As The Tree Leans
By J.R. Ensey
If the title sounds a little like a soap opera, be assured there’s
no fiction associated with the fact that a tree falls in the direction
it is leaning.
The same principle applies to an individual life, a business, a church,
or an organization. The direction it leans is the direction in which
it will eventually fall. Enron was leaning toward bankruptcy with
its cooked books, arrogant leaders and voluntarily blind auditors.
It fell and great was the fall of it, taking down a number of other
firms with it.
Here is the principle stated another way: If you
pitch your tent toward Sodom, you will likely end up there. Lot
surely never intended to become so involved that he would eventually
lose some of his family to God’s judgment and others to gross immorality.
He just pitched his tent in the wrong direction.
Individuals who dabble in teasing games with the opposite sex, or get involved in
Internet porn, are leaning toward moral failure. Businesses which
put greedy, unethical persons in strategic positions are leaning
toward financial disaster. Church organizations that are careless
with their heritage, fail to keep a firm grip on their doctrine,
or become overly conscious of political correctness, are leaning
toward spiritual compromise.
One wonders how major denominations came to the point of actually ordaining active homosexuals for ministry
positions. It did not happen overnight. There were steps taken in
that direction for years before such a move was approved. An ear
was put to the cultural ground. Pressure from secular society was
applied. Committees were appointed to study the issue. The shrill
voices of the feminists were heard—“Egalitarianism! Absolute equality!
No gender discrimination!” Bishops shuddered. Reports were generated
that explained away the scriptural passages which deal with the
subject. Then years of discussion in conferences following the reports
and recommendations of the committees which almost invariably came
down on the liberal side. The admittance that “they are already
among us,” and statements like “they are just as effective in leadership
as heterosexuals,” began to slowly erode the opposition. Finally,
enough pressure was applied and enough strategic appointments were
made that a vote was taken to allow them to be ordained. The next
step was to approve their same-sex marriages. The canting tree finally
fell in the direction it had begun to lean.
One of the main steps taken toward ordaining homosexuals and marrying gay couples was
that someone just started doing it. Rogue clergy stepped up who
were willing to do it without authorization. They figured that if
it was already being done it was just a matter of time that action
to remove taboos from church manuals and gain conference approval
would be forthcoming. They knew that once the camel’s nose is under
the tent the hump is soon to follow. And it was all done in the
name of compassionate outreach, sensitivity to cultural mores, and
We already hear the voices that clamor, “Just
go ahead and do it and let the by-laws catch up with what is already
being practiced. Don’t try to change the by-law first—do it, violate the rule, and pressure to remove the taboo will soon follow!”
Let us pray that Pentecostals will remain sufficiently alert to these
road signs that we will realize where we could be heading. We are
on our way to somewhere. When we get to where we are going, where
will we be? Denials that one is likely to reach Chicago when he
is traveling north on Interstate 55 are meaningless. That is where
I-55 takes you.
In what direction are we leaning? May we never become
so hungry for affirmation from the world that we let slip those
tenets of the faith that have identified us as apostolic children of God.
Today, the pitched tent; tomorrow a house in Sodom.