Fear, Fights, Flameouts, and a Few Weeks Without a Post


Regular readers will know that I haven’t posted in a few weeks.

The simplest explanation comes down to my increasing bewilderment at the state of the American Church. I’ve been gobsmacked (or should it be Godsmacked ?) by the increasing  insanity within our ranks. It truly feels like people are losing their grip on reality.

I’ve watched a few fights among believers online over piddling differences. I’m sick to death of the all-important need by some to be correct, even at the expense of love, fellowship, and unity. I’ve watched one battle in which neither side can come up with a solid biblical platform to justify their position,  and neither side will acknowledge that perhaps their side could learn something from the other. No, the need to be right trumps everything else, and the conversation descends into so much name-calling and noise. Sickening.

I’ve watched frightened believers, who resemble Chicken Littles, call for filling the bunker and fleeing to gold reserves (despite what Larry Norman sang about gold and bread). It’s the end of the world as we know it, and these self-appointed stokers of fear are on the front lines sounding the trumpet. “The _______________ {Insert bogeyman group or individual of the week} is going to wreck everything we’ve built for ourselves” is their clarion call. Faith that God is still in charge and that whether we live or die we are still the Lord’s don’t seem to enter into the equation. As I see it, When the Lord comes again, will He find faith on earth? indeed seems to be the question of the hour. A positive answer appears doubtful given how riddled with fear American Christians are. A big difference exists between being sober and being fearful;  it’s past time for us to know the difference.

I’ve watched a few more ministry flameouts, big ones. That’s all I’ll say. You probably know who.  No need to bury more of our wounded, though some seem eager and ready for the task.

All in all, it makes you wonder if the people behind all this mania realize how damaging they have become to the cause of Christ. The fighters, the fearmongers, the detractors of the flameouts—which of them is bettering the case for the Gospel?

People of God, don’t get involved in this garbage. Go about your commission. Don’t veer off the path. Don’t listen to the siren calls. A lot of people out there are using the guise of Christianity to sow discord, anxiety, and rebellion. Ignore them and go about your godly business.

Lost people look to the Church for answers. It’s time for us to grow up and start offering them.

10 thoughts on “Fear, Fights, Flameouts, and a Few Weeks Without a Post

  1. Selvin

    Guffaw! Good one Mr. Poet!

    And Dan, I’m a new reader/lurker/poster. What is your post referring to here? It seems like I am supposed to already know. I do read on the internets and sometimes follow the current scoop. But maybe I am not trawling enough out there. What are you alluding to in this post? Thanks.

    • Selvin,

      Thanks for being a reader!

      I guess I don’t understand your question because as little newswatching and blog-reading as I do anymore, I feel inundated by some of the conversation going on out there. So I guess I’m wondering how you’re missing it, because I see it everywhere. Just concerning the debt issue alone, the stuff I hear coming from some Christians borders on hysteria.

      As to the other things, does it really matter the source? There is too much of all the wrong stuff going on in American Christian circles. It’s time for us to re-find a sense of sobriety that allows us to rise above all perceived storms and petty arguments.

      • Mr. Poet

        I dialed back talking about government finances because (a) most people want government spending as long as their tax burdens are not too heavy, but especially if their payday is tied to spending; and (b) most of our representatives do not seem to care what we want. So we keep screaming at each other for no reason. My taxes will go up, and your programs will be cut, eventually.

  2. David

    I was having lunch the other day with some friends, and the topic turned to a small-group fellowship that our friends had attended some years before. The group broke up because of a disagreement about something or other, but what impressed my friend is that those who, in the beginning showed the least interest in the discussion were those who were most vehement when the discussion diverged into disagreement. Ultimately, those who stayed most true to the word ended up leaving the group, while those who desired to go thier own way remained behind. My friend then recounted story after story where something similar had occured. Those wanting to take the “easy way” became hardened as Pharoah’s heart when it came to sticking to biblical principles.

    As he shared this with me I was reminded of Solomon’s choice; to divide the baby in order to determine the real mother. The one that had the greatest love for the baby was willing to relinquish her claim for the sake of the child. The other merely wanted to win.

    We do odd things when we are afraid. John wrote that perfect love casts out fear. So perhaps what we are dealing with is not so much an excess of fear, but a lack of love. Like the hard hearted wretch who would rather see a child murdered than lose her argument, at issue was a desire to surmount obstacles rather than express love.

    Are we in the same boat? Is God calling for a sword to split the baby? If so, how we respond in cases of disagreement, fear, panic, unease, or whatever, may show us something about our capacity to love, or whether we simply want to win.

    • David,

      I started writing a post on fear last week, but it just kept getting bigger and more out of control, so I bailed. Today’s post is a massive condensation of that one, plus some other stuff, but minus the enormous Scripture dump and exposition that I was planning.

      That “unpost” had a central concept of how love, not courage, was the opposite of fear, and that love demanded even more drastic responses than simply bearing up. Seems like you hit that idea well in your comment.

  3. I’m just coming off of a blogfast for pretty much the same reasons. And already beginning to wonder why I broke it.

    It is so easy for me to get into a slugfest about who or what’s right. I know better. But all it takes is for one brother to misquote or misrepresent or accuse and I find I’m right back in it up to my neck.

    All due respect to the Obi-Wan Kenobi character, but the question I ask myself is … Who is the greater fool: the fool, or the one who argues with a fool? I’m not real happy with the answer. It sounds too much like the paradox of Proverbs 26:4-5.

  4. bob

    We know Paul and the son of encouragement Barnabas got into an argument about Mark but later patched things up.

    We know Paul urged two women Euodia and Synthyche of Philippi to reconcile.

    Partisan is a word coming up more these days in politics. Not only is the other side wrong, they’re evil and can never be right – even among people of the same beliefs and ranks.

    There is at least one reason for extreme anger of disagreement – an underlying fear one’s opinion might not be right. Truth can stand on its own – it doesn’t need fear or anger to prop it up.

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