“The way of the transgressor is hard” (Proverbs 13:15)
What started this was a note from a fellow who took issue with something I said about the church. He had no use for the church, he said. Every church he’d ever attended preached a shallow message, the sermons were mind-numbingly boring, and the people were dull and listless. After venting, he wondered if I’d be interested in some essays he’d written about the church. I declined.
In our exchange, I said, “Could I tell you something that happened to me? IEven though I’ve been preaching for over half a century, at least twice during that time, I have gotten out of fellowship with the Lord. What we call “backsliding.”
And when that happened, I noticed something surprising. I became negative about my fellow church members and critical of the other ministers. Then, when I humbled myself and repented, I saw them in a new light and found myself loving them. That was a fascinating thing to learn.
This was as gentle a way as I could find to tell the man that my money is on his being in rebellion against God. In his backslidden state, he is down on the Lord’s people.
Backsliding. Interesting term, isn’t it? It says what it is, and needs little explanation.