Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mediocrity is a Disease

Too often christians, and their churches, allow the secular world view to take away from or take over the biblical world view we are to live by:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blashphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreadkers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses (or churches!), and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim 3:1-7
(emphasis and addition mine)

Now, I am not about to suggest that we are in the end times, vs. 1, but doesn't the rest of it sound familiar? The disease of mediocrity infests every area of our lives. Those who call themselves christians are often deeply steeped in secular humanism without even recognizing it.

Let me digress into a story that was related to me several years back that has always stuck in my head. A woman, whom I knew well to be a strong feminist and a non-believer, expressed great dismay at an event that had occurred in her workplace. A man who would be considered one of the authority figures of the environment was under investigation, and had been removed from his duties, because several women had lodged sexual harassment complaints against him. The complaints detailed that the man had coerced several women (both married and single) in the workplace into having sexual affairs with him in exchange for professional 'favours', i.e. promotions, bonuses, etc. The flip side of the coersion was that if they denied him, he would make the workplace very difficult for them. The woman telling me the story was horrified that this man had reached the place of authority and that he had 'probably done this to many other women, too'.

Now, I am quite cut and dry about those who claim to be victimized in these situations. I stated to the storyteller that the women should simply have reported the offenses or quit rather than demean themselves by cooperating. In fact, I suggested that these women were just as at fault for their own participation as the man who was involved. Really, how can a woman, particularly one who is married, give herself over to a man for the purposes of career.

Apparently, I am a fool for thinking this way.

The woman explained, in deragatory tone, that career women have to make these choices all the time to survive in the world and it was the man who was taking advantage of their insecurities - and I should be more understanding, after all "several of these victimized women are christians".

Excuse me.

Because these women were calling themselves christians, while they cheated on their husbands for the purposes of getting ahead in the workplace, that should change my opinion of the whole mess? But that, in itself, fits the disease of mediocrity for christians. These 'christian' women acted exactly the same way as the non-christian women when it came to an illicit sexual relationship and adultery.

This is a story that could take us in many directions for discussion, but let's stick with the way feminism is affecting how christian women live.

As it was in the beginning with Eve, feminism is a great example of how Satan likes to use the weakest link to cause damage. Satan knew how easily Eve would accept the chance at having power and knowledge. There are very few christian women that recognize or admit to the incompatability of their faith and feminism. Most of the time, North American women choose to follow the secular world view for their roles in the family and in the church - and never question it. The secular world view, in the form of feminism, tells us that marriage is a 50/50 business deal (although I would predict that marriages that live by this lie have weak husbands who have stopped any effort at authority and the marriage has turned into a matriarchal dictatorship).

Marriages where women are given the leadership role, even for short periods, are mentioned in scripture: 1 Kings 11:4 (Solomon); 1 Kings 22:25 (Ahab); Gen 16:2 (Abraham). These are great examples of when women rule and men give up their God-given responsibility to lead. That is when we end up with Isaiah 3:12:

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of they paths.

It's an easy trap to get into for any wife. Because we are just like Eve; because we have the same make-up as Jezebel; because we are easily frustrated like Sarah.

I am guilty of this alot. Thinking that "I am right" or " I can do better at leading/deciding" than my husband. Therein lies the curse. Maybe I could do a better job; Maybe I am right about a particular decision. But God has given that job to my husband:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Ephesians 5:22&23

Do I believe it? Yes.

Should I live by it? Yes.

Feminists tell us that way of thinking is old-fashioned, oppressive, even brainwashing. They're wrong. It's freedom.

That's where christians who live in mediocrity miss the mark. They claim "freedom in Christ", without understanding that gift. Freedom comes from seeking the will of God in every area of our lives AND FOLLOWING IT.

If God says men are the head and women are submissive, that's exactly what He means. The only reason to 'update' or 'analyze it' is to try and change the Bible rather than change ourselves.

At this point, I will share a hint with you. If you find living God's way is difficult - you're probably doing it right. If the worldly people around you are criticizing or even hating your biblically based lifestyle choices - you're probably headed in the right direction:

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:18&19

It's not supposed to be easy to follow Christ:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7: 13&14

If it was easy, more people would do it. If it was easy, there would be no need for Christ to carry us, pick us up and point us back onto the path of righteousness.

Living in mediocrity is easy. It's acceptable to the world. It's a real failure for a christian. As christian women, living in submission to our husbands and therefore to God, is only the tip of an iceberg for lifestyle issues. As stated right in the title - mediocrity is a disease. It takes hold of one area of our lives and very quickly seeps into other areas.

The only way to cure it is:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 3:15


Mrs, Parunak said...

Great post! I love where you said, "Freedom comes from seeking the will of God in every area of our lives AND FOLLOWING IT." Amen to that!

Coming to your blog is always so encouraging. I sometime feel alone in my convictions, like there aren't any other families trying to do things the way my husband and I are, but visiting here reminds me that we aren't alone at all. Thanks for the refreshment!

Erin said...

Excellent post! Thank you!