““Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
Caring for the babies
Every culture has its language, standards and values. These values are built up and passed down through generations. Frequently they are outdated and over relied on as they become tradition in their practice but having no connection to God in spirit. “It’s how we’ve always done it.”, is the refrain.
This is especially true in the modern evangelical church. When I entered church life, I noticed that there was a lingo, a language that all the regulars knew. I still had much of the world in me and I felt bewildered by it all.
I also found that there was a set of standards that all the “good christians “ lived by. Some had tight regulations on every aspect of their lives that governed what media they consumed, whether or not they smoked or drank, even the kind of Christian music they enjoyed.
From the beginning I could see a problem. A new believer, or little one, would come into the assembly and immediately sense that being a christian is a lot of work. So many enter in and quickly leave. Others who try to make it, find themselves running afoul of these rules and face condemnation. They stumble and fall and hear little of God’s grace as there are those who seek to “shoot the wounded”.They are getting a false presentation of who God is.
Then there are the churches who err in the other side of things as they seek to preach progressivism where you can pretty much do what you want and God will still love you. New people enter the assembly and find fellowship, but no conviction, acceptance but no salvation. In both cases, the “little ones” are placed in danger.
God guided me to believers in church who were grounded, but graceful. They prayed for me, received me and earned the right to speak truth into my life. Through their love I was able find God’s standard and learn of His grace as He transformed me with gentleness
The people I encountered rightly divided the word of truth and helped me build the skills I needed to find the truth in God’s word for myself. This empowers me to grow in Christ.
The harsh, judgmental people are everywhere. I remember sitting in a deacons meeting and one of the brothers was angry that he saw a visitor to the church smoking a cigarette in the corner of the parking lot. He was very upset and wished that he had confronted the man. I looked at him and told him that I had a sure fire cure for his concerns. I advised him to come to the church on a Friday night during a Celebrate Recovery where he could easily find thirty people smoking in front of the church. It is a blessing that they are in church at all.
We are at a time when only the truly and deeply broken are yearning for salvation. Those that bask in their own goodness are not interested in the Gospel. The broken are coming in with lots of bad habits and hang ups and God is dealing with those things on His time table, not ours.
Let’s be gentle with the little ones that God has blessed us with, love them, receive them. I walked into Grace Church on a cold January Sunday morning filled with stress. There I found love, acceptance and most of all, patience. I stayed. I thank Ron and Diane Watson for making me feel welcome at a time when I was desperately broken. I also thank Pastor Chuck Morris who provided the closest thing to discipleship I had.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN!! Send me your requests!