Monday, October 27, 2008
With anger Janice threw her purse to the table, she could not believe what happened today; she was furious, frustrated and offended! She reached for the phone and called her best friend “Sarah” Janice started “you won’t believe what happened today, I am furious” Sarah sensing Janice’s rage she quickly asked Janice “What in the world happened?” “Well, you wont believe it” Janice quipped “Do you remember James, the man I work with, you know the one I have been witnessing too – well today he literally had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to have an affair!” Janice heatedly lamented. “I mean me, a Christian – How could he?”
Sarah sensing the obvious pain and frustration tried to intervene, but Janice was already starting the next wave of her tirade – “I don’t get it, I was kind, I smiled, I showed interest and care – I even ate lunch with him once – all the things that Jesus did! I even…” before she could go on Sarah interrupted “Janice –in all your WWJDing did you ever actually tell James about Jesus? Did you make it clear that you where a sold out, born again, spirit filled Christian?” silence dominated the cell waves for a moment – Janice had forgotten the most important element in propagating Christianity – was actually being a Christian.
In our attempts to become relevant and reachable to an unchurched world, I watch as the lines of distinction between the church and the world really have begun to blur and not to our credit – I am not talking about musical styles or apparel, but plain ole common ethics – ethics are merely a system of moral principles governing the appropriate conduct for a person or group – I am amazed as the masses compromise these elements when they seem to suit them and uphold them in an attempt to manipulate others…
For instance Christian musical groups seem to find creative ways to hide their faith in their lyrics, witnessing techniques set at hiding our truest views in relevant words, and of course the “post modern language and behavior approach” whose motive is “to win them you have to be like them” mentality.
Certainly we could dive much further and all the more offensive if we so chose; one would merely need to address improper relationships in the church, conservatives voting liberal instead of God’s values - I am still dying to figure that one out, particularly in pertinent in the coming days – I mean the erosion of common sense holiness is apparent! In fact in an ethics class recently the instructor had to tell the class “When you pastor a church don’t invite the secretary to ride with you to the bank or to look at new carpet or anywhere else!” another stated “If you have a problem with internet pornography get help – and stop doing it” More than once I have seen praise teams, worship bands and church members whose apparel allowed me to see… more – actually much more than I should see.
While I do not believe that holiness has completely faded into oblivion I do believe it has taken a back seat or has been removed from the center stage – common ethics are no longer givens – the next generation has to be told about potential dangers, from leaders because they never learned them as basic ethics 101 - which perhaps could be the reason accusations are becoming more and more common! Interestingly enough Paul stated in (Romans 2:24) As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
The notion was that the sins of God’s people where in some ways tarnishing the image of God among the heathen… Have you considered how failures not only affect the church but those outside the church as well? I was not serving the Lord when Jimmy Swaggert fell – but I well remember it: he bashed Rock and Roll it seemed every Sunday, sending all us rockers to hell in his sermons… when news of his fall hit my ears – I confess it was damaging, when ministers fall, marriages fail, and churches split – make no mistake friends the world is watching, and yet another brick wall is built, another excuse supplied and another reason is gained to stay away from Jesus and the hypocrites that follow Him.
Over the next few weeks and days I’d like to deal with a few controversial topics relating to Godly principles. Certainly feathers will be ruffled and toes stepped on – and you (yes I am talking to you) may even disagree with my personal assessment. Few are as avid against the destruction of legalism as am I, but we must equally understand that the ruse of covert Christianity is not consistent with the faith of our forefathers: Peter, James or Paul, nor is it is not consistent with the spread of our faith all around the world… Hugs are good, grace is glorious, but there’s value in an ole fashioned altar call from time to time…
Change Christianity from its original ingredients, and sooner than later its really not Christianity any more – I was once served meat loaf with and interesting twist, and honey I can tell you just because you call it meat loaf – that does not make it meat loaf – “I’ve had Meat Loaf, and this dear lady aint no Meat Loaf”