"You and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness. CS Lewis The Weight of Glory
Do you know what an earworm is? I bet you do. It was described on Fox News as a song that you hear and can't get out of your mind. Steve Doocey said his most recent earworm is "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. Fox then went on to play an excerpt and, darn it, I couldn't get this ridiculous song out of my mind. I searched high and low for the cleanest music video I could find of "Bad Romance". So, link at your own risk. The music is addictive. Warning: this video has one word that is inappropriate.(it starts off slow and gets going about 1:30 minutes in).
There was a verse that stuck in my mind. It goes something like this (Sing ooh la la couple of times) "I want your ugly, I want your disease." At first I was irritated that this phrase kept worming its way around in my head. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is TWW's mission.
Some critics say we are just tearing down the church. Good Christians should build up the church and be positive, accordint to them. Yet, is that why Jesus came? Did He come because we are "nice" people? Of course not. He came because we are ALL sinners and in need of redemption. He irritated the Pharisees because He focused on their sins which they had hidden underneath their fancy robes. Their undying devotion to performing religious rituals helped them pretend before their underlings that they were good and holy.
Jesus saw right through them to the ugly and diseased souls hidden underneath. Yet, Jesus loved them so much that He wanted to bear their ugly and disease on the Cross and give them a clean heart. The Christian life should be all about understanding the ugly and the disease while celebrating the redemption. The only problem is that there are many leaders who hide their ugly and disease and pretend they are just peachy keen. They pretend they are the moral upholders of the "good" while deep inside they struggle with greed, sexual sin, lying, anger, control issues, and arrogance.
Why do I care? Well, I am caught in a bad romance with the church. I see the sin and I want to deal with it because I love the church. And the people of the church (myself included) are sinners that are guilty of horrendous sin. But somehow, many, especially leaders, refuse to admit it. Why? Because they like to pretend they are perfect. Oh, they confess to sins that are socially acceptable in our culture like impatience, etc. We all admit that we are sinners and confess some innocuous sin like gluttony or gossip and hide the really dark sins.
So, when a brave person points out sin in the leadership, acarefully controlled exterior gets rattled. The leaders cannot afford to be "found out" so they use the oldest trick in the book. The one who reveals the problem becomes the sinner. They must destroy those who would confront them lest they be forced to confront their own sin.
Dan, a dear man who struggles to be celibate while dealing with his homosexual feelings, has been tortured by his church.and pastor. He was thrown out of his church (SGM, of course) because the pastor suspected him of homosexual behavior. When Dan denied it, this horrible pastor told him that if he even thought of such behavior he was guilty.
I address this to the man who dared to call himself a pastor. You have horrible thoughts as well, but you hide it under an "oh so holy" exterior. You know that if God decided to broadcast your deepest thoughts. you would need to be thrown out of your church! Your church, your rules. You, sir, are a hypocrite of the order of the Pharisees. May God convict your heart.
Let's continue looking at the hypocritcal and self-serving Anti-blogging Resolution of the Georgia Baptist Convention.
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the messengers of this convention oppose blogging when it is used to cause division and disharmony among the members of our Southern Baptist Family (Proverbs 6:16-19; I Cor. 1:10); and since personal differences should not be dealt with in public view,
How does one decide the motive of a blogger? Note how this is worded. They oppose blogging "when it is used to cause division and disharmony. However, division and disharmony are often secondary effects of a primary problem. Let's say there is pornography on a pastor's computer. The pastor is confronted one-on-one and told to confess and deal with this issue; however, he refuses to do so. Now, said pastor is feeling disharmony and is divided from his confronter because his sin has been discovered.
The pastor could quickly restore the relationship (and experience harmony and unity) by confessing the sin and getting some much needed help for his problem. Up until this moment, this has been dealt with privately. But the pastor continues to allow this problem to fester. and more pornography is found on other church computers. He continues to refuse to deal with it. He wishes to keep his sin a secret. The deacons support the pastor. Then, the man who knows of the sin is asked to leave the church (even though he had stopped attending several months earlier). The pastor and deacons are now guilty of escalating the situation and causing disharmony and division.
So the man writes about what has happened. Now, who is guilty of the division and the disharmony? THE SINNING PASTOR AND HIS COMPLICIT SYCOPHANTS!!! Why is this so hard to understand? Or is it that those "in charge" don't want to understand ?
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that all personal attacks should cease immediately (Proverbs 17:27 -28; John 17:21-23 );
Well, well, well…. Does the GBC join in to help a sinner who refuses to repent? Is it a personal attack when sin is confronted? When Jesus called the Pharisees "snakes", was he guilty of a personal attack? Do we allow sin to continue and shut up to avoid a "personal attack"?
The GBC big boys are guilty of doublespeak. The Scriptures clearly state that pastors and Christian leaders must be "above reproach". So, when a leader is not above reproach, he would have to step down. Therefore, they cannot allow anyone to accuse the leader of sin. They, instead, call it a personal attack to deflect sin back onto the brave person who has the guts to say something. They make that person the sinner and the sinning leader the victim. The pope of Martin Luther's day would heartily approve. This is called HYPOCRISY.
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that we reaffirm the historic method of administering our agencies and institutions through elected boards of trustees, and we call upon bloggers to cease the critical second-guessing of these elected leaders;
Now, let me get this straight. When Martin Luther disagreed with the Pope, who, I might add, was leading in the historic method affirmed by the cardinals and bishops, he was guilty of critical second-guessing?????
Oh, I get it. Today's leaders are godly men, unlike the popes of yesteryear. They would never, ever be guilty of any sin, would they? They always make the correct decisions to lead the convention. They always use the monies they are given for good causes, don't they? They would NEVER take grannie's tithe and pay the leader of the GBC $500,000 now would they?
Here is the problem. Leadership is inbred. The good old boys elect the good old boys. The average pew sitter has absolutely no idea what is happening in the offices of the state convention leadership. Unfortunately, they trust that these godly men will do godly things. And the honchos like it this way.
Until now, there has been precious little accountability demanded from the "little guys" who give their tithes. At long last, that has changed… The doors have been flung wide open and, for the first time, light has been cast on the inner sanctum. Unfortunately, there are some things that don't look so good in the light. No wonder the "big boys" are perturbed. The are being held accountable in the same manner that Martin Luther held Pope Leo and his henchmen accountable.
Does the GBC leadership actually believe in the priesthood of the believers? What if the Holy Spirit is moving in the hearts of the little guys who then question the "important" guys? What if the status quo has been stifling the work of the Spirit? What if the Lord is lifting up prophets and exhorters from the rank and file? It wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Jesus did not make disciples of the Pharisees. He despised the corruption that characterized them.. Instead, he chose the fishermen and the nobodies of the day. He gave them the Holy Spirit and allowed the Romans to destroy the Temple in 70 AD. The power structure shifted from the Pharisees and religious sycophants to the "nobodies".
I believe the "elected" Baptist leaders should take a good, hard look at the criticism that is being leveled at them. Maybe God is trying to get their attention. Maybe it's time for a change from the "business as usual."