Thursday, June 25, 2009

Controversy in the church

A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oak...Image via Wikipedia

Over the past few days, I have tuned in to the live stream and followed closely on twitter to the proceedings of the Southern Baptist Convention. During this convention there were many moments of uplifting and inspirational music, some tremendous messages, and overall a good time of worship in a convention setting. If you were not following the tweets on twitter, you were mostly unaware of most of the controversies that developed there. From motions intended to ban certain authors from Lifeway to motions of censure of certain individuals the sins of man were on full display.

Oh, don't think ill of me for judging the actions of my brethren; rather, I wish to expose the errors we all make in pursuing our walk with the Lord. While I am fully aware of the Biblical precedent for church discipline, and the tenets associated therewith, I am also aware of the process prescribed for us to follow. This process involves approaching your brother or sister in love, with a spirit of reconciliation. Galatians 6:1 Only after attempts have been made at restoration, are we to publicly present the matter before the church. Even then, this event is one that is to be carried out in love, desiring only to maintain the spirituality of the church. At no time are we to "enjoy" or assume our actions arise out of vengeance.

How have we digressed to this point in our churches? I submit we have failed in our attempt to forge a relationship with Christ as the root cause. In many facets of our walk, we have stumbled and no longer trust in the "lamp unto my feet".

Primarily, we have failed in our prayer life. James tells us that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Do we believe that? In my opinion, prayer, honest prayer, is the principal component necessary for us to have a meaningful relationship with God. How can we ever hope to have a relationship with someone we never speak to? Try that with your spouse and let me know how that works out.

We need to be sincere with our prayers. Jesus set a scene for us of two people praying - a Pharisee and a publican. The publican prayed very simply and earnestly, God, have mercy on me a sinner. The Pharisee prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and said, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." I believe his name was Beauregard, and I think I remember him as a Deacon in one of the earlier churchs I attended. :) (that last line was in jest - if there does happen to be a Beauregard in my past, this reference is purely coincidental)

Do we really understand the power in prayer? Jesus said, Ye have not because ye ask not. Have you ever prayed for unity in your church? Why not? Do you believe Jesus could provide unity among the members? Then why not include that in our prayers. We should ask sincerely for God to bless our brothers and sisters. If we were as interested in their prosperity as we are our own (and we should be according to the Word) imagine the harmony that would be present at our next service.

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1 comment:

dougb said...

You are right on Rick. I am growing frustrated with the direction our country is going. We have obviously forgotten our roots and I have concerns about where we are headed especially for my children and grandchildren. Our only comfort is knowing who really is in control