How To Ruin Your Church
Pastor Steve Ellison
Murmuring. Do you do it? Do you hold others accountable who do it? What is so bad about murmuring? All murmuring is against God. You may think that you and your murmuring friends are murmuring against something or someone else, but you are not. You are murmuring against God and He hears. Exodus 16:7-8 ….in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, for He hears your grumblings against the Lord; and what are we, that you grumble against us?" Moses said, "This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.”
Numbers 11:1 sets the stage for a long lesson on one of the most pervasive and evil sins known to man, “Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.” NASU This lesson in Numbers 11:1-21:9 contains nine specific examples. The people murmured eight times. Their leader, Moses, got fed up and murmured about the people. They murmured about everything imaginable. This first one in Numbers 11:1 has no object of the murmuring, but the other eight do. Thus, we know that the lesson is about murmuring in general, all murmuring. God’s people murmured about God’s wonderful provision, God’s wonderful leader, and God’s wonderful land. God’s leader murmured about God’s people and was refused entry into the Promised Land. God is sovereign over all things. When we complain about our circumstances, we are complaining that God is not able or that He is not willing to do what is best. That is unacceptable, but it happens in your church and in mine.
Murmuring is usually not a onetime occurrence. Usually it is a lifestyle. We often rightly speak about the sinfulness of “alternative lifestyles” but somehow we miss this most destructive of alternative lifestyles. What is the cure for the life of murmuring? Man thinks that it is to get rid of the occasion but the occasion has nothing to do with it. Nothing whatsoever. We think if something, anything, does not suit us we just murmur what suits us. There is a legitimate way to work through ordained authority and effect a needed change, but make no mistake, murmuring is not it. If you want to destroy your church, just keep on murmuring and listening to your murmuring friends. The cure for this lifestyle of murmuring is to turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is likely the cause for your circumstances anyway. If any person ever lived through circumstances he abhorred, it was Jesus the Christ. If any person ever had reason to be thoroughly disgusted with the people around him, it was Jesus the Christ. If any person ever had reason to complain about how he was misunderstood and mistreated, it was Jesus the Christ. One real clear look at Jesus accompanied by a corresponding look at the blackness of your own soul will cure you of your murmuring. This in no way means that God will remove your cause for murmuring. He will likely leave that in place because it helps you to focus on Christ. If you choose to, you can keep on murmuring and destroy the church that Christ bought with His own blood. God will one day give you a face-to-face opportunity to explain that to Him. .…….…..firstname.lastname@example.org