It's been said, "The reason so many want nothing to do with Christianity is because they see so many poor specimens in our churches." This is so applicable to the institutional church today. You don't have to talk to very many people to find this this is a popular notion. No wonder a Barna report found the fastest growing segment of Christianity is the "Out of church" Christian.
Believers are leaving organized religion by the droves. Most of these folks are leaving organized religion for their own spiritual benefit. Do you hear what I'm saying? They thrive in their spiritual lives by getting away from the baggage of organized religion.
Think about it. You won't find a more judgmental group of people than what you find in many organized churches today. Where's the love, the grace, the mercy, the compassion that we should be showing? What if Jesus treated us the way we treat others? The reality is that's exactly what is going to happen. Check out Matthew 7:1-2 and see what I'm talking about.
Christians tend to kick each other when they are down. You have this "holier than thou" crowd who goes around looking and even hoping for someone to stumble and fall in their spiritual journey so that can be there to kick them when they are down. You often her this crowd say, "Uh, huh... I knew you would fall! I knew you wouldn't make it!" How despicable a display this is! How God must be grieved by this attitude in those who profess to know Him.
Too often, Christians don't know show gentleness or kindness to their brothers and sisters. Let's face it, we are in this world. We're not of it, but we are in it. There may be times we stumble on this journey. But there are specific guidelines as to who and how this should be handled. Paul in writing to the church of Galatia deals with this.
Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, let thou also be tempted. Bear ye one one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Note it is the spiritual is is to help restore the weak. Not the judgmental or gossiping one, but the spiritual. He is to do in a spirit of meekness or gentleness being mindful of the temptations that could come his way. These "holier than thous" could sure use this lesson, huh?
I want to encourage you to be an encourager. It doesn't matter where you gather, how often you gather or how you gather. Just be the church God wants you to be. The best way I know to do that is by being the Christian God wants you to be. If we all would be the Christian God wants us to be just the of the mighty church God would have!
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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