Monday, June 15, 2009
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)
It's important for me to preface today's article by saying that I am not referring here to staying with a cult or a church ministry that is not Bible based. If you have a pastor or church who is not operating according to the principles of God's Word (the Bible), you need to get out of that mess as soon as possible. What I am talking about is Christ-centered Pastors, churches, and ministries that are living what they preach and who believe in exalting Christ and presenting salvation as a free gift. I'm referring to congregations who strive to live with Godly principles from hearts filled with love for Christ.
The burden of my heart has to do with selfish parents. Parents that are so selfish that if they don't get their way with something they want in the church or, if they have a conflict with another church member they’re leaving! Maybe the pastor "offends them" so the parents drag their "kids" and walk out. “ I got my feelings hurt, so, we're switching churches!" Or better yet, they take the more spiritual route and pull their kids out of church completely and don't go anywhere. I've pastored 4 different churches in 3 different states, and I've seen this more than once, and it's wrong. It's wicked, carnal, and very selfish. Paul the Apostle addressed this type of unchristian behavior this way, "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Cor. 3:3) Now think with me for a minute. Here is a child (let's say she’s a teen) and she loves her church, loves her pastor and family, and is absolutely crazy about the church's youth group and youth director. Her best friends are in her church youth group. She can't wait for the next teen activity, and wouldn't dream of missing teen choir rehearsal. Going to the Camp of the Wilds in July is something Ericka has been dreaming about since she was in the third grade. And then, just one month before the church bus pulls out of the parking lot for North Carolina, her parents rip her from everything that she loves and says, "Come on Ericka, we're having problems with _____ so, we won't be back at Liberty!" Jesus is saying in our introductory text, “Mom, you’d be much better off tying a big rock to your neck and sinking yourself in the lake and dying rather than to follow through with this horrible idea.” This type of divorce leaves scars, pain, and a lot of tears in the lives of children all across America. Most Christian parents would give their right arms to have a girl like Ericka who can't wait until the church doors are open again or the church bus is leaving for the next teen activity or camp, but not you, you're going to show the preacher, the church and the whole town, "we won't be back."
For any parent who is even tempted to think about doing such a selfish act, I have a sermon for you. What are you going to do when in just six months; your kid doesn't want to go to any church at all? She paints her finger nails black and dyes her hair pink. She starts hanging out with her druggie friends and soon after loses her virginity. She picks up a disease from a dirty needle and now, instead of embracing her Bible she is spitting at it. "I'm going to hell and having a party on the way!" is your daughter's new motto. Well Christian Mom, let me say this: You're going to have a lot to answer for when you stand at the feet of Jesus and He reminds you of the time when you should have just sat down with that other lady and got things worked out. You should simply forgive that other church member and be reconciled to your Christian "adult" brother or sister. Wouldn't this be the Biblical approach? Isn't this the right thing to do? So the next time you "don't get your way" at church or have a conflict at your House of Worship, why not be spiritual for a change, love your kids enough to not sacrifice them on the altar of your selfishness. You might be mad now for a gray haired preacher telling you the truth about your selfishness and pride, but one day, if you side up with God on what I'm talking about, you'll reap wonderful blessings with your children rather than bitter tears. It's better for you too. So just stop being so selfish and start growing up! Before you run away from God and the church, think about the horrible long term effect your exit will make on your children.
That's something to think about! email@example.com