Exercises in Generalizations

There is something remarkably precious about the love and fellowship shared between brothers and sisters in Christ. Last night, our family was standing in the parking lot of our church talking with one of the men on our executive leadership team and his sweet wife.  We were doing some work around the church building, visiting, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company.   Then, as usual, we started talking about the church and doctrine.  In our church, doctrine is often discussed.  We love it, teach it, and hold to it.  My husband often reminds the congregation that we not only need to know what we believe, but why we believe it.  Yet, when you talk to a lot of Christian people today, doctrine seems to be irrelevant. Really, is it that important?   I will submit that of course it is; that is unless we want to be “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,” Eph 4:14.  And yet, it seems like that is just the case.  People are carried about with every (and I mean every) wind of doctrine.

“I’ll believe this, this week.”

“That sounds good for next week.”

“Teach me something new under the sun, I’ll believe it too!”

My husband explains it like this.  Many pastors’ sermons are simply exercises in generalizations.  They do not know the Bible; therefore, they do not teach it to their flock.  Due to this, people are biblically illiterate.  Consequently, they will believe anything (or in some cases nothing at all).  So as a result, people will often shy away from sound doctrine, because it has gotten to the point of sounding foreign to the “average” church-goer.  Could it be that we have reached the time where “they will not endure sound doctrine,” 2 Timothy 4:3?

I am so thankful for all the pastors who hold fast to the faithful words that they, “may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers,” Titus 1:9.     And for the men of God that “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine,” Titus 2:1.  Keep it up!   The Lord is pleased.  There are many out there who are doing just this.  I am, of course, partial to one in particular.  I really love my husband’s preaching.  I have learned so much by the expository, verse by verse, teaching of God’s Word.  And, I’m thankful for the churches that have ears to hear and that truly want to follow God’s precious Word.  Our church is an example of one.   I love our church.  Each and every one of them!  Our people have a heart’s desire to know the Word of God and obey it.  We not only have unity, but our unity is built on the truth (sound doctrine) of God’s Word.

Contentment, Godliness, and Great Gain

 Last night I was sitting in a revival service listening to the evangelist preach from 1 Corinthians about the unrighteous who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1Co 6:9-10) As he is going through this list in my heart I am thinking about all the wickedness in our land.

Fornicators – This has become widely accepted even among Christian people today. How do I know this? Because it is flaunted around in the churches; there is no shame anymore. No one bothers to teach against fornication and its consequences. We sweep it under the rug and think that God does not see or care. But Scripture warns; be not deceived.

Idolaters – How easy it is to think in our mind that we are not idolaters. After all, we have never carved a graven image and bowed down to it. But, an idolater is one who puts ANYTHING above God. It can be the god of humanism. This god is based in evolution. It is what our American children are daily indoctrinated in. We see the fruit of this when people slaughter their unborn babies on the altar of convenience. It can be the god of riches. This happens all the time when people bow down to their job and place it above God. We see the effects of this god when parents neglect their church, the home, and their children in a pursuit of wealth. It can be the god of entertainment. How many families miss church due to sports or hunting? How many people place the TV above their prayer time? How many people care more about what Hollywood thinks than what the preacher says from the Word of God? One of the biggest forms of idolatry is when people make up a god in their own mind. They might claim they are serving the God of the Bible but the god they have created in their mind is nothing like the True Jehovah God of Scripture.

Adulterers – I’m always amazed at how many parents openly accept those who are committing adultery into their home to influence their children. It is done every week in Christian homes via the television and internet. Think about this honestly. As believers in Christ we might say how wrong adultery is to our children. But, if we let them watch movies or TV shows that make light of this sin, then we are justifying it to our children. What we are saying by our actions is that adultery is not really that big of deal.

Homosexuals – This is big in today’s society. We are told to accept this “lifestyle”, our children our indoctrinated in it via the government schools, and it is forced upon us in every avenue of society. Why? It is because the children of God will not take a stand. They will not speak out against it. They continue to watch the programs that have them in it. They continue to vote for politicians who are for it. They continue to buy products from companies that support it. They continue to go to places like Disney World who parade it around. And it is all because we love other things more than we love God. We do not hate the things that God hates.

Thieves – There is more thievery going on today than I have ever seen. Our society EXPECTS something for nothing and they do not care where it comes from. We are fine with the government stealing from one class and giving to other. Then often the ones who do work steal from their employers by being lazy. People will steal spouses from one another. Boys steal the innocence of girls. Children steal from their parents. Thieves are everywhere.

Does it sound like I’m being hard on these people? Probably. I should be. God hates these things. But, as the evangelist went through the list last night he did not stop there. The next on the list was covetous.


Why did God place being covetous between thieves and drunkards? It really is simple. It is because God hates this sin as well. After all, it made the top ten. In fact, covetousness is the cause of a lot of the other sins. I believe that the sin of covetousness is killing the testimony of many Christian people. It is also hindering their Christian growth tremendously, including mine. When I have my eyes on “things of this world” my eyes are off God. When I focus on my “wants” I am not content with my needs. When I store up “treasures for myself” here on earth I neglect to store up heavenly treasures. In doing it all, I become worldly minded not spiritually minded. In I Timothy 6:8 we are told that if we have food and clothing we should be content. In Matthew 6, Jesus told us to seek the kingdom of God and all of our needs will be added to us. And Paul tells Timothy that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1Ti 6:6) In the words of the evangelist last night…

“Christians today are saying, I’m content with my godliness; now give me the great gain!”

Does this describe many Christians today? Does it describe the mindset in our churches? Does this describe the average materialistic American family? I’m afraid it does! I’m afraid it even describes me at times.

God help me to strive to be godly, for you tell me to be holy for You are holy. Lord, help me to make every effort to live a pure life in this world. Father, help me to be content with the things that You give me. I realize that every perfect gift comes from above. Help me to give you honor and glory in my life and live as a light set on a hill in this dark world. Help me to take to heart that godliness with contentment IS great gain and help me live accordingly.