i am attempting to spend a few months just reading and re-reading through the Gospels, hoping to hear from the Father for some direction. i must be honest, there are so many times that i think that i am on the wrong path, with all my focus on grace and forgiveness. yes, i feel accepted by the Father and embraced by His love but as I look at other believers around me, they are working so hard to curry God’s favor…maybe i am missing something?
anyway…this is what i have read just last night, it was powerful and sort of affirmed in me that maybe i am not wrong on this journey.
this is from the Message, Jesus has just called Matthew, the tax collector.
“Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw Him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit and lit into Jesus’ followers. ‘ What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riff raff?’
Jesus overhearing, shot back, ‘Who needs a doctor, the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘ I’m after mercy, not religion.’ ‘I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”
So many times in the church i attend and in other churches all over this country legalists are coddled. they are then “labeled” the weaker brother/sister that have to be nurtured and taught the right way.
Yet, they are not taught about grace, and mercy and they continue on their mini witch hunts seeking to discredit and destroy anyone that does not embrace their form of legalistic religion. Oh, they may claim that they really do love those that disagree with them but their actions betray their words, and because they are “good tithers” or involved in a specific ministry, they are never ever brought to task for their hateful attitudes and poison laced words.
There are so many people in the world looking for truth, for love, for acceptance, but it seems that many times the church is too busy keeping the pharisees happy to notice. and day after day the door to this amazing gospel is slammed shut to those who need it most by legalists that don’t even notice that they have locked themselves out of the Kingdom as well.
May God intervene in this travesty.
3 thoughts on “Reprimand or Coddle…day 155”
I appreciate the frustration being expressed and can understand and agree with a great deal of it. And hopefully you know me well enough to know that I love you.
I do wonder though if there is a better way to handle these issues. I think that there is a lot to be commended for seeing these things for what they are, but even more for confronting them directly and in love. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t see how blogging does that.
From a brother who has been-there-done-that and knows that God does intervene, many, if not most times, through brothers and sisters who risk it all for His sake to stand up and hold a mirror to the rest of us. Kinda like Hosea did to Isreal.
So a UM bishop stated that all churches want to grow. We want young people as long as they act and worship like adults. We want a variety of cultures as long as they conform to our ways. We want new people as long as they look and act like us. It is human nature I suppose.
The amazing thing is that while we play at our worship and think we know what God likes, God still shows up in our lives, in our worship and at the Communion Table. As long as God does that, there is still hope for me.
Well that is a mouth full!! I agree with you Mark!! (And…there is nothing wrong with venting your frustration with “Church” People worry more about the effect on non-christians reading someone venting. But we are human and there is nothing wrong with showing our humanity.) Yes people… even Christians get frustrated!!!
I also feel that we have gone off the path. Grace and mercy are huge!!! It is what is whispered to the deepness of my heart…”come back to My grace and mercy.” I really feel it is an urgent message from God to His people. I know people that have sworn off organized church and have gone back to the original churches of “home churches” Church in the home how refreshing. People getting together and reading the word and discussing it.
(I am not saying we need to leave the institution of the church.)
I think reading the gospels is an excellent way of getting back to the foundations of TRUTH. And the SCRIPTURES are the MIRROR we are using. If it doesn’t hold up to scripture then we should not be condoning it, sugar coating it, or denying it. If the way we are supposed to handle things does not resolve the issue then yes we must pray and yes God can and will intervene, but let us not get so incompacitated that we sit idly by and just continue to watch as nothing changes!!! We have to speak up, we have to approach yes in love, but God please don’t let us get complacent and just keep going with the status flow!!! Let us do as Joshua did and be bold and courageous.
And legalism is an issue that arises because people do not understand mercy and grace, I know, I have been judgemental and harsh!! And God I do repent of it, but thank God for His MERCY & GRACE.
I like to listen to John MacArthur and Chuck Swindoll. They don’t complicate the issues, but are direct and to the point.
Anyway Mark thanks for sharing your “vent” God bless you and keep you on your toes!!! Someone has to be!!! And usually when (WE) meaning (You) or (I)… are the ones asking the questions it’s because God wants “US” (You) or (I) not anyone else, to find the answer and not stop until we get it!!
God bless all your endeavors!!