"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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Grace under Siege 39: Deadwood

     They call us "deadwood." 
     That's what one of several elders who have "come out from among them" (brave men, caught between conscience and duty, willing to risk their reputations for truth) confided to us. The leadership calls those of us who believe in the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible as the foundation for all truth "deadwood"--and their goal is to clean us out.
     They have been very successful so far. Many of our choicest people, including some of our best leaders, have left.They can no longer have a say when the revised Bylaws and Statement of Faith come up for a vote in February.
     At the same time new members are being welcomed at a rapid rate. They may not be committed to a Biblical foundation including the need for individual repentance and salvation but to a foundation of "flourishing" and blessing our community. They are told they don't have to believe the current Bylaws or Statement of Faith to belong to this church.
     It is only a matter of weeks until things come to a head and the ballot box may be stuffed with votes from unqualified members who will out-vote the legitimate ones.    
     Three men of God--Faithful, Bear, and one I will call Straight Shooter--are organizing a committee of Supporters of the (current) Statement of Faith. There are well over 100 supporters so far, representing 15% of the membership. These include 18 current and former elders--four of them former chairmen of the Executive Board of Elders--8 current and former pastors and missionaries, 19 current and former deacons and deaconnesses and two former directors of women's ministries.
     We know on good authority that other members of the elder board are torn. They want to speak the truth but feel loyal to Lou, don't want to "stab him in the back." 
     We also know from two of the elders' wives that their husbands know what is going on, know it is wrong, but won't speak up because they don't want to jeopardize their jobs.
     The camels are trying to push us out of the tent. Our tent!
     No, HIS tent.
     I want to say, "Lou, go find your own tent."
     Instead let us, the deadwood, cry out to the One Whose tent this is and say, "Sovereign God, restore Your church to the original foundation You laid 98 years ago!"

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jessica,
    You CANNOT be pushed out of Jesus' tent. That is where you live, not the building on the street or even the group of people which meets in that building. You seek a city whose builder is God. He laid the foundation 2000 years ago, and He designed the blueprints before creation. This city is built of living stones from every nation.

    You will have to come out, the only question is one of timing. I know God will tell you when, and I know you will obey. Lift up your head!

    May God bless you with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.