Summer months are busy for churches, pastors, youth leaders and faith groups. For many, it is the time for important decision-making.
In some communions, decisions of monumental proportions will be made. These will range all the way from cooperative service, electing officials, changes in church doctrine, moving pastors, living with government restraints, conferences, convocations, camp meetings and conventions.
Church groups such as Southern Baptist, American Baptist and other Baptist churches, United Methodist, Lutheran, Disciples of Christ, Mormon, Seventh-Day Adventist, Church of the Nazarene, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Four Square Church, United Church of Christ, groups that use the Biblical name “Church of God” somewhere in their identifying nomenclature, Unitarian, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic all the varieties of Presbyterians, thousands of independent churches and many other denominations are all involved.
Church organizations will be involved in state, regional, national and world events. Numerous colleges and universities will have students and faculty members traveling throughout the nation and world to serve in work camps and mission events. In some families, there will be as many as 10 individuals involved in such summertime events.
My friend, Mike Shinn, spends his full time helping churches and colleges arrange travel and service events for their young people and adults. Some denominations have full time leaders who take laymen and other pastors to mission stations. Once in my life, I was asked to take that kind of position with my church. It was difficult not to accept the privilege of working with Don Johnson, one of the great leaders in missions.
Some churches and even national political leaders have chosen to reject plain Biblical teaching on moral issues.
Dr. Billy Graham, the most widely respected religious leader in the history of our nation, is quoted as saying recently, “Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern. I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected. At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman” (see Matthew 19:4-6).
Recently the state of North Carolina, according to Franklin Graham, “had a critical vote on whether to amend the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.” The amendment passed and we can all be thankful for that.
Can you imagine religious or political leaders taking any other position on such an issue? Many, however, are in positions of leadership who are Biblically illiterate, often lacking in any historical knowledge, dragging the bottom in terms of moral understanding and some, I suspect, have no interest in making our world or nation a better place in which to live. They will sell our national soul and heritage, like Esau who sold his birthright to Jacob for “… bread and stew of lentils” (Genesis 25:34 NKJV) and the King James Version refers to it as “red pottage” and “bread and pottage … thus Esau despised his birthright” (vss. 30:34).
Judas was a traitor to the cause of Christ during His trial and crucifixion. He sold out for 30 pieces of silver. Read the story in Matthew 27:1-5.
Pray for church and political leaders that they will seek the will of God, as revealed in the Holy Bible, in every decision they make. To do otherwise is to betray our legacy and bring destruction.
If we repent of sin and let God change us, we have hope for the future. Leaders carry a heavy responsibility for the lives of all mankind. Pray for pastoral families. Be a blessing to your pastors and leaders by supporting them in doing what is right and in the will of God.
Dr. William “Bill” Ellis of Scott Depot is a weekly syndicated columnist who writes on a wide variety of subjects. Ellis has spent 25 years as a radio and television broadcaster and as a guest speaker and teacher on college campuses.