Monday, April 4, 2016

People in Protest!

In Ephesians 4:26, 27, the Apostle Paul tells us, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” If you have been following our political process, you know that many appear to be voting in the primaries strictly out of anger. Americans seem tired and outraged over the ineffectiveness of our government. Voters are frustrated with politicians who don’t carry out promises, who seem to be unresponsive to voter’s needs, and who allow the other political party to run over them. People are voting out of protest!

I believe our election cycle is revealing the condition of our society as a whole. Americans are overworked, overwhelmed, worried about their future, often consumed with responsibility, and feel that no one is looking out for them. Young people are frustrated to the point of violence (see my blog on “Gun Control”). 

This attitude often carries over into church life. People will leave a church because the music was changed; only to go to another church with the same style of music they rejected. Or, some members leave their church because a program was discontinued, only to change to another church that never had that program. Why? What is motivating us to become protesters in our culture and church?

Many feel frustrated over a lack of control or input in our circumstances. We have been voting for our political party for many years, only to feel betrayed by them. Are politicians laughing at us? Are they telling us anything just to get our vote? Do they think we are fools? It’s been said, “We need to take back control of our country.” In reality, it seems we never had control; after all, what is one vote in a million? In the past, we had confidence in the leaders we voted into office. But, because our politicians have often proven inept and untrustworthy, we no longer have that faith in them.

As a pastor, I see this same attitude very prevalent in our churches. People who attend church once or twice a month, but are not involved, feel a lack of input or control in church decisions. When change occurs, or doesn’t occur in the church, they become angry. We hear things from them like, “Where did this come from? I attend regularly and this is the first I heard about it. They only ask us to vote after the decision is already made! This is the last straw!”

There will always be people in the church who will leave out of protest or rebellion. I believe, however, the rebellious feelings within our culture have bled over into churches. I may not have answers to your political concerns, but allow me to try to address this as it applies to the church.
When you feel the church has made a decision that you do not agree with, or felt you had no say in, what can you do?

1.  Resist the temptation to rebel. 1 Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” This means that rebellion, like witchcraft, allows Satan into your life. As we give him a toehold in our lives, he can plant seeds of anger, resentment, bitterness, and gossip.

2.  Trust your leadership. Not everyone can have input in all areas, no matter the size of the church. Your pastor and staff are called by God to lead, and the pastor, more than anyone, will be held responsible by God for the health of the church. Your pastor is not a politician or a celebrity prepared to take the “heat” of every criticism. He is one of you—but called to lead. Also, trust your committees and lay leaders, because God has placed them where they are for a reason. When a pastor or leader ceases to be trustworthy, they should be removed, otherwise, trust the sovereignty of God by trusting them.

3.  Get involved. Anyone involved in a church ministry should have input on the planning level. How deeply you are involved in a ministry will determine your input.

4.  When your church decides to move in a direction—follow that direction. You are part of a family. Don’t leave out of protest. God is not in that at all and leaving is the easy way out. Your rebellion will only follow you to the next church. Leave your church only if God is leading you elsewhere. Then leave quietly, being careful not to hurt the church.

5.  Trust the Lord. He is sovereign and in ultimate control of all things. If you are in a leadership role, serve for the Lord. If a decision is made that you are not involved in, praise God that you don’t have that responsibility added to the many others in your life.

Authority exists in our lives to help and protect us. No one person can withstand shouldering the burden of every decision that has to be made in church or in life—that is why we have leaders. Let’s not allow our frustration with other parts of our lives affect our relationship with His church.

I hope this helps you accept and understand your role in church actions and decisions. As far as politics—good luck with that!

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for mentioning your Blog on Gun Control. Luke 22:36 - Sell your clothes and buy a sword.

    Owning a sword was Illegal in Roman law, during Christ's time, and Punishable by Death. Christ told his deciples to Disobey the Roman Law and buy a Sword to protect themselves. Also to sell their clothes if they did not have the money.

    The lowest crime cities in the US are the cities with the Highest Concealed carry Firearms licenses. The Highest crime cities in the US are the cities with Total Gun bans. Chicago is #1, Highest Gun related, Violent crime city in the US and they have a Total Gun Ban. All of the Mass shootings in the US take place in Gun Free Zones. Criminals target the Disarmed.