Part III: Allegory: The Groom and Bride

Tuesday Musing of a Pastor – Part III: Allegory: The Groom and Bride
January 17, 2017

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Note: I write from a pastor’s heart. I travel. Research.
Try to understand where the church is in America. Resolved that at Covenant we
will never have to apologize for a social gospel that would be embarrassing to Jesus.

Pastor Harold and Laila Bare

Part III: Allegory: The Groom and Bride

Please click on the following links to read or re-read Part I and Part II as predicates.

Part III comes from a soul greatly troubled for the status of the church. In the allegory shared there is true love that points to a wedding day. The groom waits. The bride comes but she comes dressed inappropriately, casually and with friends of the world who have no reverence for the sacrifices of the groom, the sanctuary built for worship, or the plans that have been made for future happiness.
 
One may attempt to toss me aside as a relic of past eras who has lost the ability to move with the times. But casually tossing me aside puts me among about 27% of all Americans that include most congressman, governmental department heads, President and Vice-President, majority of governors and about half of ministers, Warren Buffet and host of other persons whose net worth exceeds the GNP of most governments of the world…do I need to continue? While not all of those in my category are Christians the point is clear –  our age group cannot be ignored. Further, we are a significant part of the finances of most congregations in America.
 
If we were to go back to 1776 when America was founded, ministers were among the most educated and respected leaders in America. If children were asked what they would like to be when they grew up, “minister” would have been among the top five choices. 
 
Harvard University, Yale University and The College of William and Mary are just the beginning of
a long list of institutions now secular that were formed for the primary purpose of educating and training ministers. 

 
We have drifted. Our seminaries in America have too often become liberal cesspools of challenging the most fundamental tenets of scripture. Students that I have talked with tell stories of homosexual and lesbian professors who advocate their social views in classrooms and writings. Professors feel free to impose their personal views upon “guppies” in classrooms financially provided by denominational funds.  Denominations have been divided by morality issues. Recently,
an old historic church in Washington, D.C. hired two lesbians to be their lead ministers.

 
While we have talked about being progressive, abortion chugs along with fewer voices protesting. The federal government deceived us and gave hundreds of millions to Planned Parenthood which is the primary abortion provider in America. Passing out condoms to high school students is funded and provided in high schools and colleges while Bible study and prayer are banned as if they belonged to the Cro-Magnon Era or were the missing link of evolution.
 
Instead of the church resisting the world, the church jumped on the bandwagon. While Christ left us the task of sharing the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20) the church converted the purpose of existence to making everyone feel comfortable.
 
We party and play.

We have tried to be like everyone else.
We have lost the distinctiveness of our identity.

We have followed fads and fashions.
We have lost the sacredness of simple worship.

We wear expensive name-brand sports clothes indicating our allegiance to games. 
We wear casual clothes, shorts and flip-flops to church.

We can name countless movies and movie stars.
We struggle to quote books of Bible and know a few of the names of the disciples.

We can quote sports statistics at the drop of a hat.
We do not know enough scripture to point a sinner to Christ.

We drive nice cars, live in fancy homes and take exotic vacations.
We complain about tithing and fuss about giving to missions.

We make our sanctuaries rock-star performance centers with congregations in the dark and spotlights on stage.
We wonder why people do not carry their Bibles to church.

We have women on stage in yoga pants and without enough upper support jumping up and down.
We pretend men leave their eyes outside when going to church.
 
Sinners are encouraged to feel comfortable in the presence of the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.
We wonder why sinners do not take the church seriously.
 
We sing songs more about us than Jesus.
Yet we wonder why our children do not long to be in His presence.
 
We nip and toddy and fuss about the right to do so.
We wonder that alcoholics do not see us as being different.
 
The groom waits for the Bride. Jesus will come for His Church. He tells us “broad is the way…that leads to destruction…and few will enter” (Matthew 7:13-14).
 
We must take more seriously whether we will be included when He comes! 
 
My heart’s desire is that sinners will desire to come to church. My heart’s desire is that they will feel welcome. Yet, even though they come inappropriately dressed may they find “saints” looking like they care that they are in a sacred place. May they find the stage to be more than performance. May they find the message to be more than social chatter about “doing good” wrapped in jokes and humor to entertain. May they find more than a good talk while holding a cup
of coffee.

 
May we allow the Word to do its work. May the anointing be powerful. May conviction of God’s love draw sinners into the holy presence of a holy God. May they leave sobered, changed and with a spiritual hunger in their bosom to know Jesus.
 
May this generation know the beauty of sacred worship. May this generation know what it is like to experience worship in a simple setting with songs that have sound theology.
 
Jesus is not coming for a Bride that is partying with the world – looking like it, hanging out with it and smelling like it.
 
Musing,
Pastor Bare
Ephesians 5

Thank you for your notes of encouragement as I write the Musings.  If you find them helpful, please feel free to forward to friends and ministers.  No charge as long as you do not sell.
It is a joy to hear from you.

Harold L. Bare, Sr., Ph.D.

Senior Pastor, Covenant Church
www.covenantchurch.net
pastorbare@covenantchurch.net
(434) 953-9065

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