High standards seem to be a thing of the past. What once was ordinary and expected of everyone is now deemed gifted, talented, and exceptional. Even simple things like being able to write longhand are considered extraordinary, and if perchance you happen to be an immigrant that speaks fluent English without the frequent insertion of ‘know what I’m sayin’?’ in your dialogue, people are surprised and dumbfounded.
We have consistently lowered the bar to accommodate the lazy and uninspired, and although that is a choice the world is free to make it ought not to be so when it comes to those responsible for the spiritual welfare of the household of faith.
The quality of shepherd has been steadily diminishing during the first few decades. We have let things slide, we have ignored the warning signs, and now the quality of shepherd has diminished to the point that no one seems to be put off by the idea that some 400 pastors, deacons, elders, and other church leadership have enrolled themselves and pay fees to a website whose sole purpose is to provide partners for illicit extramarital affairs.
In layman’s terms, they pay a subscription to facilitate the commission of adultery with other individuals who pay a subscription to likewise commit adultery on their significant other.
The surprise in the church was almost nonexistent. Some are even breathing a sigh of relief that the names of these pastors and elders were found on a website that facilitates heterosexual intercourse rather than one providing hookups for men to reciprocally sodomize each other.
At least they were looking to commit adultery with women. The fact that we can even think of framing the argument in such a manner proves how far we’ve fallen and how little is expected of our spiritual leaders nowadays.
It used to be men whose function was to serve food to widows were expected to be of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Nowadays, as long as you can fit into a pair of skinny jeans and look hip enough wearing a pair of horn rimmed glasses, your spiritual pedigree, how much you know of the Word, or even what you believe is no longer relevant.
We make idols of men only to be overcome by hopelessness and despair once our idols turn out to be less then human, never mind a demigod.
In this entire unfolding there are no innocents. Everyone is culpable for the spiritual condition we find ourselves in. Everyone is culpable for the lukewarm, halfhearted, heretical offerings we bring before God, thinking we are doing Him a favor, and expecting to be generously rewarded via the material for our efforts.
The leaders are culpable because they stopped preaching truth, and began floating the idea that sin is no longer sin, and what you do the rest of the week is irrelevant as long as you pay your tithe and show up on Sunday.
The sheep are culpable because they desired a wider path than that the Bible prescribes, and found themselves teachers to suit their proclivities and give them license to sin.
Those still preaching truth are likewise culpable, because they didn’t yell loud enough, or long enough, or often enough, but in their defense, even a dog can only be smacked upon the head so many times by those he considers friends before he just gives up his barking, and goes to sit in a corner somewhere.
We tried preaching the Word, and were called legalists. We tried preaching righteousness and were called zealots. We tried preaching the power of the Holy Spirit and were called mystics. We tried preaching Jesus and were called intolerant. We tried preaching the narrow path and were called exclusivists. We tried preaching the cross and were called old-fashioned, outmoded, and obsolete.
We were not called these things by the world; it was not the world that was persecuting us, but those who claimed to be of the household of faith, those who claimed to be of Christ, those who claimed to stand for truth. Yes, the selfsame individuals who now embrace sin with open arms, who see no problems with adultery, and whose notion of salvation is one even a toddler can poke holes in until it looks like a slice of Swiss cheese.
Who have we to blame for the world we’ve created but ourselves?
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.