Generation Cedar

Alastair Begg (do you not just love his accent?) was speaking on a topic similar to the one I had just posted yesterday.  I listened while I was making up my bed and getting ready for the day.

Something he said really stood out at me: 

“The world isn’t asking us (the church) about pre-marital sex because the statistics are the same in the church as they are outside it; the world isn’t asking us about divorce because as many Christians are divorcing as non-Christians.”

I’ve actually heard Christians suggest that this is a good thing, because it helps the non-believer to “feel at home” in the church when there is as much brokenness there that is in his own life. 

Could there be a more mis-guided idea?

So there “Beggs” the question…what is going on

Why are believers afraid to look different–to live differently than the world?  And why do we  insist on doing the same things, continuing to get the same, really bad results!  (Einstein called that insanity.)

Are we afraid of a little criticism for living a life that is set-apart?  Do we crave man’s approval so much that we are willing to compromise our lives, our marriages and our children and grandchildren?

I don’t know what that looks like in every area.  And no, I’m not necessarily referring to a “look” as in outward appearance, although a lot could be said about modesty and respectful dress.  But I do know that as a whole, the church is MISSING the mark. 

We have more churches than ever, more programs than ever, more funds than ever, more evangelical tools than ever–and we’re doing worse than ever in terms of living lives that are transformed by the power of God.

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Matthew 15:8

A changed life should be just that–changed…different…noticeable.  The world should be asking us, simply by the fruit of our lives, the joy of our marriages, the honor and obedience of our children, the peace of our finances, the outcome of our daily living out the Word of God–they should be asking us about those things!

Are we willing to lose it all to gain it all?

15 Responses

  1. We are called to be a peculiar people, yet, in our unbelief, we are “not comfortable” with that.
    Let us, sisters, set our minds on the the things above. Being transformed means exactly that, totally changed into a new creature, inside and out. Let us fear no man, but fear God alone.
    As to Mr. Begg’s accent, I firmly believe the Lord will “speak” to us in Heaven in just such an accent. It is sweet to my ears! 😉

  2. I think that to remain in a marriage that is less than perfect, or not happy is a powerful testimony to our faith in and obedience to God.

    OT divorce laws were in place so that the Lord could “divorce” national Israel when she went whoring after other gods. He rescinded “divorce” laws,

    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Mark 10:9

    because He will not “divorce” his church.

    If we MUST leave our spouses, the Bible gives clear directions as to what our behavior must be.

    1 Cor. 7:11
    But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to [her] husband: and let not the husband put away [his] wife.

    1 Cor. 7:39
    The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord (also Romans 7:3)

    I there would be fewer divorces if it was shown from the Bible that you must remain single the rest of your lives.

  3. This is a frustration I feel all the time. Wondering why we are no different. The salt has lost is savor. We need to look very closely at our faith and see if t is real.

  4. It’s called syncretism. Saying one thing but melding into the world of the other practice. In other words, hypocrisy. It’s the sin that God confronted Israel on over and over and over again.

    We are called to be set apart, peculiar, a special people. And yet we shun our specialness in favor of the mire of the world. We accept mud pies instead of the delicious, wonderful, special pies the Lord offers us.

    We have been so trained as to want to conform, not be transformed. We have lost our salt and savor and are content with what the world offers instead of striving for, desiring and loving what God offers.

    Sola Scriptura is the answer. Taking the desert island challenge. If we lived on a desert island and had nothing but the Bible to read and live by, then how would we be living?

    Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

  5. mommaof10,
    re: your desert island challenge – we sure wouldn’t be eating any shellfish, then, would we??

  6. (I know about Peter’s dream, with the blanket and all that. but it would take a while to get all the way through to Acts, I guess.)

  7. I think one of the reasons we are no different is the idea of personal conviction. I hear it all the time from leadership in my church. Unfortunately I go to a church that believe BC is fine and almost everything is personal conviction. This has been troubling me, as our Sunday school teacher came in and announced quickly, that he was tired of people making other people feel bad about decisions that are personal conviction such as, home school vs. public school and teenagers dating. This is a very popular stance amongst the leadership in my church and many of the churches in my denomination.

  8. Kelly,

    This is something that I am constantly working on – being set apart for God and not the World. It’s so very easy to get “wrapped-up” in worldly ideas. This just goes to prove that we really need to seek God’s wisdom at ALL times in ALL parts of our lives (like you mentioned yesterday in your post about Proverbs 4, which I did read at your suggestion – smiles) not just when it’s easy for us.

    I think this is also one of the reasons why I have never been a “fan” of church. Leaders seem to be too “liberal” in their ideas and actions. It’s very difficult to be supportive of that if that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s all very . . . sad.

    Anyway, thanks again for another wonderful post.

    P.S. BTW, how are you doing these days regarding your pregnancy? I hope all is going well for you and your baby health wise.

  9. Mrs. Lady Sofia,

    Thanks for asking about my pregnancy! I am doing well, mostly waddling around, lol! I am huge (39 lbs. heavier, I think? With almost 2 months to go!!!)

    But, that’s all I can complain about. Baby is kicking and every move thrills me beyond words. We cannot wait to meet our new baby!

  10. This is such a great post. There are two things I think of. People should notice a difference, and should feel comfortable enough to approach us because of our shine (love for the Lord). 🙂

  11. Our church today is wrapped up in unbelief. If we were believing God’s will for us, we wouldn’t be looking to the world for answers. However, and this is based solely on my own observation, we need to take into account that many of those who initiate divorce are an unbelieving spouse. I would be interested to see a detailed study on Christian divorce that determines whether or not the intitator is an unbeliever, and what the divorce rate for couples who are both Chrsitians.

  12. Great post. I think this is a question that should be asked on ministerial boards, deacon boards, etc. all across this country!

    I agree, trying to look like the rest of the world so that we can look more “sympathetic” is simply bogus! To paraphrase Dave Ramsey “If you wanna be skinny, do skinny people stuff! If you wanna be rich, do rich people stuff!” Why be a part of a community that suffers from the same pain, sorrow, and confusion as the rest of the world??? Maybe, just maybe this is exactly why the numbers of Christ-followers are beginning to dwindle. If people don’t have the opportunity to observe the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, why should they want to be a part of that community???

    And oh, here’s another thing. Those of us who do have happy marriages and well-adjusted children need to stop apologizing for our blessings. I hate to confess it, but I’m preaching to myself here. How sick is it that I have to feel bad that I’ve been married to my best friend for almost 20 years??? Yet, when I’m in certain settings I sometimes feel a subtle pressure to downplay this or even FEEL ASHAMED??? Please don’t tell me I’m alone in this: neither of us is perfect, we’ve made mistakes, but to be ashamed of weathering the storms because God is the cornerstone of our relationship-I’m ashamed to admit I’m susceptible to “public opinion” to that extent.

    Salt and light. Salt and light. Please, let’s try to live up to the promise our Savior purchased for us!

  13. honestly, i feel this way about the whole “gay marriage” debate. how can we cry out about gay folks destroying marriage in this country when we *Christians* ourselves aren’t holding marriage as something sacred. the biggest thing that is threatening families in our country isn’t the prospect of “gay marriage”… it is divorce.

    and i should add that i am saying this as a woman with a failed marriage behind me:(

  14. I think the biggest problem (and I expect NO fan mail on this one) is that those who say they are Christians ARE NOT. While we are not called to judge, Jesus did call us to discernment “You will know them by their fruits”. Why is that? And why are Christ followers and imitators made to feel like extremists within the Christian community? The sad truth is this: True, Christ following imitating believers experience more persecution from “Christians” than from non-Christians. Christ didn’t mention that part for a reason; He was warning us about the unbelievers persecuting us. Something to think about.

  15. If someone gives you a hard time about your comment Kelly L., they aren’t reading their Bible! Wheat and tares, wheat and tares. Growing up together and looking the same until the harvest. (Matthew 13:14-17, 24-30)

    Or how about Matthew 7:20-21
    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

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