My heart is heavy as I write this blog. I’ve just learned that another friend, someone I believed to be my “sister in the Lord”, has turned her back, not only on the theology that homosexual behavior is a sin, but also on her core beliefs that Jesus is God and the Scriptures can be trusted. For her, God is Dead!
When I read her most recent writing all I could say was WOW! How can someone fall that far away from what they not only believed but lived for so many years? She spent her life in ministry giving and serving based on those beliefs. Was God ever truly alive for her?
Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the serving took precedence over the BEING a child of God and being in an active, exciting relationship with Him. I don’t know the details, and I don’t want to assume but I wonder…
Is this what the Scriptures are talking about when they say, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons…” 1 Timothy 4:1
And Jesus own words, “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24: 10-13
I don’t use these Scriptures lightly or often, as I think we all “fall away” sometimes. I did for 10 years– fall away– from ages 17-27. But in this case, my friend, clearly states that she no longer believes in God but in goddesses. The whole 10 years I lived in rebellion as a “prodigal” daughter, I never let go of my core beliefs. I still believed the Bible was true but chose to ignore it…for a season. In a way that actually feels worse. I’m so grateful for His grace!!
Another thing I wonder about is something else she said. She said that during her child’s long term illness, her church family, who had said they loved her and were faithful at the start, really failed her in the end. They did not walk the long, painful journey of healing that she needed them to walk with her and her family. This disturbs me. No, that is not strong enough. This seriously ticks me off! I see this far too often. Even though Paul clearly teaches over and over in his letters that we are to lay down our lives for one another; we are to let our love be an example of God’s love; we are to sacrifice and give to serve one another, especially in times of great need, a lot of what I see in churches and in the Christian community at large is people serving themselves. If I’m honest with myself, I’d have to say I’ve been guilty of it and more often than I’d like to admit.
Just look at Facebook. As a Social Media Manager in my second job, I’m on social media daily. Most of my friends and even friends of friends are Christians. What I see mostly on everyone’s Facebook (with few exceptions) are pictures of vacations, the places and foods they eat and the new things they buy or want to buy. Piling it up, storing up our treasure on this earth, exactly what Jesus told us NOT to do. Now I’m preaching! I do feel passionately about this, because I have seen more than one person fall away, not so much because of disappointment with God but because of disappointment with the church! That’s not some foreign entity folks, that’s us! There is great disappointment to the point of despair sometimes when their supposed “Christian family” does not show up when they need them most. I guess it could make one think God is that way too. We are His representatives after all aren’t we?
Recently, I experienced this up close and personal. I was “deathly” ill with chronic bronchitis, and on the couch for two solid weeks. Sadly, not one friend called to see how I was doing. Not one person sent a card to encourage me. Not one person brought a meal to my house to help out. Oh sure, a few emailed or “facebooked” and even fewer offered to do something but no one actually stepped out and stepped up to help. I won’t lie. It was hurtful. But with God’s help, I worked through it, forgave and moved on. Of course, I’ve been on this journey with God for 40 years, so I’m fairly skilled at overcoming disappointment but what about young believers or people new to the faith? Sometimes I think, it’s no wonder people give up and go back.
Not long after this personal experience with disappointment, I had a single, female friend who was moving. We tried to organize a helping party but how many people do you think showed up? Her small family (three people) and my husband and I were the only ones. She attends a very large church and is always one of the first to show up when others need help. Unfortunately, I was not much help as I was still recovering from being sick for almost a month. But it really irked me that no one showed up for her! She deserved to have the family of God show up for her. I think Jesus was hurt for her too.
God has used all of these things (and a few others that happened earlier in the year) to motivate and inspire me. In August, New Beginnings Support, is launching a new mini-ministry as a part of our overall ministry plan.
It’s called Life Support. This is one of the newest initiatives of New Beginning Support Ministry. Born out of real need, Life Support provides real life services and desires to meet the practical, everyday needs of our participants.
The family of God meeting practical needs during times of:
Death in the family
Using our individual gifts, talents and resources:
Helping with moving
Driving to appointments
Providing meals when there is illness
Visiting when there is hospitalization
Cleaning, running errands, mowing lawns and doing yard work for single parents and those who are recovering from illness or surgery
Various other tasks as needed or requested
Dear brothers, what’s the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren’t proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone? If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing, and you say to him, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty,” and then don’t give him clothes or food, what good does that do? So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all–it is dead and useless. James 2:14-17
If you have a need or know someone who deals with homosexuality or is a family member and are in need in the Western North Carolina area, won’t you please get in touch and let us reach out with the love of Jesus?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details
And in your own little tribe, your family of God, will you be more aware of the needs around you and be more willing to sacrifice to help your brothers and sisters? After all these are people we are spending eternity with and you can’t take anything from this planet with you anyway. Instead of storing up what is destroyed by moth and mold on this planet, store up riches for the New Earth!
It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. Try it a little more and you’ll see. I know I will. I feel like I failed my friend. Even though she lives far away, I wish I had done more, reached out more. I won’t let that happen again. By the grace of God, I’ll be there when there is a sister or brother in need, or I’ll die trying to make sure someone else is.