• Tom Strode

A season for lament

Lament is good. Sometimes, lament is necessary.

I am thankful lament to God is a biblical virtue, because I am living with it right now. In some ways, it is a season for ongoing lament.

Many reasons for lament exist regarding realities outside the church -- the proliferation of evil in multiple forms, the desecration of the image of God in human beings at various stages of life, the distortion of God's design for marriage and sexuality, the corrosiveness of public discourse, as well as the suffering and lostness of loved ones.

But there are reasons also for lament based on what is happening within the church. And those are especially my basis for lament at this time. Last night, a sadness enveloped me after I read news reports and social media posts from those outside our fellowship that reflected the attitudes of some conservative Christians.

For me, here are some reasons for lament regarding the wider evangelical and Reformed church:

-- The racial insensitivity, maybe racism, of some who appear unwilling to listen to the viewpoints and experiences of brothers and sisters of different ethnicities and skin colors.

-- The mind-set of some who seem to believe a woman's value is based solely on her roles as a wife and mother. (This has nothing to do with female preachers or elders, notions I believe to be unbiblical.)

-- The caustic, prideful rhetoric of some who apparently would rather conquer fellow Christians than communicate with them lovingly as evidence of the power of the gospel.

And that is not to mention such causes for lament as the departure from Christian doctrine and the failure to keep marriage vows that mark some in the church.

I invite you to lament with me. It is biblical, as numerous psalms testify. And it speaks to important truths about the One we worship. Former professor and now pastor David Gundersen put it this way: "[L]amenting to God implies belief in his listening ear, his fatherly care, and his sovereign power."

Let's lament our sins and the sins of others, and let's place our hope in the God who transforms hearts and minds.

-- Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash


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