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People Need To Find Problems To Complain About

08 May

While we are posting more regularly while on vacation than when we are not, that may end soon as we have some affairs to take care of this week. We will post here today enough posts to keep you reading all week. The first post is about someone’s objection to the celebration of mothers in church on Mother’s Day. It seems that some people need to create problems where problems do not exist and their solutions are heretical and worse than simply celebrating our Mothers.

This website, and we will say this upfront, does not mind the focus on Mothers one day of the year, the church should set an example of the biblical command honor thy father and mother and while special events are  not necessary in demonstrating this honoring, it doesn’t ;hurt’ the church as the following author thinks. We will address her complaints below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2016/05/5-ways-the-church-hurts-on-mothers-day/

On May 8th, it will be rare that you don’t find a bulletin cover with the title “Mother’s Day” printed on the front.

Oh, how we love the day! In fact, so many churches have Mother’s Day routines executed with robot-like procession. Few can imagine doing it any other way.

But in this high exalted practice of Mother’s Day celebrated in churches of all sizes and flavors, I believe hurt occurs. Hurt occurs in practices like these 5 common Mother’s Day observances:

The only way hurt can enter into this celebration is if the people do not understand what is going on and why it takes place and if the church doe snot celebrate the rest of the congregation in the same manner on different Sundays of the year. My undergraduate alma mater one year held a special day just for the women students yet nothing was every done for the male students. That is unfair even though the intent was not to be unfair.

The church shouldn’t elevate some people over others but to say people are hurt is reading into the situation and misapplying the complaints of those people who do not like the practice. After all, it is hard to honor a parent who has been less than Christian throughout one’s life. We also object to her use of descriptive adjectives, ‘robot-like’ and other words which do distort the actions of the individual churches who may not hurt anyone with their Mother’s Day celebrations.

We also object to her words ‘I believe hurt occurs…’ because she is saying she doesn’t know and her complaint may be a personal problem only. But here are here 5 complaints:

#1. Presents: all mothers get a present. Usually a candle or inspirational book or maybe even some chocolate. Christian bookstores love this time of year– just check one out and see how vast the marketed merchandise is! But what about everyone else?

Everyone else can get a gift on a different day. Why should everyone get a gift on a day reserved for one group of people? I remember when my sister had a second child and soon, they were giving the younger girl gifts on the older girl’s birthday just so she wouldn’t get jealous. But giving gifts for the wrong reasons does more damage than the hurt feelings that may arise on someone’s special day. It is also avoiding dealing with the problems that may arise and teaching people the correct observance of special days and why some people get gifts and others do not.

Jealousy is a sin thus parents and churches need to correct that emotion in their children and congregations but they can’t do so if they avoid the problem. Her solution only lets jealousy reign unchecked and uncorrected.

#2. Pin a flower on the mothers. Many churches order a corsage for every mother in worship. Some churches even go as far as creating an elaborate pinning ceremony for each mother. But what about honoring the women who want to have biological children or adopt and can’t (for whatever reason)? What about women who seek to mother in more communal ways?

This is why we titled this post ‘some people just need to create problems’. What about them? They can be celebrated on a different day. We must ask her, why must these people be included in a celebration meant for others who qualify for the celebration? That author reminds me of all those athletic leagues who must give a trophy to every player even if they stunk up the place.

In other words, that author can’t handle rejection or seeing other people left out. We have news for her, people are going to be left out and it is important that the church handle the problems as they arise correctly so that the congregation can know the right way to live and behave. Including people just to save hurt feelings may end up hurting some in the group being celebrated because unqualified people were included in their special day. Her solutions do not remove the possibility of someone being hurt.

#3.The Game of Youngest/ Oldest. The pastor asks the oldest living mother is identified then the youngest (by a series of questions that would slowly sit down more and more of crowd till only one mother in each category remains). Both the oldest and the youngest receive a prize.  But what about the woman in the congregation who just loss her mother? What about the mother who just had a still birth?

Again she creates problems by assuming that the pastors and church leaders have not dealt with this situation BEFORE the celebration in church took place.Then what better way to make a woman feel better than to remind her that even though her child did not live, she is still a mother and is invited to join the celebration. Some people may not agree with that last sentence but it is not written in stone and others may have a better way to ease the hurt and pain those mothers endure. But to end a celebration because some people have had tragedy is not always the wisest way to go for all mothers when 1 or 2 do not feel like participating i snot the wisest move and will end up hurting more people because the ‘church forgot them’.

The church is in a no win situation with people like that author. They will find fault with anything and demand that the church do things their ways over anyone else’s way and that is not right.There are more people in the church than these whiners who act like they are the champion for some lost soul forgetting that they are the lost soul who doesn’t get it.

#4.Brunches and/or receptions. Mothers (or mothers-to- be) are invited to pancake breakfasts with pampering products on the table to take home. And/ or special cakes are ordered to honor the mothers during coffee hour and the mothers go first in line. But what about the aunties who love their dear ones just as much? What about that childless woman who babysits for everyone in the church and loves all the kids the like her own? What about that mother-to-be who’s adopting but can’t tell anyone in the church about her match yet?

This is now getting absurd. If the ‘aunties’ aren’t mothers then the day isn’t for them and they can feel good by doing something nice for someone else. The Bible tells us to do unto others as we would like to be treated so why not allow these women who are not mothers being participants by helping the celebration go well. Maybe another Sunday someone will do something nice for them.

The people that create these problems just are not thinking about biblical instructions and seek to only bring dissension and strife to the church body.They do not allow biblical teaching to guide their thoughts, just their own personal preferences and subjective opinions.

#5. Mother’s Day testimonies. The whole service turns into a testimony day. The pastor does not preach. Women with children are invited to share a presentation about how being a parent has taught about God, family, love, life, etc. But again what about the person whose mother just died? What about the woman longing to have a baby on her 4th IVF treatment?

What about them? Why is that author creating problems when these issues are rare, in the minority and can be solved with a little common sense without turning the whole issue from a molehill into a mountain that splits the church. That author demonstrates that she doe snot belong in leadership for she cannot handle leaving people out or deal with problems effectively. One thing about being a military leader is that sometimes you have to make decisions that will hurt someone or that everyone will not agree on. Leadership is not a democracy where the orders given are questioned and debated by the those who need to follow them.

Someone will always be hurt no matter what the church does so these whines from people who do not like the exclusivity of some celebrations need to be handled correctly without adhering to the demands. The church leaders need to make the wise decisions and hurting the majority to appease a few is not the wisest of moves.

The church does need to be prepared to provide honest responses to those who are hurt but we do not cancel a celebration because some people do not like the idea that only a few are being honored once in a year. The simple solution is to honor Father’s on Father’s day and everyone else on a Sunday set aside for them. That author’s solutions are not solution sand leads the church to allow heresy into the church and hurt a lot more people. She writes:

Choice 1: Avoid the observance all together. Worship as if it was any other week in Eastertide. (Few churches are this bold)

Choice 2: Make the church welcoming to all women and men on Mother’s Day. Consider things like this:

  • Write inclusive liturgies. One year, I offered this call to worship as prayer to start the service. Many members commented to me about afterwards saying it felt inclusive and respectful of them as individuals.
  • Design a service around the theme of God as Mother. Check out the metaphors of mothering in scriptures such as Isaiah 49 or Isaiah 66. Use the service as an opportunity to talk about God’s mothering us (something we all need no matter if we are with children or male or female).
  • Celebrate all women.  Invite women to share testimonies who are mothers without children. Invite men to share stories of strength about their mothers alive or not. Sing songs by women. Read scriptures about women.  Incorporate special art by or about women.

With 52 Sundays in a year why does she think that everyone must be included on 1 special day? That makes no sense at all. Then the question we must ask, why is it that these people who whine and complain do not provide the exact scripture they are referring to. In our scan of those chapters we see nothing where God says he will mother or be a mother.

Her solutions are not solutions and ruin the purpose of the celebration. But then, we see this trend in so many different aspects of life that it i snot a surprise that someone who doe snot follow God’s word would complain about this celebration and be absurd about it.

{Just so you know, celebrating Mother’s Day may be a cultural practice and the churches should be careful in including it in the church. But that is their decision not ours to make. }

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Posted by on May 8, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, General Life, leadership, theology

 

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