As we prepare for another Thanksgiving Day celebration, again I reminisce about my second Thanksgiving celebration as a born again Christian back in the year 2000. We were preparing for dinner at my parents house and before we began to over eat, my mother asked each of us children to state one thing we were thankful for. When it came to my turn, I thanked God for all he was doing in my life. At that time I was in the midst of a deep financial struggle as God had closed the door on my $80,000 a year job, preparing me for a life of service to His Kingdom work. Life was, to say the least, a little unsettled.
I remember some of the looks I received from my parents and siblings. They seemed to range from pity to astonishment, wondering how I could be thankful for going from a high paid insurance executive to a person looking for work, delivering mail on Saturdays in between sports officiating gigs. And my poor mother, God rest her soul—she still could not understand how I could commit my life to God without returning to the Catholic Church I was raised in. She just could not understand it isn’t the denomination, but the deep intimate relationship with Jesus that truly mattered.
I mention this in fast forwarding to Thanksgiving 2011 for this reason: There is a growing turmoil within the church these days—and we should be thankful for it. While turmoil and conflict is painful at times, it is often necessary to wake us up out of a deep sleep we become accustomed to. For too long the church in America has coasted along, sleeping at the switch, while millions of babies are aborted and traditional marriage is under assault. Individually too many of us have taken our faith for granted. Our attitude has been “Hey, I’m saved, so the journey is over.”
And because of our slip shot, carefree attitudes, we have allowed some very dangerous teachings to creep into mainstream Christianity. We have slowly sold out to the world for growth and popularity. Churches reading out of the Koran and inviting Muslims and Hindus into teach; Christian leadership conferences inviting non-believers in as models of leadership; and pastors intimidated from preaching about sin and its consequences for the sake of church growth.
In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus told the parable of the man who planted wheat; his enemy came one night and planted weeds. The farmer decided instead of pulling out the weeds and injuring the wheat, he would wait to harvest time and gather both up, separating the wheat from the tares. Well brothers and sisters I believe that harvest time is rapidly approaching. Tares have grown among the good wheat and God is beginning the harvest, separating His true followers from the deceived.
So we can look at these turbulent times with fear, anger or frustration—or we can choose to look at them as part of God’s eternal plan. Things are getting dicey as false teachings are rising up—and being challenged by Watchmen on the Wall and Christians committed to the absolute truth of God’s Word. The battle is heating up—and I, for one, am thankful for it.
- Thanksgiving: our American Christian Heritage (standupforthetruth.com)
- Will the Church in America Stand Strong? Or Give In? (standupforthetruth.com)
- Judging Method, But Not the Heart (standupforthetruth.com)
- Strong Leaders Need Strong Followers (standupforthetruth.com)
- Unity Around What? (standupforthetruth.com)
- Christian Leaders and Islam – How Do We Respond? (standupforthetruth.com)
- NAR is another name for Dominionism (standupforthetruth.com)