In Building Moral Character in your People I examine the building of moral character in your people, your church family.
Growing closer to God
First of all, there has to be a will to grow closer to God in your people. If that doesn’t exist, their spiritual lives will be muted, little to nothing, or just plain bad. The desire to be close to God is where we start off. This really only happens when there is a real salvation experience. That point is extremely important, and should be emphasized over and over again.
When we deal with carnality and apathy, usually the problem is rooted in a person who is sure he is saved but cannot really relate a salvation understanding or experience to you. But he was baptized, or joined the church, or did what the counselor told him to do, and he is sure of his salvation. He just doesn’t really have it.
Defining the sides
You must convince your people that God’s will and ways contain blessings in them. Let’s focus on this for a minute. God wants us to worship Him. God wants us to pray to Him. The situation is not that we do these two things, and God analyzes our activity, and has like a big candy bowl of blessings beside the throne, and when he sees we are doing it well, then he grabs a few pieces and tosses them our way. No. This is not it at all. You have separated the blessing from the doing and broken the way things work.
God is all wise, and he has implanted blessings into the things he orders us to do, i.e. praying to God for our needs releases stress and tension within ourselves because we don’t have what we want. Proper praying is founded in and is actually trusting God. That trust builds your faith. No prayer can be done well without a thorough knowledge of the Word of God. Knowing and studying the Word of God has its own blessings that come forth as you learn and understand God, how God works. When we worship, that worship is a profound appreciation of the moral character of God. God is faithful. God is generous. God is long-suffering. etc. This actually changes our understanding of God and our relationship with Him.
So the blessings that God promises and give are tightly woven into the actual commands of God, such that, you cannot separate the blessing from the commandment. Thou shalt not steal. God’s blessing of provision comes when we honestly work. Not stealing is what we obey, but the blessings of doing the opposite come on us because we work.
When we worship God appreciating his moral character, we first delve into Scripture to find that character, and then we worship it or “appreciate it”. But in the process of doing that, of studying say the faithfulness of God, we become more faithful ourselves, and the blessings pour in. The blessing is automatically built into the will of God. This is not to say that in the end, in the great judgments, God will not also bless us again and more and more abundantly for being faithful.
You must show how Satan’s ways are self-destructive. When you sin, you follow Satan. You do what he (Satan) has created. These alternative ways are supposed to be good, but they bring down curse after curse.
God made Adan and Eve, a male and a female coupled into and bound up into a family. Satan comes along and says no to that. A man with a man, a woman with a woman. That situation never produced a child. They adopt to cover the fact that their “alternative way” doesn’t work so well. But then a boy is adopted by lesbians, and how will he turn out? Feminine. He has no father figure, so he is like the only figure he knows, a woman.
With a normal family, a child has a unique and different relationship with their father and with their mother. But in almost all normal families, there is a divine dynamic at play. The father is the authority, but the mother is the sympathetic one. The law comes from the father, but mercy comes from the mother. The child understands this, and plays the one against the other. The authority figure has the money. He gives the ultimate permission, and he also approves or disapproves of the child’s goals and life. But although the father pays for the schooling, the mother is the one to get things.
So how does that work in a homosexual or lesbian household? Both parents are in competition for these roles, and they cannot define them except taking one at one point, and then maybe the other at the other. Why does one decide and not the other? All of this has hidden curses that confuse and hurt.
The Authority of God
We also must understand that God has the authority over us. I do not think that God will do it, but if a meteor falls from heaven and kills us all, God will have arranged that, and it is God’s authority given for it to happen. Why?
God is our Creator, and He decides how we live. It is his divine prerogative. People want to take that back from God. They want to decide how their lives will be without interference from God.
We have to deal with these moral challenges in our people’s lives, and help them get into that perfect will of God.
Prayer and the will of God is not so much making God obey our wills, as we learn, understand, and obey God’s will, and we weave our desires into the will of God.
More from Critical Issues
- Emergent Church opposes Christianity
- Consolidation versus Independence
- Why we refuse to charge for Ministry
- Adaptability is not necessarily Good
- The Non-Applying of the Scriptures
- Paul’s lack of Authority in the Corinthian Church
- Getting the right Church Focus