Thursday, July 16, 2009

Biblical Ethics and the Blight of Group Dynamics

Our national economical giants crumble and our leaders sink us further into debt. The sexualizing of America has transformed our once great nation into a land of perverts: an entire month is set aside in our nation to honor homosexuals; pornography and fornication are destroying the very fabric of the family. Darwinism’s sword of evolution and liberalism’s blade of pluralism has conquered the hearts and minds of many in America. Let’s not forget that we are engaged in a war in Iraq and Afghanistan and that North Korea and Iran seek after Nuclear weapons. Yet there arises out of the flames of this fire another great ism the church must face.

This dogma now threatens to destroy families, businesses and churches. No institution seems to go unaffected by its aftermath. Brethren all across the nation have taken up sides and have threaten to split churches if this matter is not settled and soon. Even here in Lindsay we are suffering from its misfortune. No doubt numbers are down in churches; employees have experienced irritableness and other related illnesses; families have split up and no one seems to have the answer... until now!

· The Problem: Thermostatic Dogmatism!
An Unabridged Dictionary states, “an arrogant, stubborn assertion of thermostat settings with an unwillingness to compromise leading to the constant changing of a thermostat within an office or a church building” Herein is the real issue, when the temperature rises into triple digits as it has in Oklahoma, people get irritable. Generally, if not careful unreasonable demands and unfriendly gestures are made during this time.

Irritability has caused even the people of God much difficulty over the centuries. For example, irritability was reason for God to send fiery serpents among the people. “...and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Num. 21:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:10).

· The Principles: What does the Bible say about Thermostatic Dogmatism?
First, some people are by nature complainers and need to learn to “do all things without murmuring and disputing” (Phi. 2:14). Second, others by nature are controllers and need to learn to “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phi. 2:3). Third, still others are carnal, selfish in nature and need to learn to grow up or as Paul put it, “I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). Fourth, matters of expediency (and thermostatic control is a matter of expediency) shall be decided by the elders of a congregation (Heb. 13:17) and seeing that expediency implies appropriateness to the purpose at hand, I offer the follow solution and justification forthwith.

· The Practical: How to deal with Thermostatic Dogmatism?
First, realize that not everyone has the same internal thermostat. Some people are naturally cold natured while others are hot natured. Church buildings are not like Buicks, you do not get your own controls. Second, all unauthorized parties therefore must cease and decease from their thermostatic tampering. Your contribution does not afford you justification to “have it your own way” for that you must go to Burger King. How many hands does it really take to control a thermostat? ONE! Third, according to the National Center for Occupational Safety and Health and the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety if the thermostat is set at 75 degrees or higher people feel warm, lethargic and sleepy. This is not appropriate to the purpose of study and worship. They also suggest that sedentary people begin to shiver at or below 64 degrees this is not appropriate to the purpose at hand either. It is suggested that 70 degrees is optimum for performance of mental work and 72 degrees is the most comfortable year-round indoor temperature for sedentary people.

Brethren, this ain’t Rocket Science and I hope that you recognize the “tongue and cheek” nature to this article, yet the simple principles that should guide good people in these items of expediency. I like the way one man put it, “In matters of doctrine, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; and in all things, charity” (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-8; Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:17).

Rick Popejoy