I think that people have now come to see that I believe that the Church is not supporting marriage as it ought. From Methodists who believe that cohabitation is right and sensible, and the more mature Methodists who do not take these young people aside and teach them with all Godly wisdom but rather condemn them to suffer eternity in Hell because they will not correct, I can only point them to the words of the prophet Ezekiel in Chapter 3 where he was told by God that if the watchman failed to warn an evil man to change his ways, then the blood of that evil man would be counted against the watchman. Speak out, watchmen in the Methodist Church in Britain.
I have also come across a prayer by SunshineMary in her blog, http://thewomanandthedragon.wordpress.com which touched me this week and reminded me that we have assaulted the institution of marriage on both sides of the Pond with our “Irretrievable Breakdown” grounds in the UK and “No Fault” grounds in the US. Again, I have to shout out that marriage is a covenant between two people, one man and one woman, for life, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. But we keep gnawing away at it until it is a sham and only a shadow of what it was once meant to be with our divorce laws. And then Mary writes this
“Here is my prayer:
“God, I thank you for saving me through the shed blood of Your only son, Jesus Christ. I acknowledge that I am a sinner who doesn’t deserve Your mercy. I pray as Your servant David did: Lord, search me and know my heart; see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. I am so grateful for Your grace, Lord; grant me this request: may I never make a mockery of the gospel. I ask You to bring me to repentance if I attempt to rationalize away my sin. Lord, I also ask that You would bring to full and complete repentance those within the church who seek to excuse women’s sin by calling it deeply moving or a heart-wrenching tale instead of calling it the filth that it is. Cleanse your church from all unrighteousness for the glory of Your holy Name. Give wisdom to men and show them what their response should be to sinful women who attempt to ensnare them; may they look only to You and no earthly authority for guidance. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
This is a woman who has seen church leaders praise women who have gone in totally the opposite way to the way of the Gospel. Mark Driscoll, bawling at men, “How dare you?” when he refuses to accept that it takes two to tango and unless we are talking rape, there was also a willing woman sinning. In the same series of sermons he was very gentle with the women and did not call premarital sex for them sin. Then we have Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family who calls single mothers ‘heroes’ Please, both of you, Mark Driscoll and Glenn Stanton, get back to basics and read what the Bible says, and use your gifts of communication to preach what the Bible says. Now I am not called to any paid employment with a church, but I have had occasion to preach and I know that it is a great responsibility. To have to preach week in and week out will be a strain if you treat the Word of God with due reverence. But if you are not going to tell it like it is, then keep your mouth shut. Sir Denis Thatcher, husband of the former British Prime Minister, was well-known for saying, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all cause for doubt.”
I pray that we will all, this coming week, be better disciples of our Master and Lord.