Tag Archives: Churches

A Thought on Honoring Our Commitments

     Do you honor your commitments?  I know.  Right off the bat you’re thinking, “What?  You had to start off with that right from the get go?”  If you haven’t already left me for some site that makes you feel more comfortable give yourself a solid ten points.  The last thing most people want to be reminded of is a failure to keep their commitments, so the fact that you’re still here shows at the very least that you care about the subject.  Caring about whether you keep a commitment is a good place to start.  As far as I’m concerned that puts you on another level automatically because finding people and businesses that actually honor their commitments is growing harder all the time.  Honoring your commitments is akin to keeping your word, doing what you say, being responsible for your actions, all that stuff that doesn’t seem to mean a whole lot to anyone anymore.  If we get it done, great, and if not, “Well, oh well” seems to be the refrain, and we leave it behind scarcely without a thought as to it’s impact on others and ourselves.

     Failure to honor commitments seems like it’s a national pastime with our federal government, and elected officials all leading the way, and what seems to be good enough for them, seems to be just as good for the people they represent.  Doesn’t seem like much changes over time, and through the course of history, to me.  The same things going on today were going on back in the time of the prophet “Malachi.”  Just as much of the leadership and people of today aren’t overly keen about honoring their commitments, so the Priests and people of Malachi’s day weren’t much better.  If you’ll look at the second chapter of Malachi, you’ll see many similarities between the so called priests, preachers, and teachers of that day, and the ones that are leading a lot of our churches and religious institutions today.  Matter of fact, in many of our churches you would be hard pressed to see any difference at all between the two.

     I realize this is a pretty stern statement, and more than likely some of you reading this are going to be offended, but as an old saying goes, “if the shoe fits.”  Well, you get the idea.  Malachi 2:2 says, “If ye will not hear; and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of Hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.”

     They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it seems to me that these 53 God inspired and prophetically written words draw a pretty good picture, too.  I’ve always been amazed that of all the many different views we have of God, so few of God’s children ever view Him as a God of Discipline.  The nation of Israel didn’t have any trouble viewing God as such.  They had seen it first hand, and more than once.  Just as an experiment, do a word study on “curses” in the Bible.  You already have an inkling of what you’ll find if you’ve read the above paragraph carefully. 

     It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to me to say that our country-the good, old US of A-is in pretty much the same condition as the priests and people of Malachi’s day were in, and for pretty much the same reason.  Our spiritual leaders are doing the same kind of things as the priests of those days were.  Malachi 2:5: says “My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.”   The priests of that by gone era had broken God’s covenant of peace that He had made with the tribe of Levi.  That covenant of peace extends to every child of God through Jesus Christ, but just like the priests of Malachi’s day we’ve often broken it by failing to give God the reverence He deserves, and by failing to live by his commands.  When we do so we deprive ourselves of “life and peace.” 

     We as a society have fallen into the same quagmire as the people in those days.  They failed to honor their commitments, to God, to their office, and to the people, but their most abysmal failure was in their failure to honor the covenant of marriage.  Now, please understand, it’s not my intention to reopen old wounds, to make people relive the past, or to cause anyone pain by mentioning this, and I’m truly sorry if I have.  I understand the pain of divorce because I’ve been through it myself, and I’m very much aware of  and sympathize with those who have had to go through it, and please know that I’m not judging.  Those of us who have experienced divorce came to it from different angles, for different reasons, and it’s nobody’s right other than God’s to judge or condemn someone for it. 

     Having said that, our society has succumbed to the same covenant-breaking, God-hating practice that the people of Malachi’s day were guilty of.  In part, our spiritual leaders, are to blame for this in that they have failed to communicate God’s view of marriage to His people.  Let me be clear, as God’s Holy Word, is clear.  God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman for life.  God hates divorce.  To say anything else any other way would be a lie.  He hates it.  He hates the destruction it causes His people, their families, and worst of all the incalculable damage done to children.  He hates it because it’s a blight, a stain, upon His people who were intended to be a pure and holy people. 

     As Christians, we hold a God-honoring, responsibility, to uphold and to keep our covenant-making marriages intact.  This is a sacred thing and not to be taken lightly or to be treated trivially.  I cannot stress enough how important and how serious God views this covenant between a man and a woman.  Honoring this commitment is and should be your highest form of praise and worship to God, and is your most sincere witness as to His place in your life.

     We, as Christians, our duty bound to honor our commitments to: our spouses, our families, our business interests,  our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  We cannot hold anyone else responsible, no group, no individual person, no organization, for the condition our once-great country is in.  The failure is ours, but all is not lost.  We as God’s people, as the unified, loving body of Christ, are never more than a prayer away from His love and forgiveness and restoration.  Let us, as the Christians we’re called to be,  kneel and pray, and honor our commitments today.


From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

     How much of our conversations with others lead to any benefit?  Do we quibble and strive over things of no importance.?  What a waste to spend our time contending with people over things that don’t matter.

“Avoid foolish questions.”


Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The old schoolmen did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions. After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion no more promotes knowledge than love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field. Questions upon points wherein Scripture is silent; upon mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; and upon mere modes of observing human ceremonials, are all foolish, and wise men avoid them. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept

(Tit_3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.

There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my conversation adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus? Such enquiries as these urgently demand our attention; and if we have been at all given to cavilling, let us now turn our critical abilities to a service so much more profitable. Let us be peace-makers, and endeavour to lead others both by our precept and example, to “avoid foolish questions.”

A Thought on the State of the Church in America

     Looking at my title “A Thought on the State of the Church in America.” seems a little daunting to write about now that I’m looking at it, but I’ve often thought about this subject.  To be honest, I’m not sure it’s the wisest course of action to write about this.  It’s not like I’m an authority on any subject, and I know of no quicker way to look like an idiot than to write about something of which I have no real education, yet, I do have a thought or two on this subject so here goes. 

          To me, trying to write about the “church”  without writing about “America” is like writing half the story.  I don’t think it’s possible to write intelligently about one and leave the other out.  The fact that there are people who can routinely talk about “America,” and not even mention the “church” adds a whole new layer to the term “separation of church and state.”

     When I think about  “the church,” a number of things come to mind,  but primarily it’s failure to carry out its’ God-given mandates.  I realize a statement like this can draw some fire from people who are going to say I’m making judgements I have no right to make, that I’m being too harsh, but I’m going to stand by what I said.  How can I say something so inflamatory?  Who do I think I am making a statement like this?  The answer to the first question lies in my motivation for saying it. 

      Everything in life whether it be cars, houses, or clothes, to the way we tie our shoes, to how we feel about abortion and think about government came about as a result of making comparisons.   When I look at this country and the way it is now, and the way it was when I was a boy, and compare the two, I see a discrepancy between the country I lived in then and the one I live in now.

     I’m forty-nine.  I’ve seen a lot of things change during that time.  How about you?  Is your life now the same as it was 5, 10, 20 years ago?  Is it better now than it was then?  Is it worse?  Perhaps you feel it’s just different.  What were people like then?  How did they act in your life then as opposed to now?  What about values, morals, sports, politics, education, religion, sex, technology?   Wouldn’t you agree that all these things, and the attitudes toward them have changed?  In some instances these things have changed the way we think and live dramatically. Now am I saying any of these things are good or bad?  No, but what about the attitudes toward them? 

       Our attitude is our disposition toward something.  It’s our inclination to think and feel about things in a certain way.  Our attitudes are developed under the influence of what we experience.  We’re all a product of  the things that influence or fail to influence us.  It’s here that the “church” comes in.   Up until the 1960’s, I believe, the church was the single biggest influence on our society, and it’s people.  That’s not to say the church quit being influential, but it’s influence on society began to change.   Why is that important, and how does it play into what I think is the failure of the “church?”

     Why it’s important is because I believe it’s the church that upholds the word of God, and in doing so upholds the standards of morality and decency.  In the 1960’s, our country started undergoing changes because of the Vietnam Nam war, protests, free love, and illicit drug use, and they started having an affect on eveything around them.  Think about this.  In just the last 25 years school and workplace violence, unwed pregnancy, divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, crimes against children, murders and suicides in this country have grown exponentially.  Our government, unemployment, the national debt, taxes, welfare, are all out of control, and our once great nation is now on the verge of collapse.  

      So what does this have to do with the failure of the church?  All of these things that I just talked about are social ills.  Frankly, all these things are the result of sin, of living in rebellion against God, and to be blunt are the result of the church’s failure, both as an organization and as a body, to uphold, and live out what God has called His people to be and to do.   Is that being too harsh?  Is that being unfair?  I don’t think so, and here’s why.  

     I remember a time when preachers’s taught the Word of God verse by verse, chapter by chapter.  I remember a time when I was a boy, and my pastor taught on what being a good husband and father entailed, on the value of marriage and why it was important, why you shouldn’t have sex before you were married, why it was important to be a good steward of what you had, why it was important to raise Godly children, and why it was important for children to obey their parents, what love really was, and how someone who really loved showed it.  I remember how the people I went to church with knew each other by name, how they banded together to help each other, how when one member suffered we all suffered and would gather around to help and support them.  Most of all, I remember as a child hearing about the love of God as expressed in the life of Jesus, and why He came, and what He did for me. 

     Instead of the church maintaining it’s stand, and it’s commitment to teach the Word of God, and to hold itself and it’s members accountable, it allowed hersy to enter in.  It started teaching philosophy instead of doctrine.  It allowed the things of the world to enter in, and started using the things of the world to appeal to people.  Churches started telling people that “Feeling good,” “Being happy,”  and “Name it and claim it” were what God wanted and would give.  They gave people the God they wanted and not the one they needed, and now we live in a country that spends every waking minute worshiping him.

     The thing about it is all those things have one thing in common, “SELF.”  Christ didn’t come for  him “self.”  He came for me and for you, and to gather unto himself a people who would love Him, and each other.  The failure of the church is in the fact that the one thing thing it was called to do it quit doing.  What is that?  To demonstrate to each other, and to all people, the love of Christ.    The saddest commentery on the church in America, in my opinion, is what happened right after  Sept 11.  For a period of time, the churches in our country were filled to overflowing, and then in a very short time all those people who were seeking answers quit coming.  Why?

     The answer to the “why” is because there was nothing different in the churches than what they saw in the world.  The churches forgot that it wasn’t the condemnation of Christ that drew people to it, but His love.  If our country is to survive, the only way that will happen is for the “church” to quit being the organization it has become, and become once again the living, breathing, “body of Christ” who showed through the example of His life the kind of love that could and did change the world. 

     Who do I think I am?  I think I’m a sinner who has experienced the love of Christ; who has accepted His death on the cross for my sin, and who I’ve placed my faith and trust in.   Who wants people to know that although there are hypocrites in the church that Christ isn’t one of them.    To beg you to consider what I’ve said, and to know that Christ loves you, that He died for you, that He will accept you where you are, and take you where He wants you to be.  and that all you have to do is confess that you’re a sinner, and ask Him to save you.  He will do so.    If you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share, I will be happy to help or listen as you will.