Interesting how deeply held attitudes are revealed at times. Seemingly innocent moments and conversations become the opportunity for some to reveal what is really in their heart....and not surprisingly, it doesn't match with what is on the face or facade of their life. Tuesday night we allowed our youngest to go to a friend's house for dinner, or so the invitation was. Supposedly the friend's father was not able to celebrate her birthday with her on Saturday, so they were going to have a little dinner celebration. Unfortunately for our youngest and her friend, this family is one who rose up in division with others at the church and has been the forefront dispenser of false teaching and doctrine, the high priestess of the cult resides there. We don't allow our youngest to attend their religious gatherings, because of the unscriptural basis of their "faith". This particular event, a birthday dinner, hardly seemed the source for any such distribution of rhetoric and drivel, so we said yes.
About an hour after the event began, a phone call was received asking if our youngest could spend the night....praise God for discernment of my wife; she said no. Fast forward two hours till the pick up time...we pulled up in front of the house and lo and behold, a fair sized group of folks were in the house; every single one of which had joined together in rebellion and been the core of the division. We sent our middle girl up to the door to retrieve our youngest. As she knocked on the door, several voices called out, "hide the Bibles, someones at the door", followed by cynical laughter. The door opened and our girl put her head in and asked for the youngest. The puppet husband suddenly called out from his seat in the room, "either come in or go out, I don't want the door open", a reasonable request. Our middle girl, pulled her head back and stayed outside, closing the door. The man bellowed from his chair, "well, now we know for sure she has gone completely over to the other side"....more laughter then, "yeah, I said it loud so she could hear it". Well, as the two ladies entered our car and this was related to us, along with additional information from the youngest that this evening had NOT been a birthday celebration, but instead the high priestess's idea of a Hanukkah event, complete with "true" stories of internet fueled garbage. The lighting of the Servant candle reduced to wanna-be jews, indulging in their lust driven religiousocity....well, as the song says, we won't be fooled again! Turns out it was not only their satanic inspired ceremony, but also a sleep over for some of the folks...not sure (& don't want to know what that meant). The evening that began with a lie (birthday dinner v. religious instruction) was interrupted by truth. The words that flowed out of one who had been cared for, taught and carried through great dilemmas repaid with deceit and scorn...reminds me of Proverbs 9:8, "Reprove not a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, he will love you". What boiled up out of the heart, aimed at a 14 year old girl standing on the porch, was nothing more than the fruit of bitterness, envy and lust.
The real truth of Hanukkah is not found in the divisive covens of demonically influenced rebellion, but rather the illumination of Jesus Christ in the darkest time in history and in the world. The dedication of a temple cleansed from the prophetic desecration and the Light of the World being born for the world to behold God's Redemption. Sadly, as John recounts in the Gospel the Holy Spirit penned through him, " He came unto His own, but His own received Him not...". Into darkness, with revealing light....a light rejected by many because their deeds were evil.
A hard lesson for the youngest; a friendship lost because the father of her friend chose to use the children as pawns in a game he wants to play but I remember the instruction God has given in Titus 3:10-11, "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned." and in Romans 16:17, "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them." And so it shall be!!