Are we surprised, really? Are we surprised that Rick Warren has apologized to "his gay and lesbian friends" for his former support of prop. 8?http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=481280
Are we shocked that he is now saying that he never supported a constitutional amendment that would overturn gay marriage in California?
What is happening in our country?
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
A recent discussion on this issue with a group of my friends yielded some strong comments on the deplorable condition of today's church, and rightly so. There was also the comment made that "I don't think we can label ALL churches this way though." again, rightly so. Or, is it?
I am sure that there are some great churches out there. I happen to LOVE our home church experience and the families involved. Yes, I am sure that there are some "conventional" churches somewhere that are not "that way" meaning, the way described in 2 Tim 4:3-4.
However. In response to that, I have to say that the churches that I have experienced have been that way.
Let's set aside the issue of gay marriage for the moment. After all, we should not even be debating this...seriously, we know better. Why is it that issues like gay marriage are overtaking our laws, belief systems and churches when we KNOW better?
It is because "church" is that way.
Yes, we are accumulating teachers in accordance with our own desires and turning our ears from the truth.
Consider for a moment issues like allowing God to plan our family size, homeschooling and being a helpmeet to our husbands. They are biblical, no?
Yet, how many churches preach that message? Oh sure, you may get the pastor who gets "radical" for a few Sundays a year and talks about the importance of those things, but the fruit is not there.
Satan has done a great job at getting us to worship at the alter of SELF. We are so devoted to this that we will not accept messages that lean to much away from that. That does not go alone with our own desires.
The message that is being preached, no matter how thinly veneered as otherwise, is the doctrine of self fulfilment. Women are encouraged in words and by example to "serve the Lord" in the marketplace and in the church. Fashion and external appearances are highly valued instead of the beauty of a quiet spirit yielded to God. Babies and children are discouraged, but if you do have one or two, it is advisable to place them in daycare/school/church nursery as soon as possible so that the business of self can be attended to. Need to have that "ME" time.
Women are spending their days in activities that can be called inane in the least and blasphemous at the worst. Working hard on planning the next ladies "ministry" event (bowling, scrap booking, movie night?) for the church, tanning, going to the gym, lunch with the ladies, bible study and pick up a pizza on the way home for dinner. OK, that may not reflect all of our lives (though I personally know of women, even pastor's wives for whom that is a reality) So what is Satan encouraging the rest of us to do with our time?
What about the incredible burdens we are heaping on mom's at home, especially those hard working, homeschooling mom's of little one? To have the perfectly maintained home, all decked out for a photo shoot with House Beautiful at any moment?
Gourmet meals, perfectly manicured lawns and flawlessly organized homeschool curriculum designed to produce perfectly flawless students? Not close? How about the pressure to have the cookie cutter children who are seen but not heard? How about the pressure to follow complicated, legalistic approaches to child discipline? Not to mention the endless expectation to make sure everyone knows how "holy" and righteous our families appear to the watching circle of friends and advisor despite the fact that mom, dad and the kids are hanging on by a thread to their sanity?
The pressure builds. The mom is too exhausted, stressed out and wrung out to attend to the real needs of her husband and children, not to mention the needs of those outside the home. The church will endorse the idea that mom needs a break and insist that serving our husband and children is abusive to the women or at least woefully outdated.
Forget about her being able to see what is happening in the world and pray!
What is this really accomplishing? Another kowtow to the alter of SELF.
Why would we make ourselves so miserable chasing after these false ideas if we were really all about self? Wouldn't it be easier to be the mom who gets the tan and the massage? (um, DUH)
Instead, we can hold on to our piety and know that we are really serving the Lord as reflected in our perfectly manicured lawn or alphabetically organized cupboards. But, are we? Are we not also accumulating those (people, ideas, things) who would tickle our ears to our own desires? Do these things not only serve self, pride, ego?
Instead of "slaving" away on things that do not matter on the other side of eternity should we not focus on what really matters now? Loving your husband and children does not mean being Marta Stewart. (BTW, was she named prophetically or WHAT?)
If we are too stressed out by our tasks of no importance to give our husband respect and minister to his needs or to sit in the grass and pick dandelions with our children what good is it anyway?
What in the world does this have to do with gay marriage, or Rick Warren or if churches are that way or not?
I do have a point.
The point is that we are being distracted to such a degree that we do not even notice the temperature rising. Like the proverbial frog in the pot, we are in danger of being boiled to death. Another year spent being exhausted and stressed out chasing the wind and we don't notice the churches insistence that our children be separated from us and encouraged to play video games during kid's church.
We don't bat an eye at the admonishment to be tolerant to the degree that the pastor of a HUGE church is apologizing to gay's and lesbians for biblical truths. In the name of love and acceptance, of course. After all, we don't want to appear unloving now do we? We do not notice the poor and needy among us both physically and emotionally desperate who need our care. We can't see that we are
Be careful, the temperature is rising around us, we need to choose to be either hot or cold.
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Revelation 3:15-17