A gospel preacher posted the following to a discussion group. We’ve left off names.
Each November, our congregation puts up a “thankful tree” on a wall. Over the course of several weeks members are invited to write on a paper leaf something or someone they are thankful for. They don’t have to sign their leaves.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we have a devotional rather than regularly scheduled Bible classes.
We sing various hymns and chorus of praise and thanksgiving. We pray. We have a congregational reading of Psalm 107 interspersed between the songs. And we have our elders read from the leaves at four different points in the devotional.
This year, one leaf I did not have read aloud made the following comment:
“I’m thankful for murderers. Not because they kill people. I hate that, but just because they set a certin balence in the world. They make it to where we don’t over-populate. It’s called saving the animals and the economy.”
It is printed in a female hand, like that of a teenager. It is unsigned. I do not believe it is a bad joke. I suspect I know which one of our teen girls wrote it for she has always looked at the world sideways and comes from a troubled family.
Regardless of who wrote it, the content is troubling and well illustrates how the world has a greater influence on the thinking of some of our members than the Word does. The challenge is how to minister to those of our members who are still falling for Satan’s invite to take a bite of the fruit of the “tree of knowledge”.
What ideas can you offer to meet this challenge of worldly influence in God’s church?