Hello Church, we need to talk…
I am concerned that parts of the Christian Church are spending too much time worrying about other people’s personal conduct. But it is more than that, parts of the Christian church expend way too much energy on what they perceive others are doing wrong while minimizing their own poor decisions and attitudes.
Here is the equation we need to remember: Help others, worry about your own sin/conduct. Some in the Christian Church got their wires crossed and reversed that that equation. Instead they help themselves and worry about other’s sin/conduct. This must stop because it is wrong and it damages the effectiveness of the entire Christian Church.
If you happen to be guilty of this, this is about the time your brain goes into overdrive and starts to scream, “What about…? What about…? What about…?” That is a natural defense mechanism when you are challenged by another, especially when you are convinced that you are right about most things.
God came to us in the person of Jesus to show us the extent of God’s love. God drew close to us that we would draw close to Him. But not just us, all people. Somehow this thought that God wants to transform the entire human family with the love of Jesus is lost on some Christians. Instead, the life of Jesus became a version of “Noah and the ark” where the chosen are already saved and everyone else is damned. In other words, it is quite fine to judge others because they are already condemned with no hope of redemption. They see the ark door of salvation is already closed. (Ummm, nope.)
History is clear. If the Christian Church sees itself as “moral law enforcement” for the world, the church will die. First, that is not our mission. Second, no one in the history of humanity has ever experienced life change by another group of people saying, “You are a sinner, you are evil, you are morally bankrupt, change or else…” Remember: Rules without Relationship will result in Rebellion. Case in point, many U.S. Christians thought that alcohol was evil. Because of their influence, the “prohibition” of alcohol manufacturing, sales and consumption became the law of the land. As you know, that did not stop the consumption of alcohol (even among Christians). We Christians are not here to monitor the behavior of our neighbor. We are here to care for our neighbor. There is a difference.
There is no way to legislate humanity into perfection (or impose your preferred behavior on others based on your beliefs). It doesn’t matter if they are laws written into our civil code or demanding obedience to a set of religious law/rules/commandments, this is not an effective means to a better world. Murder is not only against the law but it is also frowned upon by God (The Fifth Commandment). Neither of them deter murder.
We are here to help the “other” in Jesus’ Name. We are to love others so that they are changed by our kindness. We are most influential when we love. We are least effective when we judge and condemn. If we truly want to change the world, we love it. Love is way harder than judging others from our Lazy-Boy recliners. Love is messier and it is dangerous but it is the only way forward. Warning: Loving others got Jesus killed and many others that followed in His footsteps. As for me, I still choose love.
God bless you,