Churches I Have Known: “Touch Not Mine Anointed”

*This is part of a series on churches I have personally attended.  I will not name names, but I’d like to shed some light on why the Culture War is doomed- we still haven’t faced the battle to reclaim the church….

The first church I attended, as a child, was non-denominational.   After a few years, the pastor brought the church into a large “full Gospel” denomination.  This is why, after my family moved we visited two or three churches of this denomination.  We made our church home at one of them for several years.  This church was tiny, and we got to know some of the other members pretty well.

It was a big change for us to be in a pastor-centric church, though.  After a few months, I found I expected nearly every sermon to include the verse “Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm” (I Chronicles 16:22).  This was invariably out of context and cited in an effort to make the pastor untouchable- he was in a special class the New Testament does not grant to pastors.  Somehow there was never any teaching on testing the spirits (I John 4:1), the accountability of those in authority, or in fact much balance.

And the pastor wasn’t immune to the need for constructive criticism; he was human.  After a number of years of struggle, the pastor’s family disintegrated.  My family left before the church closed down, but when we drove past its former location three years later, there was a strip mall in its place.

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Celebrated or Notorious, and What the Church Says About It

 

One of the failures of the Body of Christ in Western culture is acceptance of the culture-wide drive to achieve celebrity.  We haven’t even tried to offer something different.  And this is especially sad, because we have the answer- this drive to worship celebrities, and frantic competition to be worshiped as celebrities is nothing new.  Humans were designed with a need to worship, and this need is best fulfilled when directed toward the Creator.  The sin of pride, which is the root of the desire to be worshiped, has a cure.  We can only be content and fulfilled when we are in a right relationship with God.

The church has the answer to this particular ill of society- but has failed to proclaim it.  One reason might be that many evangelicals and others are too busy chasing Christian celebrities, or trying to become one.

Fact Checking Sarah Palin

In later posts, I hope to address the outdated terminology of “liberal” and “conservative”.  For now, I only want to talk about double standards.  Conservatives perceive a double standard in the way the news is typically reported.  It is assumed by conservatives that the liberal press only wants to harass conservatives and protect liberals.  And there seems to be a lot of evidence for this viewpoint.

The result is that attempts to fact check a conservative’s book are perceived as attacks.  I believe this thinking  also leads to a double standard.  One of the biggest problems we face in this information age is the difficulty we face in sorting out truth from lie. Our politicians trade on the very fact that their home team will not tolerate any scrutiny of their heroes.

Therefore, instead of complaining about fact checks, we should insist on them, for our team and the opposition.  We shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously any more than the liberal press is regarded by conservatives, if we only fact check the other side.

Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, is a good example.  When the report of his affair first broke, the main response I saw from conservatives online was, “It’s a liberal attack!”  This attitude persisted even after he admitted his guilt!  There were actually people defending a confessed adulterer by saying that the way it came out was a hit job, that it was totally unfair that the coverage of the Sanford scandal was so extensive while liberal scandals were treated so differently.  This kind of thinking is shameful.

The problem is not that Mark Sanford was unfairly exposed, the problem is that other leaders are not equally exposed and shamed when they dishonor the offices to which they have been elected.  And the problem with fact checks is not that Sarah Palin is being unfairly targeted, but that all statements by all leaders are not scrutinized.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment