A number of things occurred today. 1) I was looking for a sermon to listen to and came across a pastor bashing a Christian author. I didn’t listen to it mainly because I was a little upset to have discovered it to begin with. 2) I came home and spent some time in my Bible and came across Mark 9:38-41…
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”
Hmmm…Makes you think, doesn’t it?!
This summer we’ve been studying Genesis in my Sunday school class; and upon reading the first verse–In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth–we were questioned, “How important is it to believe the literal meaning of that verse?” Well, my first thought was, “If we don’t believe that verse, then we question the entire Bible; it becomes nothing but a fairytale.” (These were questions to get us thinking.)
Further along we were asked, “What must we believe to be saved?” What a question! There are certainly fundamental truths that all Christians hold to: the Scriptures inspired by God (Bible), only one true God (revealed in 3 persons: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit); the deity of Christ; the virgin birth; Jesus’ sinless life, His death, and resurrection on the cross for our sins, etc.
So, MY question is this…Why all the backbiting?! Why do we fight and bicker amongst ourselves over Bible interpretation…why don’t we just live it!? Why don’t we love the way God wants us to love? Treat people as He wants us to treat them? Share the gospel; the story of His love and devotion for them? Why aren’t we using the gifts, that He’s so graciously bestowed upon us, to guide others in His direction?
Trying to live the Law to the letter and forcing it on others, without exhibiting mercy and love towards their fellow-man, is the same mistake the Pharisees and Sadducees made! The whole point of the Law was to point out what’s wrong; yes, so that we’d be aware and turn away from it. And it’s not wrong to tell others something is immoral, according to God’s word; however, just because someone has chosen to live a certain lifestyle doesn’t mean we love them any less. How many people enter a church feeling worthless, and disgusted with themselves, looking for hope and love and find something less than welcoming?
It takes a radical heart change for someone to change their lifestyle. Beating them over the head with rules and regulations isn’t going to do it. I should know…I was one of those people. I knew all the rules and regulations because I grew up in church; but it took a radical heart change, and recognition of God’s love and grace and mercy, before I changed how I was living.
Sorry, I feel like I’m a little off topic…Back to what I was saying…We, the Christian church, need to stop fighting amongst each other, and take His love to the world, in an overwhelming and passionately driven, type of way.
I read somewhere once that the many denominations of believers all have different “gifts.” Some churches have excelled at providing shelter to the homeless, some have well-endowed orphanages, others have been blessed with miraculous healing ministries, family and marriage counseling centers, children’s ministries, mentoring programs, or drug rehabilitation programs…the list can go on and on. However, just because the ministries are different, doesn’t mean any one is better than the other.
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:4-5)
We’re all part of the same body! Therefore, we need to stop acting like we’re better than one another and recognize we all have the same head; and with that, the same goals and purpose.