I Am Distressed


Yes, I am distressed.  Now, my distress does not hinder my sleep, it does not occupy my thoughts, it only saddens me from time to time.  I’m distressed about Christian behavior.  I believe many think the way I do, but just don’t want to be called “judgmental.”  That is a term that shuts everyone up, because no one wants to be, well, judgmental.  However, the Bible is plain that we are supposed to judge those within the church but not those outside the church.  That may come as a surprise to some.  I have several categories about which I will rant.  Please humor me.

1.   Attire:  While the causal look at church services belongs to everyone nowadays, the main “attire” problems have to do with the females.  It hasn’t been that long ago that in the movies (you could see them live in big cities), when a female wore skintight pants that were the same at the ankles, and matched them with very high spiked heels, she was unmistakably a hooker.    Now you see them at church.  It’s bad enough that most females are also showing more skin and tight fitting clothes these days, but why do church ladies copy them?  They’re not advertising, are they?  It seems like as goes the world, so go too many church ladies.

2.  Alcohol:  As John Piper commented in a video, if you’re going to try and use the Bible to support tee totaling, you are going to have a tough time.  True.  But there is a big difference between “a little wine for your stomach,” and one EMC that offers classes in beer brewing.  My dad was an alcoholic.  Early on I decided that I would never subject my family to such destruction.  That was even before I was a Christian.  When anyone drinks long enough, they eventually develop a taste for booze.  It then has a life long allure, apparently, and maybe much more.  As Bill Gothard stated: “What parents accept in moderation, their children will take to the extreme.”  True, mostly.  I will have, on occasion, a glass of wine if served with a fine meal, but it’s rare.   Water, tea, coffee and coke taste much better.  But then again it’s not for the taste, huh?  But, as goes the world, so go a lot of church people.

3.  Christian Music:  In every generation and genre, there are outstanding composers of secular and religious music.  The current generation is in a special category.  I know, I know, I’m an old fogey and not cool and tend toward, as one describes it, “cheesy” music.  But, I disagree.  One of my frequent sins (maybe) is the time and process in which I become engaged during praise and worship at church.  My mind keeps analyzing the music, too much.  In my humble opinion, current popular Christian music is more often than not, trite.  Take that!  Compared to lyrics such as “It is well with my soul,” and “And can it be,” plus a host of others (“Above All”), the lyrics are superficial and shallow.  Not to mention the erroneous theology that is prevalent.

I know that the whole purpose of Christian music is not for performance quality alone, but it seems as though the Christians are a lagging copy of whatever becomes accepted in secular music, and bad copies at that.  Our music group at church actually did a quasi “Christian” rap song.  There is nothing worse than passing off rap as music.  Rap is no more than a poor, and I mean very poor copy of operatic recitative, and out of place for sure.  If Christians are the repositories of the Holy Spirit, and we are, then shouldn’t we be the most creative people in the world?  Would not that represent the indwelling of the creator of all things?  Certainly.

Now before you dismiss me as a legalistic relic, be careful.  I know you, and you do the same thing.  I have other distresses; “Christians” living together; “Christian” divorce; “Christian” out-of-wedlock babies; and, again, more.  It seems strange that when it comes to clean living, family values and many areas of integrity, the Mormons eat our lunch.  Why?

Often I am convicted by the many scriptures that warn me about being in the world, but not of the world, not being conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2), that being a friend of the world is being a enemy of God (James 4:4), not to love the world or anything in it (I John 2:15), and to keep from being polluted by the world (James 1:7), and many more.

I ran across an article by Billy Graham that began with the following:  “To a large extent, the American church has become merged with the world.  It has adopted so many of the world’s ideals and standards that it has lost its ability to stem the tide of crime, deception and immorality that is sweeping the nation.  For millions of church members there is no deep commitment to the cause of Christ, no regularity of attendance at public worship, no sacrificial giving, no personal religious discipline.”

And ended with: “There must be an out-and-out stand for Christ.  It does not mean that in society we are snobs or have a superiority complex.  But the Christian should stand out like a sparkling diamond against a rough background.  He should be more wholesome than anyone else.  He should be poised, cultured, courteous, gracious, but firm in the things he does or does not do.  He should laugh and be radiant; but he should refuse to allow the world to pull him down to its level.”

After reading that last paragraph again, I have some work to do, but God will help me.  We’re not under bondage though; we’ve been set free, praise God.






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