Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wait until your daddy gets home!

Now, to be honest, my mom didn't use that phrase much when I was young.  I respected and obeyed my mom as much as my dad.  She could dish out the punishment and discipline too.  Maybe you heard it more than I did, "Your father is going to wear you out when he gets home."

I've been looking around the family this week - not my children and their children, I mean the family of God.  My Christian siblings have been acting up again, fighting and name-calling, being bossy and arrogant.  I want to pick up the phone, dial Heaven, ask for Jesus, and say, "Would you do something with your kids?" Seriously!

I'm not talking about a squabble over which color to paint the church nursery, but pastors publicly denouncing other pastors.  And on what basis?  The same old stuff that kids always fight over - who's right.

Now, granted, there is plenty of questionable stuff being preached and goofy practices in the name of "church" and I don't agree with everything I hear, but how should it be handled?  Social networking has so invaded our world and our lives - including the church - that I think we assume God was didn't see this one coming and forgot to give us instructions for how to handle it.  Not true.  Consider these instructions in light of voicing your opinion for a worldwide audience.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourself.

Leviticus 19:32 You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.

I Timothy 5:17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

Even if you completely disagree with what they're doing or saying?

Matthew 23:2-3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you.  But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

1 Timothy 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

I've come across the blogs of  many who speak with great authority. They contend that they have an obligation to point out the errors of others.  If only their authority was backed up by scripture, then I would go back for a second visit to their blogs. 

No, this modern day phenomenon hasn't caught God unaware.  When Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17, he looked past his day and prayed not just for his disciples, but said "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

Did you notice that his concern wasn't for unity for the sake of unity, but for the sake of the world.  Jesus isn't concerned about whether his sheep eat facing north or south.  His judgment will be turned toward the shepherds who argue amongst themselves while his sheep wander away, malnourished, and non-productive.

Lord, give us your heart, so that when you return you WILL find faith in the earth. 

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