At the onset of the pandemic a lot of people...a whole lot of people 'got' what I call a tea bag kind of religion. You can't see any sign of Jesus in them until they get in hot water. I'm not being judgmental. I'm just stating facts. The people who are pro-abortion, who say it's wrong for Christians to choose not to do business with homosexuals, and who tell us God made countless mistakes when creating us (gender denial) were suddenly talking about praying and God, and keeping the faith. It doesn't work like that. Not because I say so, but because God says so.
(1st Corinthians 6:9-11; Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; 1st Timothy 1:9-10; Genesis 1:27 and 5:2; 2nd Samuel 22:31; Matthew 5:48)
And now these same people are grabbing and snatching from scripture in an effort to move their agenda forward, aka promote vaccination. Not only that, but the government--the very ones trying so diligently to belittle and destroy God's commands and expectations--are suddenly seeking the church's help to get the job done. You can't have it both ways. Not because I say so, but because God says so. (Matthew 6:24; 1st John 5:3)
But that's not all. Churches are falling hard and fast, too. A long-time Sunday School teacher was asked to consider giving up her class because someone else wanted to teach it. In several instances people who aren't 'into' entertainment in place of a worship service, have been told the church is trying to appeal to young families, so maybe they (the long-time older member) may be more comfortable someplace else. I recently heard someone say from the pulpit that they had yet to read an explanation for the creation of the universe they believed. Wait! What? Is Genesis 1not believable enough? I've also walked into a church on Sunday morning to the sound and smell of popcorn, movie posters, and soundtracks.
I want to let you know that I am all about object lessons and using a short clip from a book or movie to drive a point home and to help explain the meaning of scripture. It is highly effective--especially with children, new Christians, and non-believers. But the popcorn, the sound of soda cans popping open during communion, and thirty minutes or so of movie clips is...is...wrong.
There! I said it! I expressed my great big beliefs about THE great big God. I believe the Bible unapologetically expresses displeasure with such distractions. Yes, distractions. Anything that distracts us away from God and anything that seeks to make Jesus more like us instead of making us more like Jesus should not be part of the Church or the life of a Christian outside the walls of the local church. That includes coffee bars so you can have a cup during church, smoke/haze machines to 'add to the atmosphere', and a dark auditorium and scripture on the screen so people can't and don't have to 'bother' with using their Bible. (Psalm 119:15; Romans 12:2; 2nd Corinthians 11:3; Mark 4:19)
I've struggled mightily with these thoughts over the last several months and weeks. I've asked myself (and my husband) if I/we are the only ones that feel this way. I know--a little too Elijah-like, right? But I'm being honest, so....
Anyway, in the process of struggling with my thoughts and praying through them, I read a comment in a devotional book that said God uses our big thoughts, our big beliefs, our big dreams, and even our big mouths (and laptops) to fulfill his purpose for us. He gave us these things and intends for us to use them for his glory. So that's what I am trying earnestly to do. I am not trying to cause conflict or chaos. But I cannot be silent because to be silent would be (in my heart, soul, and mind) the same as condoning these things and being disloyal to God. And at the beginning, middle, and end of EVERY DAY, my loyalty to God and speaking the words he places on my heart and in my mind are what matter most.
Again, my intent is NOT to be unkind or spiteful. My intent is to make you think. To make you feel uncomfortable in getting so comfortable with where you are that you stop trying to be like Jesus and start trying to make him more like you. (1st John 2:6; Ephesians 5:1-2; Luke 6:46)
Be salt and light,