Driving, last evening, I accidentally touched the scan button on my radio and it stopped on a Family Life talk show. That really did happen.
The show, however, is not the subject. One of the Ads that ran during the show is what set me thinking about feelings, women and church.
The Ad was for a church somewhere nearby. The pastor was speaking about why we, as believers, do good things….do right things….and do righteous things. What he said was tail chasing nonsense. But it would light the hearts of the women listening, and more, it would give them something else to worry about and to worry their spouses about.
His point was that once we come to faith in Christ we will do good works. Good so far. Once we come to faith in Christ we will endeavor not to sin. Still fine. And once we come to faith in Christ we will love God and others.
Fine. Then he ruined the whole thing with gibberish. I wish I had the text.
He went on to say that these things “are not enough”. Still fine, if the point was that we cannot earn grace or salvation. But that was not his point at all. He claimed that if we are doing good because it is pleasing to God, avoiding evil because it is pleasing to God, and loving God and others, we are not rightly motivated and these are not good enough. Again, he was not on about works based anything, he was creating fear and doubt where there need be none.
He said that we need to do these things ONLY because we love God. Do them not because good works are right, not because sin is sin, and not because it is pleasing to God when we do those things, love Him, and love others. Do them ONLY because we love God.
There was a time when I would hear stuff like that and try to take it on board. I didn’t hear the absurdity back then. I heard some type of encouragement that always left me feeling backslid. I would feel everything but joy. Now I see why.
Another way to say what he said would be “When we love God we do what is right according to God and pleasing to Him”. But somehow within that statement he found a disconnect where splits hairs too finely saying that we are not to be trying top please God, we are not to do right for rights sake, we are ONLY to love God. That we would do those things for someone we love because it pleases them is a problem for the guy. You could go blind trying to figure out his actual point, but it did sound really cool and churchy and very emotional.
That pastor is playing with words to create something that stimulates the emotional palates of the women listening. Women will argue that what he said makes perfect sense. They will try and restate it in different ways that also make no sense. And should you attempt to discuss it with a woman you will end up learning once of the pillars of perceived female spiritual superiority. They do not listen for the meanings of things. they listen for how the things make them feel.
The church is over flowing with stuff like this. It chases men away because we cannot get our minds around it. It makes us feel inadequate. It pits us against women and gives the women whatever head start they need to always be running ahead in the race.
It is also why I do not pray aloud with my wife. I cannot communicate that way. I can neither speak nor understand it. No one can.