Posted by: cindybythesea | June 18, 2013

The Honey that Attracts the Flies

In the center of Honolulu, is a small and very old cemetery, where many of the original missionaries, who came to these islands in the 1800’s are buried. I’ve wandered through this cemetery many times reading the inscriptions on the stones and marveling at the faith and fortitude that brought these folks so far from their homes and families. Many of whom, I am certain never saw their former homes or loved ones again after having reached these distant shores.

What was it that caused people like these to leave their homes and families and travel to such a far off destination? To buckle up their high top leather shoes, pack their bags and board rickety ships never knowing for certain that they would even reach their intended destination. And, yet they did. Exercising a faith that most of us cannot even imagine.

The islands have changed greatly since the first missionaries arrived. The gospel that swept the islands and influenced the monarchy have now been replaced by high-tech places of worship – if you can call it that – complete with big screen t.v.s, elaborate sound systems, recliners and coffee bars. Necessary additions in this day and age (as some would have us believe)  in order to compete with an ever growing and dizzying array of weekend entertainment. The honey that attracts the flies.

But, is this what the gospel is all about?

On Friday evening I attended by way of a memorial service a church that is relatiavely new to the islands. It had all of the accoutrements mentioned above including a couple of modern art rendtions of Jesus with blood streaming down his face – either that or they were former congregants; bikers, who had suffered severe head trauma in a rumble and were lucky (or unlucky) enough to have it captured in art. 

The front lobby served as a hub to various adventure destinations in a way that would put a cruise ship activity director to shame. And, yet for all of this – the popularity of these seeker friendly churches – the fabric of our society appears unchanged. The impact of Christ and his church, “salt and light” barely noticeable, if at all.

Jesus said that there would be a cost involved in following him. He knew what was ahead; where, the road to Calvary led. He also knew that the road ahead for those who would choose to follow him would be no less tough. Therefore, he advises us to count the cost. But, for some reason, somewhere along the way, in our day and age, we seem to have exchanged “pick up your cross and follow me” with “pick up your latte and find a seat”!  Is that what Jesus was talking about?

The Bible warns us about the church of Laodicea. Christ hates it. It’s neither hot nor cold. Lukewarm, a latte that even the most seeker friendly church goer would reject. The words sting and most of us would like to think that it does not apply to us. That it applies to some one else. But, I have to ask myself, as, I do you, does it? 

Something, I’ll be thinking about in the next few days.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper, who love thee”  Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy



  1. Apparently “churches” of this type are in more than one state. The last church we attempted to attend in a previous state had the “coffee/snack bar” and it was most annoying to sit in church with people eating and drinking. The final straw was the morning they announced that coming soon would be shops and those that wanted to could make purchases before or after the service.

    Needless to say, we fled and never looked back. Sad and disgusting at the same time.

  2. […] Here’s the link I promised:  The Honey That Attracks The Flies/Cindy By The Sea […]


  4. This post has come at the most perfect time in my life. I am exhausted after a long family weekend, with in-laws, and shaking my head in confusion, trying to understand what Jesus, they are proclaiming to know.

    I set across the table from my 37 yr old nephew, with shaved head, covered in tatoos from head to toe, multiple hooks and hardware piercings that appeared painful, and intimidating. His live-in girlfriend was with him, to meet his mother and one of his estranged sons, he did not raise. He is not embarrassed to voice his strong desire for cigarettes, or hold back his occasional nude photos of himself, to his nieces. This man who seldom smiles, will tell you he loves Jesus, and even has a tatoo of Him nailed to a cross on his side. But I was having a hard time seeing Jesus in this man!

    I know I am old fashioned, but I can’t understand the need to destroy the temple/body, made in His image and His likeness, with horrific graffiti. You mentioned the giving up of self, and expressed it perfectly. I think that is what is missing in this new church mindset. Just because we might want to do something we desire in the flesh, does not make it right, or approved by God, just because we believe.

    I did not voice my disapproval to my nephew, but instead decided to show Him Christ’s love, with kindness and tolerance. I will continue to pray for him and the rest of his family. I think perhaps, they are drawn into these country club-do whatever you want-and prosper, type churches, because they can’t or won’t read their Bibles themselves. Some perish for lack of knowledge, but others from rebellion.

    Giving up is hard for some. Remember Lots wife! Luke 17:32

    Thank you, for another spiritual insight Cindy. God bless you!

    [Hi Tamra, Thanks so much again for your encouragement and for your very thoughtful comment. It’s tough these days isn’t it? It can be hard sometimes to discern when someone is just a work in progress (as we are all) or if they are in open rebellion against the Lord. Which, if the latter is the case speaking the truth in love then becomes necessary. Its really part of being discipled isn’t it? A concept, I’m afraid much of the church has lost sight of. Thanks again for writing, I really do appreciate it! C]

  5. Syncretism, (not sure that is correctly spelled), Is what is wrong with that whole picture and it actually IMHO much worse than the church of Laodicea.
    It is actually the condition of the church in Thyatira. The spiritual entity Jezebel is firmly implanted and it has mastetised it self to the body of Christ. You get the idea that you have to tolerate it. Many of those “who name Christ” actually are dominated by these other spiritual entities and are being led by them and not the Holy Spirit. The evidence is the fruit.
    And by the written Word we are to be about the business of exhortation, and when that is not received it is not because there is something wrong with the truth.

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