For over 30 years an author mentor to me has been Ray C. Stedman. I never met the gentleman but his books particularly “Guilt to Glory” have had a great influence on my life and thinking. Last night I was reading Stedman’s “Friend of God” the chronicles of Abraham. Abraham had been promised that others would be blessed through his life but in his side trip toEgypt he actually brought a curse on Pharaoh such that Pharaoh had him turfed out of the country.
What had happened to turn Abraham from a blessing into a curse? Out of fear he lost his integrity. Without integrity he became the source of a curse rather than the source of blessing. Rather than having blessings overflow from his walk with God he brought a curse and sullied the name of God among the lost.
This is the great issue facing the Church today as we live among those who do not yet know our Saviour. We are intended to be a source of blessing but in losing our integrity as a ‘peculiar people’ living like Jesus and following His example, we have become a stumbling block. I was reading a quote by Soren Kierkegaard saying that the problem with the Church is Christendom. The veneer of Christianity which has overlaid western culture has not blessed but hindered the cause of Christ among those who do not yet follow Him.
In my new position with Community chaplaincy I meet people, all the time, who have suffered various degrees of abuse at the hands of those they perceive as Christian. This has to be the number one stumbling block in evangelism to this segment of society. I suspect the same would be true in the board rooms, as well.
Like Abraham we must return to the altar of Bethel and find forgiveness and become strengthened to live lives of integrity and blessing. What do they say? If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.