For several years our Church has scheduled its VBS for the first full week of August and each year we have had to compete with the State Fair. So this year we moved our time up a week and now we find ourselves competing against a large Church in town who has advertised their VBS as a "Water World" where they will have a "water splashing, Bible bashing" fun time. (their words.)
So I see that we have at least three choices.
1. Stop having a VBS.
2. Get a taller water slide.
3. Continue to conduct Biblical VBS.
It seems that many Churches are on the slippery slope of keeping up with the times and altering their program to be more user friendly. The public demand has more effect on how services are conducted and what the ministries focus upon than being loyal to the Word of God. Church ministries are being drawn into an entertaining mode, because the public wants to be entertained. No negative messages about the judgment of God. No messages about a real burning Hell. No messages defining sin except the sins of intolerance. Liberals are tolerant of anything except intolerance. They believe fundamentalists are intolerant so the liberals are very intolerant of fundamentalists.
Just like the choices above concerning VBS, we constantly must make direction choices, both individually and eccliastically. The difficulty of these choices is not which is the best direction, but avoiding the tendency to follow the crowd. It is like a New York City expressway. You have multiple lanes of traffic that are packed, and you realize that the exit you are wanting to take is one half mile ahead and six lanes over. There is a lot of honking and dirty looks as you quickly make jumps from lane to lane but you really have no choice. There is only one right road.
Sometimes it is very difficult to know which road to take because everything seems to be right and the turns ever so slight. And of course there is the crowd.
The opposition points out how petty you are for pointing out such minor variations. They don't understand why you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel so to speak.
From the very beginning of sin on this earth, Satan has always questioned or belittled the Word of God. He appeals to man's lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh or pride of life. He is very adept at quoting scripture for his own purpose. Some of the most severe judgments of God came as a result of someone failing to do exactly what God commanded. King Saul was a prime example.
One of the amazing aspects of humanity and its interpretations of the Word of God is that the natural man sees obedience to the letter of the law as satisfying God. Those who have been born of the spirit of God are led to understand and fulfill the will of God.
We cannot please God without faith to believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. To know the Spirit of God through the Word of God is to know the vast difference between the things of this world and the things of a Holy God.
"Though none go with me, still I will follow." The words of this song reminds us that God's path is not the popular path and sometimes we will find ourselves alone on this path. The Holy Scripture is the only pure source of God's will. It must be defended and protected at all costs. With all the perversions and alternatives that the Devil is producing, our task is unmistakable and direct, we must be alert to all threats to the truth.
As Paul told the Galatians, there is only one Jesus, but there will be a lot of counterfeits. We must be absolute with the real message of Jesus Christ.