by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Sanctuary
Editor’s note: So according to Michael anyone you might meet is for you to proselytize to or avoid if they don’t line up with your particular flavor of faith? That’s too bad because he might have, I don’t know, actually learned something from others different than him. I wish I could say this is an April Fool’s Day joke but sadly enough Mr. Pearl is serious.
A Matter of Perspective
The answer to your dilemma is a matter of perspective. I am not personally afraid of rattlesnakes in the woods…I expect to find them there, so I am on guard. But I know that I am very much afraid of a rattlesnake in my yard or in the dark basement, where my guard is down and I am relaxed. I was never concerned about the bad influence of sinners on my children when I took them with me to witness to the lost, for they knew we were in hostile territory. But relatives and church associates scared me to death. Every family has one or more “rattlesnake” in their yard or behind a door at church.
There was a time when I made a living as an artist. At one show I met a sculptor who interested me. He was unregenerate and aggressively rejected the gospel. But I invited him to come home with Deb and me after the show—my intentions being to witness to him. On the first morning, as he and his wife sat at the breakfast table talking, his little four-year-old daughter and my four-year-old daughter, Rebekah, were playing in the bedroom within my line of sight. We became aware that they were having some verbal confrontation, so we stopped to listen. “Yes, he is! Jesus is the God and he is the Savior,” we heard Rebekah say. “No, he isn’t,” the other little girl shouted. They went on and discussed various aspects of the gospel. It was amazing! I had no idea that a four-year-old could form such opinions and feel so strongly about them. A battle between light and darkness was being played out between these two tots. They each represented their parents’ convictions.
I had no fear of Rebekah being influenced negatively, because she knew when we were on war footing—when there were snakes in the grass. We often confronted sinners, and we reminded her that “These people don’t love Jesus, and they do not please him in the things they say and do, but we are going to try to help them come to know him.”
Face it! The church itself is actually a mission field. There was a time when the church was a place of worship for believers, and evangelism was done in special meetings or out in the homes and streets, but today, the churches invite the rattlesnakes to come into the house. I am not passing judgment on the right or wrong of the modern trend. It certainly is a great opportunity to evangelize, but you must take your children to church having trained them from the right perspective. It is not friendly territory. It is where we go to do battle with the world and to be a good influence on sinners present there. We warned our children that the church was full of fakes—of Judases. We led them to understand they were part of a team called to bring light to those in darkness.
We have had special friends, families that we felt were every bit as righteous as ours. The parents were as protective as we were. In the presence of our chosen friends, and in small home meetings, we could all relax. We were at home with one another, and there were no rattlesnakes. But we chose those families. They did not choose us. We didn’t let it happen by default. But there are times when certain people come to visit, we grab our coats and meet them at the car, explaining that “we were just leaving to go to the store.” Once your children are schooled to know the difference between good and evil, and they expect temptation to pop up, they are prepared for it and recognize it for what it is, even if it should come slithering out of a small home meeting of “trusted friends.”
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.