For those of you who may have clicked on this post to hear about my girlfriend, fiancee or wife, I should add, I’m sorry for the let down!
See, the significant other that I am referring to is not an earthly relationship but an eternal one. This is the relationship that Christ Jesus died for and the same relationship that is suppose to reflect His diversity and His grace to the greater world at large. The “Significant Other” that I am referring to, is the Bride of Christ, the Church.
First, let me express that I love the local church. I have served on staff in the local church and believe theologically that the Church is God’s “Plan A” for seeking to reach the world with the message of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, I have countless friends who are pastors and lay leaders who share an intimate relationship with this significant other as well. And to them, as well as the many others who would share the same passion for the bride of Christ, let me state that we are on the same team. We are all pilgrims on the same path with the same destiny ahead of us but we are simply driving different cars and serving in different contexts to get there.
In having stated that, there are two major frustrations that have become hindrances to the effectiveness of the Church. In my travels of variant congregations, I have witnessed these hindrances being the norm, but this was never intended in God’s design.
The Lack of Biblical Teachers Amongst our Significant Other
Okay, I’m not asking if your Men’s Director is actually a man! Here is what I am asking.
Say you are a Pastor reading this or a Bible believing Christian and you believe in the authority of not only the creation order set forth in the book of Genesis, but you also believe in the authority of the scriptures such as 1 Timothy 2:12-13 which state:
12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
or 1 Corinthians 14:34
The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
Then the only question left to ask is, why is it not practiced? Preachers would preach hard that men are to be the spiritual leaders within their home. They would give rhetoric as to how the pastorate, bishop, elder and overseer’s office is to be governed from a male leadership position and would even, off the record, say men are to teach men and women are to teach only women. However, the frustration sets in when when it stops there. The Bible says in James 4:17, “If we know the right thing to do and do not do it, it is sin”. I have heard decisions be made and then followed up with stating, “Well, it’s not probably the best or right decision but that’s what we are going do anyway”. When that type of sinful approach to leadership occurs on behalf of the church, not only does it break and grieve God’s heart, but it leads to frustrations for the people because they are effected by it’s decisions in both direct and indirect ways.
The Lack of Racial Diversity Amongst our Significant Other
Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
There’s no question that in the New Jerusalem there will be white, yellow, brown, and purple people of all kinds worshipping King Jesus all under the same roof. Therefore, it’s only natural that there would be frustration in the here and now when the most segregated time in America is still the “One Hour” worship service on Sunday mornings.
It is frustrating that often when attending denominational meetings, conferences and church services, they consist of 95% of their own kind. That my friend is the frustration. In God’s Kingdom, there is no “own kind”, but only one people in whom He died for.
I do not think by any means those leading these gatherings are a prejudice or racial people; however, I would venture and dare say there is a gap and divide between the message, method and practice that exists. Therefore, this leads us to having to push the envelope to challenge the status quo and truly become intentional at seeking to make our earthly gatherings more like a piece of heaven on earth.