Throughout the United States there are incidents of “sink holes” that have suddenly engulfed everything from roads, cars, houses, and even people. There seems to be no warning as to when these holes will appear. Once the ground has opened, an onslaught of scientist and geologist will descend upon the area to study the causes of these natural catastrophes. Home values nosedive because of the possibility of more sink holes in the area. Money is paid out to shore up houses so to give the home owner a temporary sense of security. A house may look beautiful from the outside, but without a solid foundation, it may be short lived.
The Church is not immune to a foundational crisis. If not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 3:11) it will be prone to sink holes. Jesus is the foundation and Cornerstone of our Faith, and when we fail to shore up our beliefs, we will become nothing more than a brick and mortar institute of socially promoted behavior.
A local church may be progressing at a humanly tolerated speed when, all of a sudden, something goes wrong. In a twinkling of an eye, Christians become side tracked by issues that are not of spiritual importance. These sink holes engulf the Believer to such a degree that our spirit man takes a time out to face these unexpected challenges.
One of these sink holes is called MURMURING. This cavity is not an isolated or random challenge; rather, a far reaching phenomenon that undermines the entire church. The word, or a form of the word, “murmur” is used over forty times in the Bible. In the New Testament there are five Greek words that define MURMUR. They mean to grumble, complain, blame, to have indignation, to snort with anger, and to grudge. Murmuring usually starts with an individual and his immediate circle of peers. Depending on the determination of the one who is murmuring, the cast of hearers will be greatly expanded. Sometimes the complainers will single out individuals who do not meet their standards. Jealousy and envy are great soils in which murmuring exercises its expressions. When this type of sink hole goes unattended, it could affect the entire local church.
As the sink hole continues to expand, discord will ripple through the fellowship. The after effects of these holes will expand into gossip and backbiting craters. At times, murmuring will be aimed at the spiritual leadership of the church. The aim of Satan’s army is to bring down the local shepherd of the flock. I have known some great servants of God who have resigned their church because people no longer had faith in their ministry. Instead of standing behind their shepherd, they allowed the murmuring “sink hole” to take him down.
Many of the start-up churches today are made up of disgruntled Christians that want their way instead of God’s way. If people cannot change their local environment, they change locations, so as to build on their understanding of God’s Word. Murmuring has brought down many people as well as churches.
There are charges that much of the secular media reports are biased with fake news. Rightly or wrongly expressed, it is an issue for the recipients of the published reports to determine. Adopting this conjecture to the local churches is a real subject that needs to be examined. Before one accepts rumors, gossip, and innuendoes about other people, we must ask ourselves if what we are promoting is bringing glory and honor to God. Is it our pride that ignites our murmuring? What is our objective with grumbling and complaining? Let us all work together to shore up our foundation so there is no possibility that this “sink hole” will take our church down!
Paul Hoffmaster has been in active ministry for 46 years, simplyrhetorical.wordpress.com
Article seen on the website of Florence Simmons, www.common-sensewisdom.com.