Jesus’ mission’s worst enemies.

Posted: October 25, 2013 in Evangelism, Leadership, Life, love, Me and God, Me and people, Politics, The Church

The Problem: I was kind of saddened as I watched last night the first episode of Preachers of L.A.” (Don’t judge me, I was just curious). My problem was not with the show necessarily; Is this what non-believers think all Christians and ministers are like? Is this supposed to somehow help others to positively consider what God has to offer? Maybe for some it will. The hardest part happened as I read some blogs and news forums that showed how one pastor criticized the t.v. show, another defended his position, and little-by-little, all parties (all of them Christians, mind you) became more and more hostile towards each other… as the world quietly but attentively observed the quarrel.

Earlier that day, I was saddened when reading a Facebook post from Mark Driscoll that read: “When it comes to abortion, the issue is not choice. The issue is murder. #10Commandments”. The status was not the problem, but the comments and arguments amongst participants (not Mark Driscoll himself). The harsh words between defenders of abortion, opponents of abortion, and anything in between; hard attacks and words from Christians to Christians. It made me wonder, how many people would come to Christ because of this back-and-forth ‘conversation’, and how many more would grow even more disillusioned of Christianity –and Jesus Christ, because of it

Similarly, last week I was heartbroken as I saw, on the one hand, a group of prominent Christian leaders to put together a conference called “Strange Fire”, aimed to “evaluates the doctrines, claims, and practices of the modern charismatic movement, and affirm the true Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit.” –in many people’s words, to attack charismatic/Pentecostal beliefs. Of course, on the other hand, you had the Pentecostal/charismatics, who felt the need to defend themselves creating a blogosphere and cyber war camp where Christians of all angles met to lash out at each other…. And the world still carefully watching from their computer screens.

In fact, Just as I was writing this rant, I read a story about a Christian who didn’t tip the waiter, because of the waiter’s sexual orientation; “Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. [Slur] do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours,” the customer wrote.”

REALLY?? And that’s supposed to get the waiter to repent? I am sick and tired of Christians being Jesus’ mission’s worst enemy. Honestly, sometimes we seem to be ‘gifted’ in messing things up. Fighting, on TV, blogs, news forums and the media in general, as the world stares in disappointment and hopelessness. Isn’t there another way to work through our differences?…

What should we all do? What would Jesus want?

I understand we feel very passionately about what we believe –and we believe it to be a matter of life or death –spiritually and otherwise. However, aren’t we lacking a bit of wisdom and love in the way we approach public expression? Are we ‘judging‘ in a Biblical way?

I am not advocating for a watering down of the gospel message or condoning sinful behavior; sin is sin. If your conclusion is that homosexuality, divorce, unbelief, abortion, and preaching a false gospel/doctrine is a sin, fine! Believe it, preach it, and most important, live by it. However, let’s not ignore that lying, deceiving, hating, exaggerating to make others look bad, stealing, making ourselves God and taking His glory as ours, speaking harsh words to others, insulting, calling names, presumption and thinking we know it all, and are always right, thinking we understand the Bible better than others, and assuming others don’t read their Bibles or are not as serious scholars as we are, or are not honest seekers of the truth –or that they are not even saved true Christians because of how they act, it might be just as much a sin and damaging, as the ones we denounce. (I’ve been guilty of this myself).

We all Christians need to understand that just as damaging as sin is to humans eternal fate, so can be our unwise words and actions. You may think you are fighting or ‘exposing’ a false doctrine or erred teaching (call it baptism of the Holy Spirit, the end of the worldgiving to the poor, or even politics). Nevertheless, what if your interpretations are wrong? Hopefully being wrong wouldn’t make you any less of a Christian than the other person, just a confused one. So it may work the other way.

Remember that Paul wrote to the church of Corinth addressing problems of all kinds. Some were coming drunk to the Lord’s Supper, other was sleeping with his step-mother, others were suing each other, others had bad doctrine, abuses in the practice of gifts and all kinds of bad behavior. Although Paul didn’t condone their behavior, but rebuked it promptly, steering them to repentance, still Paul called them “Saints”. He didn’t seem to doubt their salvation. Their behavior was perhaps considered by Paul a result of ignorance and spiritual in-maturity, rather than evidence of ill intentions or false faith.

My hope: May we all extend the same grace to our fellow Christians (that is, whoever believes the scriptures are the Word of God and that anyone can be saved by grace through faith, by the resurrected Jesus who paid for our sins and gave us eternal life) independently of how different our views are in various secondary topics. May we all learn,  not to avoid controversy necessarily, but to be able to argue and interchange opinions in a way the outside world looking in says, “wow!, even when they disagree, they love each other in respect and kindness” (click for an example)That would get some positive attention! Exactly what Jesus would want.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Charles Lorentz says:

    Unfortunately most people have a inherent desire to be right. When their ideas are being challenged, it causes them to dig deeper to make their point. Civility and humility have exited from most of society’s tables. It reminds me of watching kids sports and see the response of most coaches and parents that become so focused on winning, that character looses out for the win.

    we loose the real reason that we are all here, we are sojourners, we are no longer of this world. Our focus and passion should be Jesus and Him crucified rather than we are right over here and you guys are flakes. Baptist, Lutherans, Methodist, Catholics, Pentecostals and all the others. Are we worshiping our denomination? Did the Catholic church (or any other label you go by) die for your soul? do they have the complete truth? Does anyone here able to see clearly through each and every biblical doctrine, text or writings? No, no and no. To argue like a bunch of little kids only shows how immature you are as a Christian. You may not understand my freedoms or gifts in the body, yet Paul through the Holy Spirit teaches of the body and all the different parts. If i’m a nose or ear or heart, i will have a different function, look differently, sound differently, yet still part of the same body. You being a toe or finger may not appreciate the necessity of a nose, yet if you were a tongue you would see the great need for the nose. Salvation in Jesus is paramount, yet walking beyond salvation makes for a valuable Christian that can multiply through teaching, inspiring and admonishing. People who have found great freedom in the presence of the Lord that are demonstrative in worship and life are walking out the scripture Luke 7:47 New Living Translation “I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Again, we all have a place in the body and are needed. Everyone doesn’t have to look like us or only believe like us. We have different nets that the Lord gave us. You do What you are called to, let me do what God has called me to.

    Don’t run to conclusions, I believe Jesus is the only way to the father. As to what we do in the body of Christ may all be vastly different. One is not better or more right than the other.

  2. Darrell Pruitt says:

    Good word Luis. Many times our anger over someone else’s actions causes far more damage than what we are angry about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s