Dear fellow brother’s and sisters in Christ,
Are we known more for what we are for than what we are against? Do those outside of Christianity know us for our unexplained love for each other or for constantly arguing and pointing fingers at each other? Even if the pointing is a warning and seen as imperative. How we go about it if it is necessary matters.
And when was the last time you actually asked someone honestly what they see CHristians as? Because you might be surprised. And when you ask do you ask it with an open heart and to really hear what they say. Not to immediately be on the defense or have counter arguments. But to listen.
Because I know when I have their words are filled with hurt and fear. We are seen as angry, and judgmental, fake, and loud. And when you ask questions you find that while some of that is developed by media, most have come to those conclusions through the people they know personally. They see it most by the people they know and what they post and say online. They see it in the comment wars thrown at others who they thought would be in agreement with because they are Christians too.
They have fear. Dear people who are loosing their minds about people declining to attend and formal church gathering. They are scared and confused. Even those who are following Jesus, myself included at times, are so very confused. Everywhere we turn it’s this article or post about this group being a cult or dangerous and this denomination falling away or not being Biblical and such. And it has left so many throwing up their hands in fear and frustration and just don’t do church. I’ve been there. I get it. It’s not right.
Why do we feel being a follower of Christ means we have to continually call out others who say they are following Christ too especially on social media or by promoting documentaries. Does this truly build up others or is it being used by the enemy for confusion and being a wall to those who aren’t following Jesus or even those who are confused by an organized church.
Yes, wisdom and discernment and false teachers are a thing, but the how we go about the warnings matters. What if we taught in person to those we have relationship with through mentoring or discipleship what the Gospel is, and how to find a church, podcast, YouTube, or evangelist that is solid on the gospel. What if we taught them to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and search out God’s Word and wrestle things out with God instead of just blankly believing everything everyone, even our own pastors, say. What if we prayed for and trusted the Holy Spirit to convict and warn. What if we stopped having a “something is ALL BAD or ALL GOOD” mindset and realize that we are all human. We are all prone for mistakes and misunderstanding God’s word. Because, it is God’s word. So wouldn’t it make sense that our human minds wouldn’t fully understand everything and therefore never completely agree on everything.
Honestly, I think the reason we feel the need to share the article or post so much is because of the lack of understand and doing discipleship. In discipleship there is a safe place for someone to bring up concerns and views to another. And for the iron to sharpen iron. But this also means that there won’t always be agreement. And we have forgotten how to disagree and still love. And that is so important. And to disagree but to trust the Holy Spirit in that brother or sister in CHrist to be convicted if it is actually going against God’s Word. But we also need to realize that just because we don’t fully understand something doesn’t make it wrong.
I have a friend who came to know God through Buddhism. She really wanted to know God, Yahweh, but didn’t know how to find Him and thought Buddhism was they way. And God used so much of what she learned in that practice that not only brought her to understanding and following the true God, Yahweh, but in light of God’s Word and her relationship with Jesus she sees import things she learned in Buddhism that while the source or foundation was wrong the principles were good and helped her be a stronger follower of Jesus now that she has those same things on the right foundation. So do we trust that the Creator of the Universe can use even what we may see as false doctrine or teachers to bring people to Himself or even strengthen their walk with Him? Do we in our heart of hearts truly know and believe that God’s love for His creation and power DOES NOT need us at all! Let me say that again. Do we know that God does not need us to bring people to Him or to bring conviction. We have the honor to be a means by which He does sometimes, but it was never meant to be on us to call out false teachers, and to make others have convictions. And honestly, it’s not even up to me to convince you of my point of view either.
We are here to speak the words God has told us to speak in the ways and contexts that we are called to.
And we are called to be known by our love.
We are not called to agree on all doctrine all the time.
We are called to be aware of false teachers, but never not specifically call out who we see those are to as many people as possible and share all the articles and post all the things.
We are called to disciple though. And through that closeness and trust, we can then have conversations and disagreements both while trusting God and loving each other.
And honestly, if we as followers of Christ could keep this in mind more and be asking ourselves, is what I ‘m saying or sharing showing more of what we are against than for? Is it adding to “Christians can’t agree on anything” “they are all angry at each other.”?
Because what might surprise you the most when you have conversations to really listen with those who aren’t following Christ or have walked away from their faith is they didn’t want t be part of something filled with so much hate. But when you keep asking questions more times than not it’s not hate about what we may see as wrong or sin in the world, it’s the hate between brothers and sisters in CHrist. And that absolutely breaks my heart. I’m tired of hearing, “You CHristians can’t even make up your minds and you just call each other out all the time.” “I get that church has imperfect people, but so does the world and I find more love in my ____group than church” “I love Jesus and I’m trying my best to follow Him, but finding a church is too overwhelming to me. I don’t know who is right anymore and I’m just scared and tired.” “Why would I want to be part of something that talks about God being love, but then you cut everyone down on the internet if they don’t agree with you even if they are a Christian too?”
I say all this in love, but with a fire in my heart unlike anything I can explain. And I say this because it is something God has put on my heart when I was young and only grown over the years. I say it because I believe we can be better and because God’s heart is for this. But please, don’t just take my word for it. Wrestle it out with God, search His Word, and openly search your heart and see what God might speak to you. It’s not up to me to change your heart ever. I’m just to say the words. Any change is the Holy Spirit’s job and I take no credit…happily!
(John 13:35 ; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ; Mathew 5:43-48 ; John 13:34 ; 1 John 4:8 ; 1 Peter 4:8)