"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Glimpses of Grace 1: WOW and the Uprights

     I have known her for decades. She is a woman of God, a woman of the Word, a woman of prayer, a woman of blameless character. For 30 years she has headed the Women's Ministries at our church.
     Sometime in June or July, this Woman of the Word--we'll call her WOW--came to my husband and me in tears. "I've been falsely accused!" she told us. "They say I offended someone at the women's luncheon and they won't even tell me who, so I can be reconciled with her according to Matthew 18. Two elders came and blocked the door so I couldn't go in and teach. They led me to one side, where the women coming in could see us, and told me I have to step down from Women's Ministries."
     I edged away from her. "No!" I said. "I don't want to hear it! God is doing great things in this church. He's bringing young people here--bright, creative, joyous young people, couples and families. We are finally reaching out and helping the community in wonderful ways. He's bringing it back to life! This is gossip. This is one-sided. This is the enemy, trying to cause division.
     "I don't want to hear it!"
     It was another e-mail from Mr. and Mrs. Upright. I didn't think of them as "upright" in a stiff, self-righteous way. They do stand tall and poised and they do walk the path God calls narrow. But they are gracious people and I knew they were concerned about the direction they saw our church taking.
     I opened the attachment and saw it was another long essay describing the characteristics of the emergent church, warning us. "Our church ranks 100% as an emergent church. . ."
     I saved it to read later, knowing I probably wouldn't.
     I don't want to know this, I thought. I am being blessed by the sermons! God is using them in my life. Even if this is true, it doesn't matter. I DON'T CARE!


  1. It does matter. Listen. Care. People are following wolves to their own destruction.

    I didn't want to see or hear either. I was wrong.

  2. I had to look up "emergent church" as i'm clueless to the meaning. I'm still not sure i understand, nor the concern about it.

    It seems to me that these are the very reasons so many people choose to be unchurched and to distrust an organized church. People together like that ultimately seem to struggle to not become simply administration/pencil pushers rather than to be a reflection of Christ.