Bike Bubba said this yesterday, and it makes an introduction for today’s lectionary.
We have reached a point where all that matters is feelings, and the idea that one will correct in private before one brings in witnesses then the church is seen as wrong. Because correction may hurt.
As if we don’t do this at work on a regular basis. A regular basis.
I grieve when a church dies, but even more I grieve when a church is killed by the behavior of the leadership. You point to divorce and deceit as a measure of growth in Christ–at times the churches I’ve seen it’s far more basic issues. For example, someone I’d tried to confront per Matthew 18 responded to me by telling me we really ought to leave Matthew 18 out of it.
Um…..what? You might as well try to swim in a dry wash or rappel without rope. Shouldn’t an appreciation of Biblical reconciliation processes be pretty much instinctive for anyone who presumes to fill a pulpit?
Well, within the church, the answer is yes. But within the institution, people consider not that they are there to serve and sacrifice, but to be honoured for their title. To them, church is about ego, not Christ.
And therefore the people turn to their favourite sins, and the land suffers.
Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right.
“Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD. Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall, for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, declares the LORD. In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
(Jeremiah 23:9-15 ESV)
At times we get all caught up around buggery and homosexuality, in part because a church that tolerates these things has clearly gone apostate. But they are not the only sins that grieve God. God is angered by our fornication and wrath but more so by us tolerating these and injustice and oppression. Which we now have. There is an end-game to this: and it involves murder, frequently combined with rape: the fate of Lot’s daughters was reflected in the Benjaminites who gang raped a concubine to death.
The Liberal Presbyterians have been taken over by the trolls, and they think it is good.
What we forget is that immorality matters, for it corrupts. We hold
(heterosexual men) to very high standards. And we let others have a pass. If we do this, we are fools. We forget that it is not the church that calls people to salvation, but Christ. We forget the church has an owner, and it is not us, but Christ.
And we cannot legislate a change in the covenants Christ has made. For God does not change.
What is happening? Well, the faithful are leaving. Right now. We are letting this false church fall. The same tactics did not work in NZ because the alternate reformed churches (such as Grace Presbyterian) are very small and most reformed believers remain within the Presbyterian denomination: we could stop it cold.
Besides, we have more important things to do. Our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu have just been flattened by a cyclone (hurricane for the Americans). Our catholic and orthodox sisters and brothers are being crucified in Syria, while the morons who call themselves Muslims destroy their churches (and any structure older than they can recall) in their pathetic attempt to imitate the Jacobins and form a new year zero.
And our rulers Godly are not.
We need to continually reform. But reformation is not apostasy. Apostasy has two outcomes; a degeneration into perversion, and a depopulation to the point that one is no longer relevant. Do not do either.
It is time for the US reformed to leave the PCUSA. Do not be them, and do not be like them.