In the news business, right behind the axiom ’sex sells’ is its step-cousin, ‘outrage sells’. That is all well and fine (or maybe not, but that’s another topic for another day), but it’s downright sad when is used in the church in such a way that a story’s headline sells one or the other, but the article ‘fails to deliver’, revealing the headline to be nothing more than a carnival huckster’s pitch.
In an article posted yesterday, CR?N posted the same headline as chosen by the Christian news service, “One News Now” – So. Baptist Leaders Advised Not to Force ‘Narrow View’ of Scripture on Everyone. The average reader would most likely see this headline and assume that the liberal agenda was trying to force a low view of scripture upon the SBC. However, once you read the article, you find out the the scripture from which some folks don’t want the SBC to take a narrow view:
Thou shalt not put any child in daycare, nor shalt thou enable thy unbelieving neighbors place their children into the hands of Molech via the abomination of daycare. – II Opinions 4:14
Don’t get me wrong – I am not a big fan of daycare. However, I know a number of single mothers and families in dire financial straits who cannot avoid some limited form of daycare situation. [I also know at least one woman who put her children in daycare 5 days a week, an when she took vacation days, she would still put the kids in daycare, as she just couldn't deal with them all day long. This led me to point-blank ask her, "Are children just the newest fad of pets as status symbols?" Needless to say, I'm not on her Christmas mailing list...]
I also know a woman who removed her family from a church we used to attend (before we moved 60 miles away) because they opened a daycare facility in the church, primarily aimed at single mothers [it was part of the selection criteria]. Her comment was that the church had no business ‘enabling’ people to commit child neglect.
Sadly, it is on topics like daycare that Christians should be at the forefront of service, rather than being the Nagging Aunt Mable in backseat telling other people how to raise their kids, whilst not lifting a finger to do anything about it. Who does that remind me of?
The church we attend now has a daycare facility (and an after-school program) in it which is primarily used by families outside the church. It is considered to be an outreach ministry of our church. Children in the church daycare will be exposed to Bible stories and wholesome activities, while they are cared for by loving, Christian volunteers. The kids also become part of activities inside the church, to which their parents are invited. For some of these families, this is their first experience inside a church building and with the body of Christ.
Yet, it seems, there are some who wish to try to make unbelievers behave in a manner of believers without ever having taken the first step of belief. Then, they are puzzled as to why they are hated, when the reasons for the hate have nothing really to with Christ, but everything to do with the self-righteousness of those who are supposed to represent his body here on earth…
Perhaps a better headline would have been:
So. Baptist Leaders Advised Not to Create Legalistic Rules that are Not Explicit in Scripture