I regret….. to say that the world I live in this second decade of the 21st century has digressed from the one I grew up in. In a world where children are kidnapped daily, parents are terrified to let their kids out of their sight for even a moment. We train our kids to be unfriendly and beware of EVERYONE, because some kidnappers have even been police. But, according to statistics from In Touch (2010) only 1.4% of all child abductions are by strangers!
It is shocking to find out that over 98% of abductions are committed by someone the child knows. But, think about it for a moment. As much as we caution our kids about strangers, who is left? How often do we hear an Amber Alert naming the kidnapper as a parent, ex-spouse, or relative in the extended family? In Touch goes on to say that 80% of all stranger kidnappings, or abductions by someone not known to the child, happen within a quarter mile of the child's home and 74% of those are girls.
In the world I grew up in (born in 1952) I would bolt out of the house in the morning with a quick, “Bye Mom” while she hollered, “be home by dark.” My friends and I would be all over town before the day was over and our parents never worried about where we were. We would go downtown on the bus, watch a movie, then take the bus back to the neighborhood and go play in vacant fields for the rest of the day. We would walk for miles every day.
I guess the reason is summed up in the word "neighborhood." We don't really live in neighborhoods where everyone knows each other anymore. Neighbors would look out for each other back when. We could leave and be gone for tow or three days and leave the door unlocked. The neighbors would feed the dog, water the plants, and just plain watch your home like it was theirs. I regret that has changed so much.
I regret….. that the church today has forgotten that “preach the Gospel” means win souls. News flash…your church isn’t the only one that’s going to heaven. If it was, there would be a lot of room left. John said, “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” Just because someone else didn’t “get it like we got it” doesn’t mean they aren’t saved, so quit spending 90% of the pulpit time reinforcing your stinking doctrine. Quit fighting each other and join together to fight the Devil. He’s the enemy…not the church across the street.
I remember a day when all the churches in town would get together and hold a week of meetings. Each Pastor would have a night to preach and nobody worried about losing members to another church. Now, if one visits another church, the Pastor has a stroke. And for sure don’t go to Brother So-n-so’s revival at the church across town. You might just like it better over there and not come back.
It never ceases to amaze me that we seem to think fighting among ourselves (Christians) is more profitable for the Kingdom of God than presenting a united front against the enemy. We're all so darn proud of this denomination or that denomination, but doesn't the word "denomination" itself mean "a division?" Isn't it telling that Webster's On-line Dictionary lists among synonyms for denominate words such as "stigmatize, brand, misname," and "label?" I seem to remember my Bible specifying that we were all to come to the "unity of the faith," not the "dividing of the faith." Oh well...just another regret...
I regret….. that we’ve become obsessed with the “End Times” and quit preparing people for the Kingdom of God. Didn’t Jesus say “Seek ye first?” The church is so obsessed with anyone that teaches a new message on what’s going on and how it relates to prophecy that teaching the basics of Christianity has taken a back seat. We've become a "seek ye last" people, and that really grieves the Holy Spirit.
There's a certain preacher, I hesitate to call him a Pastor, that is a frequent...I mean frequent...guest on the Trinity Broadcast Network. This man has made a cottage industry out of the Rapture and End Times. No, it's not Jerry Jenkins or Tim LaHaye, but that's for another article on another day. The point I'm making is about this man's presence during the twice yearly funding drives on TBN. This preacher drags out his platform-wide chart of "Daniel's 70th Week" and scares the Rapture into people and the money out of them.
The problem here is simply that anyone that is terrified into coming to Jesus is going to leave as soon as the fear wears off. But the money collected is still there. It seems to me I'm reminded (again) of a passage in the Bible that commands us to love each other and another one that says, "perfect love casts out fear," not drives it in. Those who come to the Christ out of love tend to stay for the Agape...
The worst problem is Pastors that don’t check out what is being taught to their sheep by the wolves he’s let in. There are many things being taught as fact to Christians that have been proven to be a hoax. The recent pictures of archaeologists finding bones of supposed giants in Saudi Arabia is a good example. The pictures were the winner of a 2004 contest held by Worth 1000 in the category of “Archeological Hoaxes” done with Photoshop. Yet, Christians still forward the e-mails and teach it as proof that Biblical giants existed.
There is an anointed Bible teacher, Robert Skiba, that teaches about the reality of giants in the Bible. Strangely enough, he actually uses Scripture to validate his teaching. Imagine that. He must be one of them crazies, don't ya think? Uh...no...I don't... He's quite refreshing, for a change. Although I don't agree with all of his theology, parts of it bring up some interesting questions...
I regret….. that the Christian values that this country was founded on are no longer “in vogue.” Faith in God (we are told) has no place in public anymore. Didn’t the Declaration of Independence say, “…all men are endowed by their CREATOR…?” The men and women that founded this great country believed that the absence of God in the workings of government would cause the nation to stumble and fall. They were right…
The first amendment to the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” That means there is no reason I can’t preach in the city park if I want to, or put up a cross, or nativity, or the Ten Commandments. It just means the Buddhist and Islamist has the same rights that I do. If I offend you, leave, but don’t infringe on my Constitutional right to practice my religion….by the way, the Supreme Court Judges sure reads a lot into the Constitution that isn’t there, don’t they? My daughter, Kimberly, worked until recently in a government job. One of her co-workers was fired for saying "God bless you" when someone sneezed.
Zero tolerance for us horrible Christians that believe Jesus is the only way to God. A Muslim that supports killing everyone who isn't a Muslim just for the sake of Islam can't be offended and is welcome to practice his or her religion in the public venue. Showing a naked female christ on a cross is considered art, while making a joke about the Quran is an indefensible offence. I regret that…
Most of all, I regret….. that 90% of the people that read this will not care one way or another about any of these things. That’s why it has happened in the first place…nobody cared….I guess I regret that most of all.
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