Monday, April 19, 2010

Jesus, Please Tie My Shoes!

"No Larwin!" He pulled the shoes out of my hand. "I can do it by mysewf."
Anthony, a little boy I babysit, was determined to tie his shoestrings all by himself. He would have none of my help.
"Are you sure, Anthony?"
"Yes, Larwin . . ."

I decided to let him try. Before long, the laces were tangled together, and his shoes were on backwards. He walked around like a clown, fell down, got back up, and fell down again. I giggled at him quietly, and before long, he waddled over and let me help him do it properly.

It has been a while since I've posted, mostly because of travel plans and whatnot :) But today, I really felt the need to give a message that's been dying to come out for the past several weeks. I've struggled with it, I've been hurt by it, and finally, I have come to terms with it.

In the past several years, our church has had a difficult time with compassion. Unlike most churches, they are very closed-fisted, and the leadership seems to stand far off from the rest of the body. The result is a hurt congregation, and lost souls. Instead of coming to a place of love, bruised and battered Christians find themselves in a judgmental atmosphere that deepens the pain they are already enduring. In our situation, the church was quick to judge my Mother. "Divorce is never allowed" seemed to engulf my sister, mom, and I, during a time when we needed support and love. Because they didn't know the entirety of the situation, they looked at us and gossiped. They looked at us without the empathy of Christ. And their coldness has permanently wounded me. However, when families in the church stood up to them, questioning some of their actions, "where in the bible is this or that?" The leadership responded . . . "It's not. This is just the way we do things."

Today I was reading the Gospel of Mark . . . Chapter 7. I read this:

“Now when the Pharisees gathered to him from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his diciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. For the Pharisees and all the jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash....) And the pharisees and scribes asked him, why do your disciples not walk according to the traditions of the elders, but eat with defiled hands? And he said to them, “well did the prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

You leave the commandment of God, and hold to the tradition of men.”

This really struck me, and I wanted to share it with you. When a church admits, “well this is just the way we do things. It isn’t in the Bible, no . . .” But they stick to it anyway and force it upon the Body, they are teaching it as doctrine (vs. 7).

Instead of acting in humility, by admitting that yes, they are just human, and their "policies" may not always be aligned with the Bible, they teach it alongside of scripture as infallible.

They try to tie their own shoelaces. Set their own standards. Create their own rules.
Unfortunately, the reality is . . .
They can't, yet. And they will never be able to, apart from God's word.

Instead of letting someone else do it for them (in this case, God) . . . They're trying to figure it out themselves. And so far, they've only tied themselves up in knots. God has clearly commanded:

"Mourn with those who mourn, weep with those who weep." ~Romans 12:15

"Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." ~1 Peter 3:8

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." ~Galatians 6:2

"So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." ~1 Corinthians 12:25-26

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? ~John 3:17

When the church ignores these commands to LOVE because of their rules and regulations, they are following the traditions of men over the commands of God.

It's time for the church to ask Jesus to tie their shoes.

After all, our "faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:5)

~Lauren Lee

10 comments:

Melody said...

Aw, that is so sad that your church leaders are not willing to reach out to the congregation, and are putting up tradition as truth. I will pray for you and your family!

Blessings,

~Melody

Lexi said...

Awesome post Lauren! I will be praying for you and your family. I know that must be tough.

Blessings,
Lexi

Lauren Lee said...

Thank you, Melody and Lexie. :) They desperately need the Spirit to open their eyes right now . . . I continue to pray for them, as well. :)

Ryan said...

Lauren:

This was one of your most inspirational posts yet...you really hit the nail hard...we do need Jesus to tie our shoelaces, even if we are leaders of a church! I am seeing it too among the congregation, and we don't seem to be focusing on Christ as much as we used to.

I love you, Lauren! I pray for you, your mom, and Tay every single day and you are in my thoughts all the time. I am always here for you!!!

Love, Ry

The Limon's said...

Sweet Larwin :) We miss you...hope and pray you are having a blessed time. Thank you for sharing your heart. We are praying for you my dear. God is not caught off guard with all of this, which I know you know...He is surely using all of this to sanctify many of us and use it for His glory. We love you. Mrs. Limon

Nanci Montoya said...

Hello my dear Lauren (and Tay). Jake and I are here for you ALWAYS, willing and able to be of service to the Fischer women. Those who choose to serve your family during this time are greatly blessed to be part of your lives~
Love, the "boys" Momma:)

Kate said...

Such a great article! My mom is close friends with a very godly woman who recently went through a nasty divorce. No one knows all the circumstances that led to that point but a few of her close friends... and as such it is no one's place to judge her but God's! There's no way she could have kept that marriage together no matter how hard she tried–and try she did. Thank you for standing up for those who need comfort and compassion and not judgement.
Blessings in Christ,
Kate

Lauren Lee said...

Ryan - Thank you so much, my sweet friend. After talking about this with you in the desert, I felt it needed to be addressed . . . You really inspired me. Thanks for being such an amazing part of my life :)

Mrs. Montoya and Mrs. Limon - I am so grateful for your families! You have been such special friends during this time. You both are such lights . . . Thank you for being the heart of the church!

Kate - absolutely . . . Thank you for your comment. It's so true, often times the judgement pushes away those who need compassion most. I feel the pain of your Mother's friend, I've experienced that first hand . . . I think it's really a lesson that needs to be learned in the church today. Christ accepts us as we are, and welcomes us into his house!

Taryn said...

Lauren,
You are the most amazing girl I know! You are a Christ-like young woman and you always have set a good example for me and for others! I am praying for you, Tay, and your mom and I love you guys so much! We will always be here for you!

Miss Jocelyn Tzahala said...

Shalom! I just wanted to let you know your article was featured in our Bosom Friends column for the month of May! http://feelinfeminine.com/?p=4740
Blessings!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...