There he stood behind the lectern looking at some of the more educated persons of the locality. He stood properly dressed, coat, white shirt and tie with matching trousers, it was Doctor Blabidy, Professor of Religion in a well know University in a Northeastern State.
The Doctor was as serious as a heartbeat to enlighten the audience as to why the Church of Jesus Christ is just barely making it, and said that we must not expect a great deal of improvement in the 21 Century. He really did not think the Church would ever die out completely; but as of today, "it just does not address people where they are, especially the youth," he said.
As he continued to speak it became crystal clear why this lack of hope was his experience and why he thought it to be the experience of everyone except of course, those Evangelicals.
When those of his religious persuasion, or lack thereof, (which is it?) when those persons speak, it is easy to understand why they have such an unfulfilled experience with the Church and with Christianity. They really don't believe it!
When you do not believe the Scriptures are Truth and you therefore feel obligated, privileged, compelled, (I don't know which one that is either,) to pick and choose what you want to believe of what the Bible says, and you chose to not believe any of the "spiritual stuff," you are then left with a purely social and external Gospel. What then is there to meet the needs of anyone's inner questions or desires?
What is there in a purely social Gospel to interest any person, especially when distractions are prolifically available to occupy the minds of the hearers away from consideration of anything spiritual? "Thank you very much," the hearers may say, "I have my cell phone to text on and to stay connected." Why not?
When I listen to speakers such as he, I have a vision of a large Buffet Table set with many tasty things from the Bible, they do of course say that they take their cues from the Bible. However, most persons are going around the table taking only what they like to accept and leaving the rest of it as rubbish to be discarded. This practice looks graphically symbolic of building one's own god.
It seems a convenient thing to do, to build your own god, you can let him say what you think is right, you can allow him to have only the feelings that don't bring fright to you; you can set the rules for the god you build. You can even have a purely female god; but when you need help, that god is limited. You must then decide what your god will do and what your god will say, but nothing will happen because your god is nothing but a structure of your mind and your desire. A god like that has no rules or answers for you except the ones you think are alright.
Little wonder that there is no fulfillment or confidence in such a poorly constructed and limited god. However, they name their cerebral god, God.
The god they construct cannot of course create an earth, so tales are constructed about how the Big Boom got everything started. They structure a story of how things have evolved; never mind that nothing has ever moved from one category of being, or species, to another type of species. The best proof they can offer is that things can mutate within its own family: always failing to say that it never moves through a process to become a different thing. That does not fit their own description of "evolution," and would not therefore be beneficial to the argument of the Evolutionist.
What is the reason to stand and espouse the colorless and lifeless story of the Social Gospel? Did I receive any hope or comfort from the 2 hour session with Dr. Blabidy which I have just endured? Was I inspired to perform any act of worship? Was I inspired? Was I challenged? Was I informed? No. None of those were present. I was not so much as comforted about the status of the church in America nor yet challenged to do anything about it.
The most passionate comment he made was a flying comment that was disconnected from anything else he had mentioned, and it was blurted out as a last sentence of his lecture that "Some of the best Christians I know are Gays and Lesbians."
I am sorry for Dr. Blabidy, for such an educated man and two hours of uninterrupted speaking, he made only two straightforward statements: 1. That Evangelicalism is growing in Africa, and not growing in America; and then 2. His impassioned statement about those of whom call themselves Gays and Lesbians, being among the finest Christians he knows.
I felt I had been to an Art Gallery and been forced to look at abstract art done in faded pastels, except for only two lines of vivid color.
Let me tell you about the God that will thrill your soul, and give you hope, and vision and excitement. Yes, He does set some rules and He does not ask us what we feel about the rules He sets; they just are the rules because He said so.
If my previous statement inflames or infuriates your sensibilities, then it is because you do not understand WHY God has rules for us.
In every case of His Rules or Laws, they are for our good and benefit. That is why He tells us what not to engage ourselves in doing, and conversely what we are to do. It is because of His unfettered Love for us that He, like the Good Father that He is, gives us instructions on how to live safely and productively. For instance, He required the Israelites to burn the fat of the meat offering to Him as a sacrifice; I used to think that it was because He wanted to best tasting for Himself. How foolish of me; I have later discovered that the fat of the meat is harmful to our bodies and He demanded that which would harm them in order to protect their health. All of His Laws are for like purpose.
I have no doubt that the politically correct, tasteless, colorless, social gospel of Dr. Blabidy leaves the youth, and the middle-aged, and the old absolutely cold. What is there in it, except the permissiveness to destroy one's self by whatever method one wishes to engage? They consent that it is intellectual to see perhaps only the distant silhouette of some uninvolved Being. How cold and how discomforting is that view.
God's Laws are for our protection. His message is for our saving. There is a world of which Dr. Blabidy and his associates are not aware; it is the world of the spirit/Spirit.
I pray that the eyes of Dr. Blabidy and those like him will be opened to see what he and they are up against for real. Maybe then he can stop thinking that the world's problems and the religious problems of the Church are caused by those drat Evangelicals.
Ramona, Master in Ministry Arts, BA in Biblical Studies, I am an Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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