Itching Ears…

2 Timothy 4:3 (MSG)
3 You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.

I have always wondered at this verse, not that it’s that difficult to understand really.  Everyone needs a good yes man or woman in their life. You know what I mean the person that always agrees with you always tells you what you want to hear.

The thing about yes men and women is they aren’t really being honest.  For whatever reason they don’t want to offend, or hurt, or fill in the word that you need. 

Most Evangelicals use this verse to point fingers at people that don’t teach or believe the way they think they should.  They use it to prove their point, or to show how they are so much more spiritual than others, they use it to justify bigotry, and hatred, they use it to keep people that don’t fit their picture of a good christian away. 

Don’t get me wrong,  I believe what the Bible says,  I believe that there are standards, Godly standards, that Christ followers need to be working on.  It’s part of the idea of walking daily in our faith.  It’s part of the work that goes into our salvation.  As we spend time in God’s word, and as we talk to him regularly, as we shut up for a while and listen, actually listen to what he is trying to say to us.  We will make the changes that are ultimately for our good and his glory. 

What I’m trying to get at is this.  I have watched and listened and read many right wing evangelicals lately.  I find a disturbing trend.  Many of them, some of my friends even seem to be looking for other people who will tell them what they want to hear, the real bothersome thing though is pastors are willing to be the yes man or woman that they are looking for. 

The church today, especially the evangelical church, especially the conservative evangelical church, has taken up the cry of the oppressed, victimized, embattled oppressed standard bearer.  The disappointing thing is historically the church has been on the other side of things, and in many cases, not all but many they still practice the same thing toward the very people they are supposed to reach. 

At some point in the last 20 years the cannon of scripture in the evangelical church has been expanded to include select portions of the constitution, and the 1954 revision of the pledge of allegiance, and here is where the vast majority of today’s evangelical leaders start scratching at peoples ears. 

Be it the right to bare arms, homosexuality, universal health care, taxes, eschatology, social welfare, justice, grace, forgiveness, or the death penalty, name it they will tell the people looking for their side to be justified what they want to hear.

I have been running every other day, and on those runs I’ve been doing a lot of talking and a lot of listening,  I have come to a question.  On any given Sunday or Saturday or whatever day where would Jesus choose to worship, that is the church that I want to be part of, that is the church that I want to lead.  I don’t want to be a pastor that scratches peoples ears, I want to lead a church that reaches up to God in worship, reaches in to the body to train and equip, and reaches out to the community with love, compassion, and openness.  I have no clue where to begin, or even if this is a viable thing.  I just know that I need to know the next steps.

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