depend upon yourself or your friends or the Government
- Fail to acknowledge Him as you work and play
- Act as if He doesn’t exist.
- We are not just talking about Heathens, Hooligans and the Hell-Bound!
“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the Lord.” Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?’ And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit. “Therefore I still contend with you, declares the Lord, and with your children’s children I will contend. For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing. Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:2-13 (ESV)
B. Men Refuse/Fail to Give Thanks to God
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalms 19:1 (ESV)
2. Provisions and Blessings
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. Psalms 40:5 (NASB)
3. In the Way they Treat Others and their Environment
God’s Law had amazing provisions for care of the blind and lame, as well as taking care of refuse and trash.
4. In the Way we Treat our Possessions
- Look at the way God wanted His Tabernacle constructed and maintained
- Do You Tithe, do you treat your money as your own?
- One way God says that we fail to give Him thanks is to Rob Him of His Tithe. Malachi
C. Men Become Vain in their Thinking
Became vain” is mataioō. The noun is mataios, “devoid of force, truth, success, result.” The word “vain” today means “proud.” The Greek word did not have any idea like that. Mataios refers to that which is in vain, futile, that which is without result or success. It refers to the unsuccessful attempt to do something or be something. It refers to that which does not measure up to that which it should be.
1. In scriptures becoming vain usually means to become corrupt and wicked.
Vain conversation and living is CORRUPT when contrasted with God
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1 Peter 1:18 (KJV)
Vanity is a Wicked Walk away from God
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Ephesians 4:17-19 (KJV)
2. They think of Themselves
a) Look at me,
b) Look at what I can do,
c) Look at all that I have accomplished.
- Solomon said, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” That is, “futility of futilities, all is futile.” All that he tried was futile, unsuccessful, in giving him complete satisfaction.
- Men and Women, refusing to glorify God and be grateful, became futile, unsuccessful in their reasonings (imaginations). The word is dialogismos, “the thinking of a man deliberating with himself, deliberation.”Wuest
4. Man’s Thinking Gets Messed Up
- Men, in refusing to recognize the true God, entertain foolish and wicked thoughts of who God is.
- The implication is they become evil and wicked
- The thoughts of men were continually evil before the flood.
- They become foolish in imagining there is no God.
- They become foolish and start worshipping other gods, idols, things, even themselves.
- Mental Disease is also the result.
IV. The Result of Man’s Choice
They Dance the Moron Dance
“their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:21-23 (ESV)
- They lost the light of divine knowledge;
- foolish heart: ἀσύνετος, Without insight or understanding, unintelligent, foolish. CWSD
- Their heart becomes darkened so they no longer have any insight into God.
The Hebrews in the Wilderness
This is how the Israelites could be the way they were in the wilderness. In spite of all God had done and was continuing to do, they were clueless when it came to the need to worship and honor Jehovah God.
God had Moses take the Jews the long way around Edom. It was desolate land, not plush and green like the many oasis in Egypt. Even as slaves they had a choice of food, stores they could go to, nice things they could buy. Water was plentiful. Clothing was beyond compare. The ladies could buy the latest slave fashions. They had nice homes to live in, stoves to cook on.
Now they were forced to march in the desert, going who knows where. No stores, no variety of food. None of those Egyptian delicacies they had grown so fond of. All they had now was this Manna that they had to pick up off the ground. Water was scarce and had to be rationed. The heat was unbearable. They had to pitch tents all the time. No cushy commode to sit on and relax. You had to fight off the insects and wild beasts when you went to the bathroom. No fancy Egyptian makeup or Spa treatments in the wilderness.
“Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”
So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Numbers 21:4-6 (NLT)
- Have you ever seen someone trying to avoid an aggressive, striking snake?
- They start dancing a silly, stupid, moronic dance
When the snakes started attacking, there was a lot of dancing going on.
God says to you and me:
I created you in my image. I meant you to be so wonderful and so marvelous, yet you refuse to honor me, you refuse to thank me, you put yourself first. You’ve become a moron, you’ve become useless to me, and to top it off you are doing a stupid end zone dance saying “Look at me, look at what I’ve done, Look at how great I am!”
- You start doing the moron dance, and then you dance around your idols, your stuff and you say look at all my great stuff.
- You start dancing around at a football game and say look at how great our team is.
God says, “OK, you want to dance the Moron Dance, go ahead. Here I’ll help. How about an earthquake. How about a Tornado? Can you dance in a hurricane? How about some aggressive snakes?
The Dance of the Moron is the dance of someone who refuses by intent or by stupidity to Honor God as God, to Thank God, and instead put themselves on the pedestal.
They become moraino and exchange the Glory of God meant for them into something stupid and temporal like a car or a house or a football team or a soft pillow on Sunday morning. Or they create their own God, their own religion.
What Can I Do? - Have a New Focus!
We think that Romans 1:18 – 32 applies only to heathens, gentiles, those that reject God. But if you read Scriptures, Christians can become darkened in their heart, carnal in their heart, fleshly. Christians can even do the Dance of the Christian Moron.
You supposedly know better. You supposedly have been made alive to God. You supposedly have God’s Holy Spirit living in you?
Why then are you not honor God, Honoring His Word, Obeying Him? Why are you robbing God? Why do you pay him lipservice, but go out and do what you want to do?
Why are you so ungrateful to HIm? Why do you hold on to your money and your possessions like they are yours?
Could you heart be getting dark? Could your soul be getting hard toward God? Is that your leg starting to quiver, to move. Is that your arm starting to wave?
Christians can dance the Moron Dance as stupidly as any heathen. How do I stop? How can I become useful to God? How can I experience this Glory of God?
Journey to the Cross for New Life