Everyday on television, the internet, and on the radio, Christian pastors and speakers pontificate about the sins committed in American society by people, they claim, have little regard for God. They rant against the unchurched embracing evil practices and how the country is going from bad to worse. These masters manipulators of the Bible dressed in Armani and Hugo Boss, prophesy about the coming wrath of God against America because of our countries lack of holiness and our disregard for the commands of Scripture.
Every Sunday in multitudes of American churches both big and small, congregations are cajoled, reprimanded, admonished, and berated into obedience, and submission to God according to this or that pastors interpretation of the Scripture. This obedience can be measured and compared to how well you look and act toward church leadership and to others in the church.
Every day thousands of church attenders either construct walls of denial, fear, pretending or lies in order to fit into their “church home’, or walk away from the church altogether because in their minds or in the minds of others in the church, they will never be able to live up to the holy expectations of God and the condemning looks and words of fellow believers.
Every moment of every day the Gospel message becomes a little less powerful and a little less effective in bringing freedom to people.
because we have forgotten about God’s grace…
…and our own everyday sinfulness.
Every second of every day Christians, sin in small and big ways. Whether by thought, word or deed we sin, most of the time without regard to our sin. We lie, we hate the “other”, we dehumanize those not like us, we judge those we pass on the street and those in the pew next to us, we manipulate to get our way at home, in school, at work, in politics, and in church. In our sin of arrogance and pride we tell others how bad they are and claim authority to speak for God. We make God into our own image, a god who hates and judges what we hate. We ignore the needs of those in our communities but send millions of dollars to ministries that promise that god will bless us with big houses, big cars, and big bank accounts. we are greedy, selfish, self-centered, and rude. We lack self-control in our eating and in our spending. We think of ourselves as better than others, and love for self supersedes any command to love others. We are the “abominations” we call others.
Yet in spite of our grand sinning and because of God’s unending grace in Jesus, he loves us anyway. He loves us with on unending love. he thinks fondly of us, and He blesses us in spite of our “badness” We are accepted, called His daughter/son, and we are free.
We need to remember where we have come from, who we are, and what we do, and what God has done for us. We need to see how far we have strayed from the Gospel of grace. It is the only message God has for the world, and we need to mirror that message to everyone around us. The people outside the church need to know and we inside the church need to remember, that God’s grace is bigger then we can ever imagine and that every millisecond of every day His Love covers a multitude of our sins.
One thought on “Are There Sinners In Your Church?”
Mark – Thank you for your latest words of wisdom!
I think if everyone looked upon others through the loving eyes of Jesus, there would be so much more happiness and love shared and peace for all mankind.
I also think the Bible is one of the most mis-interpretated ( oops! – have I spelt ththat wrong?) book in the world. I often wonder what Jesus thinks Himself about how people often use words within the Bible to fit their own use.
There are some lovely, wonderful words, psalms which comfort and calm, passages which fill one with hope and peace.. so sad, that some folk miss all that and pick on certain phrases or chapters to condemn and judge others with. No one should be able to stand in a Church or anywhere and demand people live their lives in certain ways, nor should they ever feel small and ashamed, not worthy of being present.
God loves us all- and sometimes folk forget that – they are far too busy just looking for faults and failures.
Thanks again, Mark – you always make me think!