I remember many bits and pieces of my early childhood, lessons that my parents imparted to me.
And later in life I began to draw upon the things that I was taught, not so much verbally, but more by example.
I remember my Dad getting up and going to work, every day. When he had several ruptured discs in his back, he would lay down in the back of our station wagon, my mother would drive him in, and we kids would help him slide out of the back on a piece of plywood so he could earn our bread. He would stand nearly all day long. For months. And later, when he had lost his job, he still got up and dressed for work, putting in applications and resumes until he had a new job. Every day.
Years later, I was stricken by Lyme Disease. Every day was a struggle, a battle against unbelievable fatigue. It took it’s toll on my physical being, my interpersonal life as well. But I remembered my Dads lesson, and I got up and went to work. Every day. Most days my friend Wayne picked me up at my front door and took me to work. We worked together, and he was a good friend through it all. I supported my family, and learned how the Lord carries us through the toughest places.
Dad was a stickler for detail. If a thing was not done correctly, exactly, specifically, it was not really done at all. That may have been partly due to our German heritage, but the point was well made.
Unless you did something in particular, it was not done at all. You could not, should not, “do something half-@ssed”. (My sweet little old mom). This is beginning to sound like a primer on “how to live the deliberate life”.
I’m going somewhere with this. Stephen Freeman talks about the tendency of more and more Christians to make less of special, holy days in the Christian calendar. The Reformed downward slide into “Every day is holy” has resulted in no days being holy at all, separate or distinct, set aside for God. Many will disagree with my next statement. But if you do not worship God regularly, deliberately on a day that is set aside for Him, when do you worship Him, really, at all? What I’m saying is that what likely passes for worship now after the desacralization of Christian life in these United States is more of an internal head-nod to conservative principals. In general. Not specifically. Just like Mom described.
I think some of the frustration and apathy within the christian community has to do with the abandonment of historic biblical values by mainline churches. Churches that ordain women, promote globalism, brush pedophilia under the rug, perform homosexual marriages, and even ordain homosexual female bishops, share a disproportionate share of the blame for a disaffected christian population. Their leaders have failed them. They are sheep without a shepherd. The scripture speaks to this specifically;
Eze 34:8 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep,
Jer 23:1 The Lord says, “The leaders of my people are sure to be judged. They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheep. But they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered.
Eze 34:10 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, so that they will no longer be food for them.
The scripture appears very clear that in any crisis of failed leadership the result is a scattering and winnowing of God’s people. Wolves rush in among the innocent. This present crisis is no exception. God will allow us to go our own way, interpreting things as we see fit. And the wolves will rush in, feeding on the flock.
So here we are today, many Christians, especially in America, feel alienated from the church, from one another, and especially from their government. Our Kings, our leaders, are immoral and godless. They have lost their divine mandate to rule.
But this drives us all back to the reason that we are discussing this. God holds failed leaders responsible for the fate of their flocks.
In America, the flocks response has been naturally to want a church, an ekklessia, without a Shepherd. Leaders have failed them, they have gone their own way, so let’s do away with the need for them entirely.
Many will likely argue the priesthood of all believers. That is true, and yet God has specifically set aside men in every generation to lead His flock, speak the truth out loud, and suffer on His behalf. Specifically, not in general.
But scripture tells us that our enemy comes like an angel of light, he looks good, sounds good, and tells us what we want to hear. And will try to cut us out of the herd.
Now if you open your eyes, you will see and hear all manner of teachers out there professing things that tickle itching ears. They tell us fanciful tales of life with no pain, plenty of gold, aliens, doctrines of demons. All manner of things to distract us from the Truth.
We don’t need to believe any of these things to be saved. We only need to believe in Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, and rest in His birth, life, death, resurrection, finished work and second coming.