Gina was so tired of defending what she knew was right. She’d heard it repeatedly—today’s issues aren’t black or white. Her teens kept telling her that her opinions were no longer a reality. But why should she “tolerate” behavior that used to be illegal?
It wasn’t as if she was getting much assistance from the pulpit either. She couldn’t recall a real sermon about sexual sin, greed, lust, or what living for Christ looked like. They’d certainly been to enough churches—at least a dozen. The family had followed her husband’s sales career across the country—settling in five different cities over the course of twenty years. It was as if the churches knew they had to keep people interested and steer clear of controversy. They served up Christian cocktails, tasty and easy to swallow.
She remembered a church in the Midwest that didn’t even use Bibles. Even though Gina carried hers each week, no one else did. And her kids refused to since none of the other kids had one. A church near Sacramento was like a pep rally. A large screen showed humorous mini-clips about life. This was followed by what amounted to a rock concert, which the kids seemed to like. A young pastor then delivered a short, cheery message encouraging everyone for the week ahead. People walked out smiling, but the joy was so shallow it wouldn’t last.
What seemed to be missing most everywhere they’d gone, was studying the Bible. As Gina looked over the different crowds of attendees, she wondered how many took the time to read the Bible during the week. She knew her kids never did. When they even bothered to go to youth group, it was just more entertainment—designed to pull kids in, but not equipping them for what they’d face in life.
Gina had grown up in a traditional church that didn’t seem to exist anymore. Or perhaps, those churches were still around, but people had changed so much that they didn’t want tradition.
Tithes and offerings fund churches, and when the money isn’t put in the offering plate, elders and pastors listen—and make the changes the supporters want.
Gina knew her kids hadn’t been trained to battle the war against principalities—and she wasn’t much better. Each Sunday, the controversial issues facing them were untouched. They heard syrupy-sweet words that helped them co-exist with evil. Instead of loving the sinner, they had come to place where they loved the sin too.
Gina and her husband couldn’t place all the blame on church. They had been part of the problem and didn’t offer any kind of solution. Gina picked up her Bible. Turning to Paul’s warnings in 1 Timothy 4, “The Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.”
Indeed, her family had been drinking Christian cocktails for a long time now—instead of feasting on God’s Word. They’d chosen to live in a drunken stupor, failing to see God’s truth. It had been easier to listen to what they liked to hear but they’d failed to learn how God wanted them to really live. Sobered by the thought, Gina slid to her knees and prayed. Which is where repentance begins. And change follows.