“You have crushed beneath your heel the vile serpent. You have carried to the grave the black stain. You have torn apart the temple’s holy curtain. You have beaten Death at Death’s own game. Hosanna! O Hosanna! Hail the long awaited king, come to set his people free. We cry O Hosanna! Won’t you tear this temple down, raise it up on holy ground. O Hosanna! I will lift my voice and sing: you have come and washed me clean. Hosanna.”
– Andrew Peterson, from “Hosanna” –
Anger. Disbelief. Accusations. Defense. Fear.
You’ve perhaps heard about them, how in half a year two “pillars” of Christian conservative teaching have fallen.
Followers of them, now seem a bit lost.
Some fly to defend the teachings–or question them in light of the ruined reputations,
Others are confused.
Still more, incredulous at the vain fruits of faith in men.
My mom has always said it: “Never follow a man.”
Never trust solely in another man than the God-Man.
Do not set all your hopes on one who is but dust.
Though so silver the tongue, so winning the smile, so lofty the aims–
A David, though king, can fall.
A Solomon, wisest of men, can choose a fool’s way.
A Peter, with close-clustered memories of three years hearing the Christ’s own voice, still somehow can deny Him at the last hour.
Hear me, dearly loved sisters.
Only one–One alone–is worthy of your trust.
Yes, hearts will still ache when respected men crash down from their pedestals.
But it should not shake you from the truth.
How can we understand these things?
How can we orient ourselves when the starlight blinks out above us?
All is not lost, my friends.
The Sun still shines, though His little lights flicker (Philippians 2:14-15).
It is good, certainly, to sit beneath a pastor. Wise, yes, to read and listen to men of God.
But never must we see any of these as flawless or above sinning.
News of scandals saddens me, and I’m tempted to cast looks of disdain.
But wait–there is yet a lesson for me.
When the first board of these shipwrecks washed up, at first I was startled.
It was easy to point my finger. But, as a thing etched to my soul, I can again feel the stone I weighed in my palm.
“Are you without sin? Then cast your stone.”
These men–stumbling leaders–are they not yet men? Corrupted, waging war inside themselves between flesh and spirit, light and dark. How am I different from them, when my own heart deceives me every day?
Be humbled, my heart. Pity the men, denounce the sin, and see! See, that for all their pomp and pedestals, all the woven lies and secret lives, those men are much like…me.
So then, how do we yet stand when leaders fall?
How do the sheep find pasture when shepherds stray?
God be praised–our standing before Him does not crumble with an erring man’s reputation.
You know, there’s only one Mediator between me and God.
Only one Intercessor,
Only one Priest, the Highest Priest.
And, all the King Davids fall short of this position; today’s Solomons aren’t wise enough to compare.
When the foundations shake, only one Rock doesn’t shift in the sand.
“Remember those who rule over you…considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.”
– Hebrews 13:7-10, NKJV, emphasis mine –
An altar that even God’s Levites could not touch? Sisters, fear not, fear not–a table has been laid in the wilderness.
Jesus is the One who stands in the gap for me–Him alone and no other man.
That Calvary day, the veil ripped down.
And now I can enter–a chosen one, a part of his Bride, a member of his holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Boldly, I can step into the holy presence of God Most High, through the veil of Christ, not barred by a heavy cloak of separation (Hebrews 10:19-22)…No need of another Christian to bridge the chasm–God Himself has already brought that job to completion. It is finished.
So, when you hear of apostasies and scandals and unthinkable deeds by those who claim our Master’s name, remember in Whom you trust.
Men, however well known, do not hold this world in orbit. That job is owned by a fully-capable God.
And that, though darkness still thrashes, is the Light that makes me hope.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
– Ephesians 5:8-14, NKJV –
A big thank you to George Hodan and Public Domain Pictures for today’s photo!