If it doesn't count for Christ, it doesn't count.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Actually, no news would be better news . . . (big sigh)

The first thing I saw on my Yahoo home page a few minutes ago was the story of the couple who, at almost the last minute, was refused a wedding in the church they had been attending, had made arrangements for, and are said to have been planning to officially join. . . . And it appears to be all about race.

We are so disappointed that this happened. And even  more disappointed that it happened here in our state.  This is quite a blow to people, to flawed human beings, and already the cost is mounting. But, our God, Who suffers no "damage", bears no indignity, and remains true and merciful and gracious, reigns! In this situation, where bringing glory to Him does not seem to have been considered, He WILL be glorified. If people who were not following Him before will do so now, He will be evermore glorified.

There are many to pray for here. The couple who were turned away from Holy Matrimony in a house of God. A place where they were well known and had worshiped.  Their families and friends who, though they may forgive, probably will never forget. The few who, we are told objected, and threatened a pastor with his job. Anyone anywhere who would try, successfully or not, to reduce a pastor's call by God to the beck and call of the congregation. The rest of the congregation who must now work to cleanse this stain from their reputation as a church body. The pastor, who needs prayer and clarity on so many levels. That entire community, our state, and, indeed, our nation, where this is now playing into the hands of those who seek, and unfortunately find, good examples of blatantly unChrist-like acts among people who are supposed to be the very hands and feet of Christ Himself.

There is much to think about and learn from this.

Multitudes of churches, not just Southern Baptist, need to have a real "come to Jesus meeting" - and I mean a REAL COME TO JESUS meeting. More than you would think haven't met Jesus yet, and they need to. Then, they need to decide who leads the church. Is it the people with the money? The families with the power? The few who are hard to get along with and demand their way? The deacons? The elders? The pastor? . . . or Jesus, in Whose Name they say they gather?

Is there a church leadership structure where the pastor has someone to quickly turn to in a moment or time of indecision or commotion or trouble in the church body? And is this structure populated by Godly men, not just those who want to run the church? (Here's a hint, folks: If your desire is to "run the church", you are THE LAST person who should be in any position of power or authority there.) There are probably many times when a Spirit led pastor feels that he is standing alone, but in a body of Spirit led men and women, that should never be the case.

And what do you do with the "tares", as our pastor would call them? Satan is always going to send troublemakers into a believing, following, growing church body. Usually, the problems they cause are pretty much restricted to that local church or the local community. A few here have been used to create a national and, quite possibly, international scandal. Thanks to the internet, nothing is local anymore. Well, almost nothing. We know the names of the couple involved in this situation. We know the name of the pastor. We know the names of many people who have commented on this. But, we don't yet know the names of those few who seem to be the only ones in that whole church who hold those sentiments. I'm not saying that we should know. We probably shouldn't. But, does that say something about those who are in the light, and those who are in the darkness? And, I hasten to mention, this is a matter, and those are people, who must be dealt with by that local church body. Let's all pray that they will deal with it according to God's will, and that we will do the same if we ever find ourselves in such a position. 

As for the situation that brought this all up in the first place, I know that there are a lot of people who hold to that old way of thinking . . . probably some who are reading this right now. Let it go. Let Christ through the Holy Spirit renew your mind. You might say, "Well, I don't hate anybody!" Well . . . do you love everybody?

You don't have to argue with me.

John 13:34-35 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 

Galations 5:22 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 

1 John 1:7

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 

1 John 4:7  

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

That's God. Argue with Him. And please pay close attention to 1 John 4:7. And keep in mind that love really is a verb. Is our love in action?

 I know most of you reading this have great hearts for God. We really need to be in prayer over this situation. And not just for that one church, but for all of the Body.  Satan is here to kill, steal, and destroy, and he can and will attack any one, any church, at any time. Just as Jesus told those three disciples who were with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane that last night before His crucifixion, we all must "... pray so that you will not fall into temptation."



Your video is one of my favorites . . . again! (You might have to watch a commercial for beer before it starts :/)