Tuesday, September 2, 2008

for questions and pondering...and yeah, a bit of ranting

Recently I received an email from a friend. I asked her for permission to share her thoughts here. She graciously allowed me to do so.

She said:

I would not call this a "rant," per se, just an observation of trends in the Christian community that disturb me.

1. Sarah Palin - The Bible says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The word "vision" in this verse does not mean "a mental image of what the future could be." It means "a word from the Lord." In other words, where there is no word from God, the people perish. Christians today have a word from God, the Bible, but we do not allow it to inform our decisions.

Thus, we have conservative Christians across this country enthusiastically supporting Sen. McCain's VP choice even though, as a woman, she is biblically unqualified for that position. Furthermore, in supporting Palin, these Christians are endorsing McCain, who supports embryonic stem-cell research and who, as a senator, voted for pro-abortion Supreme Court justices Breyer and Ginsberg.

2. My husband and I had dinner with an evangelist Sunday afternoon who took homeschoolers to task for being "uncooperative" with their churches because they did not support the youth ministries. Only two days earlier, I had received an email from a youth pastor's wife who criticized homeschooled kids because they didn't "fit-in" with the other kids in the youth group. And this is a bad thing?) I would not be disturbed if it were emergent-church people or liberals or purpose-driven, mega church representatives making these criticisms. But these were conservative,
"Bible-believing" Christians. Again, where the Bible does not inform our thinking, the people perish.

3. I heard the above-mentioned evangelist speak over the weekend. Both of his messages included statements like "I do not believe in so-called 'evidences' of salvation." He elaborated that it is possible to be a Christian and not love the brethren, have no desire for God's word, never go to church, live immorally, etc. Really? Does not the Bible say that faith without works is dead? That a tree without fruit is dead? That you will know false-professors by their fruit? Certainly, Christians can and do sin, but every true believer will exhibit SOME evidence of salvation. These messages were preached in an "independent, fundamental, Bible-believing" church, and apparently, there were no "Bereans" present to search the Scriptures to see if these things were true. Again, where the Bible does not inform our thinking, the people perish.

4. Following the morning worship, members of the congregation lined up in the foyer to get the aforementioned evangelist to autograph their Bibles. Personally, I find the practice of autographing Bibles repugnant. How arrogant and presumptuous to sign one's own name to the Word of God. Does it not indicate that the people are following a man instead of Christ? This is like President of the United States sending you a personal letter, and you ask the mailman to autograph the envelope.

She makes some pretty good points. Now, I know many will say I'm 'backward' in my thinking - but I can find no evidence (in the Bible) to support many of the thoughts/actions in today's society by those professing Christ. I have been called 'legalistic' and 'judgmental' when asking tough questions - neither of which I want to be - nor think I am. I just want to live how we are exhorted to in 1 Corinthians 10:31. Other verses that spur me on are John 14:15, John 14:21, John 15:10, 1 John 5: 2,3, and 2 John 1:6.

With Paul I can say that I am chief among sinners. Being such, I cannot comprehend how we (in our society) choose this day to live.

Troy and I are watching some videos right now, and on one, the guy said the biggest lie that you will hear today about raising children is essentially that the 'typcial teen behavior of today is normal'. I have heard this many, many times. If the teen behavior goes beyond what in today's world is considered 'normal' - then some new syndrome is created to label the actions and/or attitudes. It has even started boiling over into adulthood-syndrome naming.

Do I have faults? You betcha. Do I have sin? More than I care to admit. With my faults and with my sin is a broken and contrite heart that runs the race described in 1 Corinthians 9 - sacrificing the ways of the world, being transformed by the Spirit and not settling for what has become the 'norm' or living to the world's expectations. Just because 'everyone is doing it' doesn't mean it is right - by God's standard.

The Lord's not done with me yet - and I fall woefully short of the prize - but that's why Christ went to the cross for me...because God knew I could never obtain it, but I still run the race and live a life according to the Word because that is what I am called to do.