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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 political correctness.

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.

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