John 6:20

John 6:20 but he called out to them "Don't be afraid. I am here!"

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lukewarm Special with a Side of Indifference

Dinner has always meant a lot to my family.  It is the one moment in the day where everyone comes together, sits at the table, giving thanks to the Lord and for at least thirty minutes we are all together as a family. With my family never knowing that at least five meals a week is a strategic, well thought out plan that took a better part of the day just so I could have those thirty minutes.  Because anyone that has prepared a meal knows that timing is everything.  You have to know when to start cooking what so that it is all done at the same time and if you are like me, you are timing everything to be ready to be pulled out of the oven as your spouse is pulling into the driveway.  I do this because I want everyone to have a hot plate of food so, they can enjoy that thirty minutes as much as I do.  I’m sure there are many families that are just like mine that put just as much effort into their family dinners.  But, as I look at the current state of this country and sadly enough, the church body, I can’t help but wonder why is it we put so much work into having a hot meal but the faith and obedience with which we serve Christ is lukewarm at best?
This country was founded on Biblical principles.  The Word of God was the guideline our founding fathers used for how our nation was to be governed.  Over the generations, however, we have picked over the Bible and as a country only keeping what we like.  Even non-believers are guilty of this.  Christmas and Easter are Christian holidays last time I checked but, how many celebrate those holidays?  Why in an era that the separation of Church and State is at an all-time high are those two days still considered national holidays?  The answer is simple; they are Biblical observances that are mutually non-offensive.  People can get things they want, the government gets the economic boost of people spending above their means and Christians get to celebrate the birth and resurrection of their Savior.  So we keep those Biblical institutions and everyone is okay with the mixing of Church and State for the moment.  But, what happens when a Biblical principle is found to be offensive?  The people rally against it, scream for separation from the Church and call it a civil rights issue.
Just as Christmas and Easter are Biblical observances, the sanctity of marriage is Biblical as well.  God’s law on marriage is clear. In Ephesians 5:21-33 He lays it out clear and simple.  Today, that Biblical institution is under attack.  It has been found to be unfair and offensive and there is a movement of millions fighting for marriage equality.  Now, I am by no means a Biblical scholar nor have I ever been to seminary school but from all my reading in the Word, I have yet to find a passage where God requires our approval for any commandment He has laid before us; He only requires obedience.  The truth of the matter is there maybe commandments that to some are unfair but that never negates the requirement to obey it.  If I was a talented public speaker (which I am not) and I wanted to pastor a church 1 Timothy 2:12 says that female pastors would go against God’s will and 1 Corinthians 11:3 just confirms God’s order in the Church.  So, if I wanted to be the head of a church I may find those verses unfair.  God is not asking me to agree with His plan but commanding that I obey it.  As parents we shouldn’t offer suggestions to our children on how to behave nor should they be given an option to disobey because they think we are unfair.  But instead, we should give them specific sets of rules with clear consequences when the rules are broken.  Our Heavenly Father has done the same.  Marriage is not a civil rights issue but a Biblical privilege and it should remain a union between a man and a woman brought together and blessed by God.

Now, having made my beliefs clear; I am not advocating Christians to practice condemnation either.  Jesus says in John 8:7 only those without sin can is qualified to throw the first stone and He made it clear again in Luke 6:37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.  Even though we shouldn’t be throwing stones, we also shouldn’t be neutral in those issues that go against the Will of God.  We need to stand firm in our faith, without shame.  It is a very thin line between loving the sinner and supporting the sin.  When we let our foothold waiver and we become neutral, we in turn begin to support the sin.  In the eyes of the Lord, there is no gray area; only black and white, only hot or cold. Lukewarm is not acceptable.  Revelation 3:15-16 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
So, my prayer for all of us as a nation and as a church body is to receive a fire from the Holy Spirit to stand firm in our faith, active in the Word, obedient in our service to Him and to do all things in love for our fellow man.  In Jesus name.

 May all we do in service to Christ be just as hot as the meal we place on the table.