If Micah were writing to us today, he might ask, “Will the Lord be pleased merely with perfect church attendance, working as a deacon or an elder, or even giving a high percent of your income?”
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? It is to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
It is much easier to do things that are easily measurable (like paying your tithe or an unusually high percentage of your income for offerings to the church) than to act justly and love mercy. It is easier to argue about the age of the earth or other controversial points of doctrine than to live as guardians of the earth and to be merciful toward all people. Those things which are easily identifiable and yet those things which we too often avoid can make us feel spiritually special and satisfied.
Ellen White says, “Whenever the message of truth comes home to souls with special power, Satan stirs up his agents to start a dispute over some minor question.…The questions that most concern us are, Do I believe with saving faith on the Son of God? Is my life in harmony with the divine law?” (The Desire of Ages, p. 396).
Gordon Bietz, D.Min.
Southern Adventist University