There is an icy breeze in the air; has been for at least the last week. So, a hot cup of coffee not only sounds delicious, but would be welcomed, and highly preferred company.
As I prepare coffee in my traditional coffee maker(one cup at a time makers just ain’t enough for me), I can’t help but to think about the dismissal of traditionalism in the church, and what that dismissal may do to, and for, the church. It’s not something that I want to think about. But, because I was brought up in Christianity in a very traditional sense, and because I tend to approach every subject from a logical, and reasonable standpoint, thinking about it is what I must do.
With my first cup, I decide to do a dictionary search on the word ‘traditional’. The first part of the definition offered by Merriam-Webster is that it is “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior(such as a religious practice, or social customs).” The second is “a belief or story, or a body of beliefs, or stories, relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical, though not verifiable.” I have to ask myself “If the traditional statutes of the church are abandoned, where will that leave the church?”
Inherited: passed down from generation to generation. Established: accepted, recognized, fixed. If we were using these words to speak about finances, or education, or even our last names, we wouldn’t so freely abandon either one. But, when talking about the foundation set forth by God, because it feels uncomfortable, either to us, or to someone in our family who has not yet turned from sin to salvation, we are willing to disavow everything we have been taught, everything we believe, in order to pacify those who don’t want to follow the ordinances of God in the first place.
But, what good does it do the church? We now have a generation of church goers who bring their mess right in the church with them. There is no clear line between the clean and the unclean. You have your nightclub outfits, and a bunch of booty shaking in what’s supposed to be the house of the Lord. And, nobody wants to be the one to say “Stop it! Respect God‘s house!” Everyone is afraid of being the one to tick somebody off.
But, isn’t that the opposite of what God even told us to do? Aren’t we supposed to “declare…boldly” the Word of God? For years we sang “We are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. But the minute it becomes an inconvenience, the minute we think we might lose everyone, and everything because of our declaration, we decide to abandon it all, and make idol gods of friends and family. Don’t get mad. That is exactly what you are doing when you put ANYTHING in front of what He told you to do; when you make ANYONE more important than Him.
I look at my traditional cup of coffee, no fancy machiato, no whipped cream, and I realize it is perfect the way it is. I don’t need to make it different to satisfy anybody else. I don’t need to follow the crowd into the world of iced coffees because I am satisfied with what I have. I have to enjoy my coffee the way it works for me.
And, it’s the same with my faith. I see what’s going on. I see the carefulness being used in churches everywhere for fear of losing membership. I see the devil’s dances taking over the church. I see the skirts getting shorter, the pants getting tighter, and more bosom being exposed than the true Word of God. And, that may be ok for some. But, not for me.
With everything else in the world so shakey, I need the assuredness of Jesus. I want to be corrected when I’m wrong because otherwise I won’t grow. For me, abandoning traditionalism seems like a waste. The old church is dying out, and a new age has come. The church still needs those willing to tell of the goodness of the Lord. It needs someone who is willing to give the whole Word, no sugarcoating, so that souls can still be saved. “Here am I, Lord. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
Until our next cup;