Recently, I have been reading Paul’s letters. Specifically Corinthians and Timothy. I am concerned about our complacency in the church family. I am concerned about what we are considering acceptable and what we are tolerating. There is no reference or command for us to tolerate anything in the church and we are warned against complacency because it makes the church weak. Complacency is a place of contentment with where you are and a sense of self-sufficiency that lacks a need for growth or instruction. The church, the body of Christ, is largely complacent as we all sit smugly by like fat, rich leaders of a starving nation. We find ourselves about the need for more instruction and overly confident in our strengths, laughing and jovial, arms crossed across a belly jiggling with smug laughter. What happened to the hungry, humble, hard-working church?
Do we feel no need for further instruction? Longing for a shepherd who will take us and not only guide and instruct us, but who will hold us accountable and be desiring to be held accountable as well. Why do we sit obligatorily in our cushioned seats every Sunday with coffee and snack, thankful for the reprieve of a work day but with a lack of humility and submission that is now considered “old school” church? Do we think we are everything God wants us to be? Are our churches bringing joy to the Father?
My mother has the gift of prophecy....and not to the point that she can forecast the future in a crystal ball or tell you the exact date of the end of the world, but she has the responsibility of holding people accountable and calling out false prophets and false teachers in the church. Her life has been, at times, very lonely. She has not been “favored among women” because she has no tolerance, a highly sensitive Spirit, and a willing heart to act on the communication and wisdom revealed to her by the Holy Spirit. I have found the prodding of the Holy Spirit asking me to hold my church accountable. I am also being held accountable. My spirit is not content to sit by and be the “fat man laughing” but I am rather uneasy in the reckless contentment I am finding in the many churches we have attended in search of a “family” where we feel content.
Are we finding more people in our church who are laboring in the gospel or are we finding less? And of those people, how many are our leaders? I Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” Verse 21 says to the church body, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. Do not lay your hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”
I am being called to call out the actions that should not be acceptable. I will not be a popular member of my church but I will respond to the cry of the Holy Spirit within me. I Timothy 6:20-21 “O timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge- by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”