"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18.2

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Speaking From the Soapbox... Where's the Love?

Dear Abby,

I am a Christian, on staff in a Christian church, but I'm having trouble understanding the way some Christians think. Some make long and passionate speeches about forgiving one another but still wallow in bitterness over things that happened ages ago. Others say they want God to be the ruler of their lives, then they micro-manage everything to the point that God doesn't stand a chance in - well, you know. I’ve seen many leave church on Sunday morning and head to the nearest all-you-can-buffet where they are rude and impatient with the servers, then leave a $2 tip for a $40 check.

Some are intolerant of anything new or different. Any change in the order of service or style of music is heresy! And if we don’t go back to doing things the way we’ve always done it, then they’ll just take their tithes and go somewhere else.

Hmmm: 125 years ago travel was by horse, carriage or wagon, exposed to the elements. Today we have automobiles with climate control, satellite radio and heated seats. A hundred years ago, folks communicated by letter, telegram and face to face. Today we have cell phones, instant messaging and texting. A century ago they raised and sheared the sheep, spun the wool, wove the fabric and sewed the clothes; today we shop at supercenters. But heaven forbid we should update the music that's been sung for the last 100 years!

Conversely, there are those who view the hymns as antiquated and irrelevant. They cringe at the thought of singing “The Old Rugged Cross” or “Victory In Jesus”. And if we don’t make some big changes, then they’ll just take their tithes and go somewhere else.

More hmmm: Thousands attend contemporary Christian music concerts. And thousands attend Southern Gospel music events. And Country & Western, and classical music, and bluegrass, and soft rock, and hard rock - there is certainly a following for every type of music I can think of. To me this shows that no style of music - even the ones I don't like - is past its relevance or usefulness.

Honestly, I’m embarrassed sometimes to say I’m one of them. Sometimes I get so weary of the hassle; I think about quitting church, sleeping in on Sunday mornings and enjoying an honest-to-goodness day of rest. Please tell me, Dear Abby, what should I do?

Where’s the love?


Dear Where’s the love,

First, when you are weary, remember what the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:9-10 – Don’t let yourself become weary in doing good, for one day you’ll be able to see fruit from it, if you don’t give up! So, at every opportunity, be good and kind to everyone, especially to “them” – your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Then, stop focusing on “them” - keep your eyes on Jesus, because He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is focused on Him (Isaiah26.3).

You cannot control what others think or do; you only have control over your own attitudes and actions. And remember that Jesus loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). And in John 13: 34 He commands us to “love one another, as I have loved you. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” So ask God to help you love “them” like Jesus does.

 Yes, I know this has become a cliche, but it still is good advice: be the change you want to see in the world.

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