How Much Milk Is Too Much For 14 Month Old "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth," But Can They Worship God in a Christian Church?

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"The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth," But Can They Worship God in a Christian Church?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 14, that “the meek shall inherit the earth”. And, he says, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. It doesn’t mean Casper Milk Toast will rule the world, and it doesn’t mean people who despise themselves or have inferiority complexes will win the prize.

The intention is that the person who does not think too much of himself will succeed. People whose ego allows them to put themselves forward in front of everyone will in the long run be worse off than the person who humbles themselves before God and others. God wants us to be servants to him and to each other.

“Barbarians at the Gate” was a book and movie about the tobacco industry and it was a very selfish, selfish story about people at the top echelon of that industry. They were “elitists” who trampled on anyone who got in their way. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

My family, three generations, attends a Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the past 25 years, four pastors have been forced out of their positions in the church. There is a group of elitists who band together and decide they “don’t like” the pastor for some reason. The fourth pastor tendered his resignation today. He was under a lot of pressure and controversy during the entire five years he was on campus. He came from a church that loved him and he and his family were very happy.

He was cajoled and sought out by the search committee as a replacement for the pastor who had previously been asked to leave. On the third approach by a committee member, he felt that was what God was calling him to do. He was aware of the past problems and sad history of the church, but perhaps he felt that God was calling him to come to this church and put it back on a course of Christian worship of God and not staff members. . He left his growing church happily and entered a church full of problems. Some of the issues were staff-related and some were member-related.

The previous pastor had been offered a severance package to leave the church, as he put it, “like firing the waiters at the country club.” Over 800 members had left that church and gone elsewhere because of things they felt were not to their liking. For example, the pastor and a group of postmodern youth had started a contemporary service led by guitars and drums and the traditional members didn’t like it at all. The contemporary service was gaining ground and picking up new members who for one reason or another didn’t like being “in church” and wanted the newer version which was being brought to the United States via the United Kingdom and the ‘Spain.

When this pastor received his “either or” packet and a rail, he left, just like the contemporary worship service. We were back to 1984 “as we had always done things”.

The argument between the traditional and the contemporary, “us and them,” caused a great schism in the church, but not a “split,” so we went our separate ways. We tried to find a solution and many meetings took place before a new pastor was asked to lead the flock of this confused and cantankerous group of Christians. Some of the attendees thought we should wait until the next pastor is in place to sort out the rashes caused by the “despicable” service as it has been called. Others thought we should wait and let the new pastor deal with the problem. Bad Decision! We couldn’t even clean up our own mess. We postponed the task to someone else.

We also learned today that another associate pastor is resigning for fear that the same group will turn on him and kick him out when he is too old to have much choice. In the past five months, we have lost a 30-year-old organist, a much-loved seniors minister, an associate pastor who was actively bringing the “emerging” church into the mix, and now two other ministers. The only one left at this time is the youth minister who has achieved a lot and managed to stay under the radar. In my opinion, the youth minister has remained under the radar because he works with young children of younger members and older traditionalists are not even aware that the church has children.

Many things have led to the radical change of a once vibrant church with approximately 2,000 active members. The current withered economy has prevented us from offering raises to church staff; which led to the resignation of the organist and the prime minister. The changing culture of the younger generations has had a lot to do with the diminishing size and impact of all churches on the community. Churches can get too dogmatic by forcing people, members and clergy, to sign documents that don’t match their beliefs.

Too many “old guards” are opposed to “change” and yet we have a president who was elected by people who want to “change” and “hope”. Go figure! Christians are set aside in favor of Islam. The president did not want to honor the day of prayer, but allowed thousands of Muslims to gather on the lawn of the Plaza outside the capital building and celebrate their Islamic religion. Churches are threatened by secular competition. Too much else to do on a Sunday morning than to sit and listen to a boring preacher tell us how bad we are.

The meek may inherit the land, but it will be a very different place than it is now. They can demand a recount.

Cause joy!

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