The Always-Learning Church Lady

Second Timothy 3 begins with this warning:  
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant... For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 

Have you ever wondered who these women are? Have you met one? She is most likely someone you know well and never connected with this verse.

In my work as a counselor, I have met a few of these women. Each time I do, this scripture echoes in my head. Based upon the patterns that I have seen, here is a composite sketch of this woman in 2015:

She is old enough to know better. She has experienced more in life than most and has "gotten saved" at some point in there. She embraced Christianity with all the passion with which she has embraced a dozen other fancies. She absolutely LOVES church things. She is at every Bible study, and sometimes starts her own. She is at most church functions, if they offer a chance to "fellowship."Fellowship" for her means either the opportunity to show off her hostess abilities or gives her a chance to gossip, which she calls sharing prayer requests. She has started and sometimes finished a great assortment of discipleship programs, deeper-life studies, and new-and-improved Christian self-help fads. She has big, multicolored Bibles in every translation available and is well-known for her outspoken and strongly-held viewpoints.

She is drawn to obscure-type churches with off-brand names like "Holy Ghost Anointing Tabernacle" or "God's Shining Radiance Abounding," which she will proudly tell you is due to the fact that other churches are just not spiritual enough for her. She boasts of spiritual experiences that most "regular Christians" are not privy to, such as "seeing the Shekinah glory" and basking in "hours of supernatural manifestations." She lives for these manifestations and it never occurs to her that the demonic could be involved. 

Her family would describe her as very religious. She would call herself deeply spiritual; yet if cornered in a moment of honesty, she would admit she has never felt really close to God. That becomes easier to understand when you learn about her personal life. It is at strange odds with what she professes to believe. Multiple marriages, sexual immoralities, and often abortions, dot her after-salvation past. She shrugs when she admits to sleeping with whatever "true-love " she happens to be with and justifies it by declaring that "God understands."

The saddest part is that she cannot see the discongruity. Even after hours of therapy, interventions, and confrontations, she emerges shaking her head at the shallowness of those who have not attained her level of spiritual wisdom. She is usually in the middle of whatever conflicts are going on at her church or home, or she is the cause of them. She will admit to some flaws with loud weeping, and is often seen at the prayer rail, in the pastor's office, or on the prayer chain. But she never seems to get any better. She admits to some weaknesses that she feels comfortable with, but angrily denies the ones that others loving point out.

She is "ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." She is a caricature of the Proverbs 31 woman; yet, she cannot see that she is not the epitome. For all her Bible reading, she never seems to grasp the most basic concepts of love, humility, surrender, and obedience. For all her spirituality claims, she lives entirely in the flesh.

Have you met this woman? Paul warned that in the last days, they would be everywhere. Some have labled her the Jezebel Spirit. Paul simply calls her a "weak woman weighed down by various sins." The worst part is that for all her bold "witnessing," there is little spiritual fruit. Rather than drawing people to Jesus, she alienates them. While smiling at her face, those in her circle turn and walk away from any Jesus she professes. If she owns Him, they want nothing to do with Him. And that is the greatest harm of all.



No comments: