thoughts run together, overlap and generally lead to confusion. Been thinking a lot lately about a couple of things, the country and the narrow gate that Christ talks about in Matthew 7:13-14. And how to reconcile relationships gone bad, especially when they are with a child.
I’m not sure that I fully understand the parent/child relationship, the role of each at different stages of life or just how much push/pull there should be. But I do know that bitterness left to ferment is never a good path to take, so I shall refrain from that path and keep trying.
We had a gospel music showcase at our church on Wednesday, which was also Independence Day, popularly known as July the 4th. Because of the day, there were several songs sung about our country and our freedom. And there were prayers for our country and its leaders, prayers of hope and redemption.
It occurred to me that similar functions were happening throughout the land, groups of people gathered together in fellowship, worship and prayer. As the vast majority of the country was celebrating a day off through eyes glazed over with whatever self-medication they chose that day, small groups of Christians were praying for a nation and its people.
We live in a society that worships excess, celebrates the failure of others and seeks success to the peril of our neighbors. One that refuses to look into the eyes of the homeless child. One that says no to the cries of the helpless. One that scoffs at the pleas for justice by the falsely accused.
And where is the Church in the midst of this society? Imitating it. Success? Ha, my church is bigger than yours. Change, you want change? Let’s bring in a politician to speak, get Christians involved politically. That’s the ticket. Except, it’s not.
Matthew 18:36 “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
And yet, today, Christian leaders ignore this message of Christ, turning their churches and congregations into little more than political action committees. Many of our leaders today prefer political action to missionary work. The latest example comes from deep east Texas, from a group calling itself Vision America.
Their charge is to tout “fundamentalist Christian doctrine in the nation’s voting booths”. And yet, they’ve no idea what Christian doctrine is.
Christians are not required to love everybody, and should hate evildoers while loving God and neighbors, Keyes said.
Wow. Such nonsense. Hate the sin and love the sinner? Not according to Keyes.
Christ said: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’
But Mr. Keyes has a new definition for neighbor.
Keyes defined neighbors as those who help the less fortunate.
Forget what Christ said! Hey, it’s politics and you must win at all cost! Stomp your neighbor into the mud because he isn’t your neighbor at all! Wow. Just Wow. And our churches are allowing this to enter their teaching.
Matthew 7:13â€“14 “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to lifeâ€”to God!â€”is vigorous and requires total attention.
15â€“20 “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
Soon, Lord. Soon.