Tuesday, September 13, 2011

SEPTEMBER 13 "DIVORCE MY CHURCH!"

     EVER wonder, why...if the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, that such confrontational talk would be penned for eternity in God's word. I would almost consider some of the paragraphs in 2 Corinthians to be for "private consumption" wouldn't you? Is this not the kind of drama we try to hide from new converts in the church.  Don't we want people to only know about the bliss and wonderful experiences of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul is really getting down in our text today. He is "pulling their card" so to speak. He is "calling them out".  In essence he is saying, "hey I'm saved, why don't you check yourself! Unless you fail the test!"  Is this what the situation between Paul and the Corinthian Church has succumbed to?  Well, if that's the case you can never accuse God of trying to hide the imperfections of The Church. I think it is best that God doesn't hide the imperfections of the Church, for our own sakes! We will all one day find ourselves in a church that is more problematic than we ever thought or imagined. God will eventually allow the dim, rose colored glasses to come off and allow us to see the church for what it is. He will say, "you who are now mature, help influence the church to be better".  The church down the street may always look like this perfect blissful place to serve God just like the marriage across the aisle is always the marriage that looks so intact and perfect, but neither are true. Christians who leave their church or spouse in search for the perfect marriage or perfect church.... and the result?  The result is that they find  themselves in and out of one relationship after another or in and out of one church after another.
     After years of marriage you begin to see all the flaws in your spouse (that were there all along) and after years in a church or fellowship, you begin to see all the flaws in them too! The temptation then is to divorce in aspiration of finding the perfect spouse, marriage, church, perfect life that we are thinking exists out there. Statistics prove that most who divorce find themselves in another relationship having to deal with the same issues and often end up divorcing again and most who leave their church often find themselves facing the same imperfections, if not worse, in another church and end up leaving that church too. You will find that Christians who divorce their spouses or churches find themselves spiritual nomads, wondering forever from one church to another, from one relationship to another, never finding a true home again. Joseph Smith found himself disillusioned with the Church of Jesus Christ and found himself in the backwoods of his home expressing his grief, complaints and criticisms of the church to God when a "supposed" angel by the name Moroni (probably incognito for Moron) appeared to Joseph and said, "you are correct, they are all imperfect and you are the man to start a new church", thence the Mormons.  However, I'm sure if you were to join a Mormon church (which I do not recommend) you would find the Mormon church makes the Corinthian church look quite innocent. The point is, we are setting ourselves up to be quite deluded and deceived when we come to God expressing our revelations to him that the church is "jacked up" if I may.  What are we wanting to hear back from God at that point? We know what Joseph Smith was wanting to hear, but what are you wanting to hear back from God? Are you wanting to hear from God that He did not know and thank-you for your enlightening him? God would say, "have you not read..."  Isn't that what Jesus always said..."have you not read?".  We are not going to enlighten God about the condition of our church or the Church in general. He is fully aware of the state of the Church, read the first few chapters of the book of Revelations.  God, has by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit allowed such passages as we read today to be penned in his word for our own sake.  Jesus' response is always, "you who are mature...."  God's response would not be, "I'm so enlightened, I did not know the state of your church, poor you, move on..." he would rather say, "you who are mature, make a difference, be a peacemaker, be an encourager, be one that edifies others and makes a difference".  Is your church imperfect?! Are the people in your church not all they could be for Christ? Then we who are mature are to be the difference makers. God has allowed very small room or excuse for us to abandon our spouses or churches. The standard for God is never divorce or abandonment, but rather to work it out. 
     Yes the language in Corinthians is hard and the situation is messy, but if not sooner than later, this will become our lot or our experience and we will have to be able to accept and deal with it and work through the issues that will arise in our churches and we that are mature will make a difference and we that our immature
     The good news is that statistics show that those that do not divorce their spouses or church, but press on through the tumultuous years, go on to experience strong and blessed marriages and go on to experience and be part of churches that are strong and tightly connected and often times become "breakout Churches" in their community.