|Kreig Barrie WORLD Magazine 3.21.14|
Here is a phrase that originally meant a life-threatening problem. Now when we hear it, it’s usually a precursor to disclosing a great big mess. Well, church, we have a problem. And that problem is how we stand up for what we believe, especially if we anchor our beliefs to Scripture.
The Bible is the bedrock of the church’s confession. (Psalm 19; 2 Timothy 2:16-17)
But, the Bible is bigger than our favorite verses. We can’t snip a few “Thus says the Lord’s” out of context and convince those who see things differently -- especially when too many of us don’t make Bible study a practice.
"I see the problem as analogous to obesity in America. We have an awful lot of people who realize they're overweight, but they don't follow a diet," [Doug] Birdsall said. "People realize the Bible has values that would help us in our spiritual health, but they just don't read it."
If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). (Caleb Bell RNS)
The church is losing members because of political issues, science issues, and issues surrounding sexual choices. (Why Millennials are less religious) And the exodus has been going on for a while – charges of judgmental hypocrisy fly, and awkwardly, sometimes stick.
In the past two days, World Vision the great humanitarian and Christian ministry stirred up many of us when they announced henceforth they would hire married homosexual couples to work in their ministry. Franklin Graham caught flak for chastising World Vision; his words were called scathing and despicable. (Kirsten Powers) Was his rebuke cutting and wrong? Then, how do we – the church – reform ourselves? (Matthew 5:23, 18:15; Galatians 6:1-2) How do we share the news with each other that when God said it, He meant it, and His words are not optional? Alas, instruction in God’s word may becoming just another conversation. (Talking Around the Problem)
We are supposed to be helping each other OUT of our grave clothes, not telling one another we look great in them and should keep them on for the Wedding Feast. We have a choice now – if we have ears to hear. (Colossians 3:12-16)
And by the way, a firm, loving rebuke can work: World Vision recently rescinded its change of policy. (Change of mind)
An Older Blog Piece: