Tag Archive: Christianity


Silent Majority

Many years ago, we began a journey together on a ship called the ‘Oasis’.

The captain set the course, simple, straight forward, and we all got on board, with hundreds boarding the ship at various ports along the way. 

The beloved captain, took a fall, but the crew stood ready, to stay the course.

The first mate took the wheel, and we moved forward, together.

The crew became concerned, and came to the new captain, saying ‘I believe we are off course’.

The new captain assured them, ‘we are on course’.

But the ports we began to stop in, were not on the original course.  Some of the crew and passengers recognized the foreign ports and began to disembark, looking for new ships to get them back on course.

The new captain’s words continually assured the crew and passengers that he had not changed course.

And yet there was no denying the evidence, the ship had most certainly changed course.

Most of the crew and the majority of the passengers decided to disembark, some speaking to the captain first, some leaving quiet and confused, some feeling they had no voice at all. 

Eventually, the new captain himself recognized the change of course and set sail on his new craft, ‘the City Church’; taking a few remaining crew members and passengers; leaving the ‘Oasis’ to drift away.

Passengers and crew members of the ‘Oasis’ now scattered at various ports; as they work to get back on course, perhaps can’t help but grieve what was once a beautiful ship, setting sail on a simple course.

Over the last several months, perhaps years, so much has been said and done, but in the simplest of terms, the Silent Majority has spoken. 

“This was not the course we set sail on when we boarded the ‘Oasis'”

My Prayer for the Silent Majority

May God hear the voice of all who lost their home,

May he bring them into fellowship, especially at His throne.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left in tears

May He comfort their heart and quiet their fears.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left confused,

May he bring clarity, where His word was misused.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left betrayed,

May he bring restoration, To relationships frayed.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left offended,

May he bring confirmation, their rebuke be commended.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left mad,

May His righteousness remind them, anger isn’t always bad.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left defeated,

May He remind them, their gifts are needed.

 

May God hear the voice of those who left in pain,

May He mend their broken hearts, Their efforts were not in vain.

 

May God hear the voice of those who stayed behind,

May His promise be true for them, “Seek and you will find”

 

May God hear the voice of those who are misled,

May they be reminded, ‘for your sins, Jesus bled’.

 

May God quiet the voice, of those who’s words deceive

May He bring to mind the simple truth ‘in whom did you first believe’.

 

May God’s voice be heard, may truth resound,

May He comfort His people, to His heart may they be bound.

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Semantics

Being very wordy, and very black and white, I can get caught in a web of misunderstanding someone’s point because of semantics. 

Being as wise as I am (haha) I know that I default to this place where people should say what they mean and mean what they say, and so I try to practice making an allowance when I am shocked by someone’s opinion, that it could be semantics.

Nevertheless, I try to err on the side of caution when expressing my own thoughts or opinions and be certain that I can not be dismissed on the basis of semantics. 

Semantics  is the meaning or an interpretation of the meaning of a word. 

In the modern day English language, we seem to be reinterpreting the meaning of words.  We use them in a variety of ways, in which they were not originally intended.  In doing so, we communicate in such a way that leaves the listener questioning “did she really mean that, or is it just a poor choice of words (semantics!)”.  And 9 times out of 10 we probably dismiss it because it was just a poor choice of words.

I’m on this tangent today, because of the word ‘BELIEVE’. 

The way the word BELIEVE is used in our modern day communication has abolished the biblical meaning that what we BELIEVE would be absolute truth.

Forinstance, when asked for directions a person may respond ‘I believe it is on the corner of 5th and main’ when in reality they don’t know if it is 4th and main or 6th and main, but they are making an educated guess and saying ‘they believe’. 

Another example of this would be someone saying “I believe peanut butter cookies are better than chocolate chip cookies” Now while most of us know this to be an absolute falsehood, and would immediately shout ‘LIAR’, some poor soul might actually take this seriously and quit buying chocolate chips altogether. 

 A tragedy right?

What would really be a tragedy is if we somehow communicated to our children in our lack of awareness of ‘semantics’ that there were choices to be made or gray areas in what we really acknowledge as absolute truth.

This occured to me when a lovely JW couple came by my home and handed my youngest Fruit Loop a pamphlet on What to Believe about the Bible…

My instinct was to default to the politically correct response and explain to my Fruit Loop that the JW’s don’t BELIEVE  what we BELIEVE. 

But I caught myself, realizing that in the modern day interpretation of language, the word BELIEVE does not hold the impact that it once did, and so I responded to my Fruit Loop, that the JW’s don’t KNOW that Jesus is the Son of God, they don’t KNOW that Jesus is God. 

I don’t want my children to have any doubt in their mind that I BELIEVED something, and that there were other things to BELIEVE that were equally as viable. 

I KNOW my Faith is in the Son of God, I KNOW that there are absolute truths in the Word of God, and I don’t want to communicate to anyone, especially my children, by using language that has diminished impact that there is any question in my mind as to what I should BELIEVE.

I’m sure you have heard the phrase,

“Try Walking in my shoes?”

Or some variety of the same phrase. 

These pictures are of my Fruit Loops, Racer and Whistler

trying to wear Tiny Dancer’s Doll Shoes.

The standing was okay, but the walking didn’t go so well.

What’s the point?

The Point is they don’t fit!!!!

In my walk with the Lord, He chose the path, and He also chose the ‘shoes’ I would wear. 

I am guilty of comparing myself, in the Christian community, to others and thinking less of myself, and on occasion more highly of myself than I ought (that occasion is not very often, but it seems wise to confess it).

This practice is hogwash!

God designed us for our purpose, and for our trials,

There is no sense in trying to ‘walk in her shoes’ (or his).

They don’t fit, and they were never intended to!

 

 

This is one amazing tree! 

We sat under it yesterday, by the river.

The size of the trunk, and the branches, and the thickness of the bark, was amazing.

We have some huge trees in our yard.  Huge in height.  Sure they have branches, and pine needles, and pine cones.  But in all the trees we have, we have hard time finding branches strong enough to hold a tire swing.

But this tree, resting comfortably by the water is not lacking strength, or size or beauty.

The span of the branches and leaves was incredible.

I thought about how Proud the trees in my yard must be.  Each one reaching for a height above the next.

But this tree, by the water, growing in stature, far reaching, elegant, this is a tree I would want my life to resemble.

He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Jer. 17:8

Over the last several months, for variety of reasons in my own life and the lives of those around me, the issue of elders in the church has become a topic heavy on my heart and mind.

I had a vague idea of what I thought a biblical elder should be, then I began hearing conversation about the position of an elder.  A few issues came up, such as, What are the responsibilities of the elders? What authority do the elders have?  Why it is dangerous to confront an elder or pastor? 

I began to wonder if I really understood the job description of an elder. I needed to stop all the noise, even if it was from people I respected, and find out what does God have to say about all this.

I started my research at CARM (Christian Apologetics Research Ministry).  Only because I knew the leg work of locating scripture would be done for me.  Sure enough I found thorough research on the elders in the church, their job description,even an outline of responsiblities and qualifications. 

There was so much good information I didn’t know where to begin reading.  I was pretty familiar with the qualifications, (although I did learn that the word elder is masculine, making a point for the side of no women elders).  I was primarily interested in the responsiblities of the elders and pearing down what that looked like, not just what I had seen modeled.

I chose 1 Pet 5:1-3 as a catalyst to defining the role of the elder.

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,not for dishonest gain but eagerly;  nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

Key words in the job description in this verse are Shepard and overseer.

Well, we know what a shepard does, it feeds the sheep, keeps them safe, and keeps the wolves out.

But I wanted to examine ‘overseer’.

I went to the Greek definitions for overseer.  I looked not only at the initial definition given, but continued to the root word, and found that the word for overseer was born from a word meaning WATCHMAN.

Wow!  Have a got a good analogy for this one!

So go with me for a moment to a camp in a deserted area.  A group of men, women and children, have set up housekeeping in this vast wilderness, and they choose watchman, who will rotate standing guard.

This Watchman will be looking for anything that may threaten the security of the camp.  He is guarding so that when a potential threat arises, he can take precautions to prevent entry into the camp.  Should he be unable to prevent an attack on the camp, his job would be to sound the alarm, so that all those within the camp are now aware of the pending attack, and can take precautions or flee. 

What this watchman would not do, is greet the attacker, ask what his plans are, then well aware of the threat to the camp, say “Have at it, but I can’t stand by and watch I’m out of here.” and then silently walk away.

I think it is important to note that if an attacker approaches, and the watchman is doing his job, he is going to be the first one fighting for his life. 

 He wasn’t hired to abandon his post at the first sign of a threat.  He was hired to keep watch, alert everyone of potential threat, and do everything in his power to prevent the attack, even if it meant loosing his own life.

The Watchman’s job is first to ward off any potential threat, and second,if unable to prevent it, to alert the entire camp of the threat.

So now we have an elder, who is to give food to, provide shelter for, and be a watchman of, the flock.

I came to this topic full of emotions because I felt our church had been abandoned by the elders, and because I was aware of another local church where there is a cycle of elders leaving their positions and yet the congregation remains helplessly unaware of what their Pastor is doing.

After seeking the Lord, studying the Word, and concurring with my husband, I still wanted confirmation that my concept of a biblical elder was not off base.  I couldn’t believe that I could be right, and that these men, who were suppose to be fulfilling these positions were dropping the ball.  These are Godly men, whom my husband and I respect, and yet they have left us fending for ourselves, unwilling to even talk about why privately, let alone sound an alarm publically.

Well that confirmation came, very quickly. 

We met with a newly appointed elder of our church, and we were careful to ask him questions without leading him to the answeres we wanted to hear.

What we heard was a resounding “I will be your WATCHMAN”

False teaching and spiritual abuse are running rampid and elders are walking away.

Where is the alarm? Where is the warning, Watchman?

You may dismiss my whole argument right now, saying that the threat is coming from inside the camp and so the rules are different.  Consider that a wolf in sheeps clothing may not be recognized immediatly upon entry to the flock, but when his identity is revealed it is still the job of the shepard to save the sheep!

Being an elder is a highcalling, and if a man believes he was called to this position by God, not just chosen by a pastor seeking “YES MEN”, then he ought to be willing to follow through on the responsibilities God called him to fulfill.

If these Pastors I refer to are quilty of  spiritual abuse, the elders walking away from them, and allowing them to continue, are at the very least quilty of spiritual neglect.