Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I have to get something off my chest, if I may. Since this is my blog, I most certainly may, and I will, and I am going to. I am rather tired of hearing how people are so put off by church and Christians. Let's see, the
excuses reasons range from "they are all hypocrites" to "they are too rigid" to "they are so self-righteous" and so on and so on it goes. Guess what, we are all sinful, oozing with sin and a sin nature that is ugly, grotesque, and putrid (Romans 3:23). Welcome to a life in need of grace.
Yes, there are people in this world who have deemed it their sole purpose to point out every sin in another's life. Fine, let them. They are even more messed up than the ones they point to, and they themselves will face the Almighty all the same one day. We are to love one another, but we do not do that well more often than not. A mass of fallen, sin stained people walk through the doors of a church, wanting, needing, trying to find a place of mercy, grace, and redemption. Is that not the point? But within our sin-soaked gear, which we try to wedge ourselves out of, we bump and rub up against one another. Sometimes we wrap one another in a hug, sometimes we leave bruises on their already damaged skin.
I am so worn out from hearing how messed up the church is. What is to be expected from a place filled with sinners? Is that not the point? If you do not like hearing God inspired truth, fine, don't walk through the doors, but do not begrudge those who see their need for Christ, nor those who are so passionate about their faith they will speak boldly, and with absolute truth.
In fact, let me go so far as to say if you are attending a church that is trying to be relevant more than it is trying to know Him and make Him known, if it is trying to use catchy phrases to attract the masses more than it is quoting scripture, RUN! Run far and fast away from there because we need pastors and leaders who will speak boldly from the word of God, who will not shy away from His truths, and who will share with us His teachings, even when it convicts, condemns, and holds us accountable. More than anything, you want to be in a place that points you to the cross of Christ.
As Erwin Lutzer writes in his book When a Nation Forgets God, "The Christian cannot approach the cross with cool detachment." He goes on to say, "the cross exposes the futility of all our self-righteousness; it reminds us that we are sinners incapable of bringing about our own reconciliation with God. Christ died to save sinners, to reveal the love of God, and to conquer evil. Before this cross we can only stand with bowed heads and broken spirits....The church can only live and breathe at the cross; without it there is no life and no reason to exist."
Yes, I believe there are churches who have taken advantage of people, done things far removed from biblical teachings, and yes, Christians have hurt one another. That is why, my friends, we are to look to God the Father, far above all others to teach, guide, and direct us. Psalm 94:14 says, "For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance." He can be trusted. And yes, there is a lot of room for improvement in the lives of the Christian. We need to be better representatives of the God whom we serve and proclaim. We need to extend his mercy and grace more often, rather than just his rebuke and discipline. We could also do well to live out John 13:34, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
But please, stop blaming the sin-stained masses for your refusal to accept Christ. It is your choice, and when we look to one another before the Creator? We will never find what we are seeking anyway. Exodus 20:4,"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.