What is a Tipping Point? According to Merriam Webster, it’s “the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.”
Happy Presidents Day. Since American History was retired – along with wood shop and home economics – from the school catalogs of the 21st Century classrooms, the holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February has been disconnected from the birthday of George Washington. He – and, his legacy – have now been scaled-back; his inclusion in a supporting role in Hamilton, on Broadway, may be the only direct connection that some modern Americans have to his contribution to the country.
The view from above history’s timeline would see Washington as a key figure in a small cadre of leaders who were cast in the drama of political progress that gave birth to the United States. Using modern terminology to describe events that became known, collectively as The Revolution, men and women of influence used their combined capacity to create a Tipping Point. Change happened because they disrupted their personal lives and allowed their convictions to stimulate actions that led to progress and transformation that continue today, nearly 250 years later.
“Are you still in California?” As I travel across the country, I’m asked that question frequently. The exodus around us is underway; while the growing populations of undocumented aliens and unfortunate street campers makes the national news, people from the upper end of the socioeconomic bell curve are vacating the state. Though blessed with the best weather climate in the Lower 48, the political and cultural conditions have become hostile to people who are reversing 100 years of westward migration in search of environments more palatable to their family’s wellbeing. For them, it’s reached a Tipping Point.
We’re still here, but we understand the reasoning of friends whose home address is now in a different time zone. Looking beyond today – into the future generations of their family – the high-cost of relocation has become, for them, an investment in the long-term sustainability of the things that matter most, to them, passed to their progeny.
“Are you still at Calvary Church?” It’s been our home church for 50 years. Why would that come up?
In the same way that choosing a home state is foundational for establishing a healthy family legacy, determining one’s home church has importance that is even greater than selecting a domicile.
Does your church believe what you believe? That may sound odd, but it warrants consideration. “Your church” doesn’t have beliefs… but your pastor does, and his belief system is being transferred to the congregation gathered under his continuing oversight.
New reports regarding the convictions of Protestant pastors in America have exposed a conflict: nearly 50% of pastors in mainline denominational churches embrace same-sex marriage; less than 10’% of evangelical pastors hold that position. Widen the survey to include questions like: do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God? Do you believe that Jesus is the only surety for Heaven? Do you believe that life begins at conception and is to be protected? Are pastors’ beliefs important?
Paul’s counsel to Timothy, as a pastor: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
“Are we still at Calvary Church?” Yes. Why? Our pastors are holding fast to “sound doctrine.”
It’s a vital exercise to ask the key questions and confirm the convictions that are underlying your church’s teaching. If the answers move away from the Scriptures… how far must they go before you reach a Tipping Point?
Washington and the Founding Fathers took the tough road to Freedom. May Christians with integrity in America, in 2020, do the same thing with our churches…