How Church Conflict Stems From the Generation Gap

by | Sep 18, 2014 | Woman

Clearly, the modern church is in crisis. Regardless of denominational affiliation (or none at all), there are warring factions threatening to tear the church, as we know it, apart.

These factions most often appear in the form of two generations struggling to find enough common ground to keep meeting together under one roof. This battle has led to numerous church splits, restructured programming, frustrated church leaders and wounded sheep.

Is this a new problem or simply a revisited one? Does it indicate a sovereign move of the Spirit or the byproduct of a culture spinning out of control? And the big question is: How do evolving Gen-X leaders confront this crisis and find God’s will to the other side?

The answers to these questions lie hidden in the timeless wisdom of God’s Word. Specifically, the book of Ruth—viewed prophetically—offers some key insights to guide our course.

The Time of Judges

Historically, the events of Ruth occur during the time period recorded in the book of Judges. This period marked the 300 years following Israel’s initial conquest of Canaan under the dynamic leadership of Joshua.

When Joshua and his generation died, the Israelites lost sight of their vision to complete the takeover of Canaan. They compromised the borders God had identified for them and established unholy treaties with neighboring pagans.

Over time, these treaties proved to be the snare Joshua and Moses warned they would be (Deut. 7:16). Instead of experiencing the promised prosperity they had waited more than 450 years to enjoy, the Israelites found their lives to be a constant struggle of famine and warfare.

Seven times the Israelites fell into compromise, suffered, cried out for deliverance and were met with God’s mercy. But their hearts never changed. They never learned to seek God for themselves, and they continued to rely on external sources of holiness and deliverance.

One Representative Family

At this point, the camera zooms in on one representative family—hence, the book of Ruth. This book tells the story of Elimelech and Naomi who, in a period of famine, decided to leave God’s ways (represented by the land) and seek the world for help (Ruth 1:1-2). Their decision ultimately resulted in the premature death of both Elimelech and his two sons.

By middle age, Naomi was left with nothing but one loyal daughter-in-law and a land deed in Bethlehem. The book opens with the account of Naomi’s returning home.

Naomi’s daughter-in-law is named Ruth, which means “friend.” Despite Naomi’s bitter attitude and insistent orders to return home, Ruth won’t leave her.

She won’t forsake the relationship or give up on the God Naomi once professed. As bad as their current circumstances appeared, Ruth believed for a better day.

A great friendship evolved from Ruth’s persistence. In fact, Ruth and Naomi’s friendship stands out among scriptural relationships as one of the greatest examples of Christlike love in the Bible. What’s more, their relationship symbolically portrays the future development of the bride of Christ.

Two Women, One Bride

Together, Ruth and Naomi represent the bride of Christ. Ruth represents new believers and Gentiles; Naomi represents older believers and Jews.

The book of Ruth appropriately begins with Naomi’s story. Elimelech (whose name means “one intended by God to rule”) and Naomi once walked with God.

Their faith grew weary in hardship, however, and as the result of tragedy, Naomi’s faith faltered. The book opens with her proclaiming to the women of Jerusalem, “The Lord has afflicted me, and I’m bitter” (Ruth 1:20-21).

Among older believers and certainly among Jews, there are those whose faith has faltered in light of tragedy. No matter how strongly we believe, life’s circumstances can and do affect our hope in God.

From time to time, we all need reassurance that God still loves us and will help us despite the circumstances He may have allowed in our lives. Such is the state of Naomi at the beginning of the book of Ruth.

To help Naomi, God brings alongside her a young believer from a pagan background. Ruth was a Moabite, a descendant of one of Israel’s greatest enemies. The Moabites were relatives of Israel, but they were worldly and perverse (Jer. 48).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]