Monday, July 13, 2020

Condemnation, Hypocricy & Diversity

I'm troubled by the spirit of condemnation that is so prevalent among churches and Christians all over this country. 

No matter where we go it seems that there is always someone looking down his or her nose at someone else. There are always people who, in their own minds at least, are more righteous than the individuals around them. In most cases, however, this turns out to be self-righteousness as opposed to true righteousness. 

The mentality of these individuals is that if you don't agree with their way of thinking all the way down the line, then you are wrong all the way down the line. The intolerance level of these self-righteous people is extremely high. They are quick to be judgmental if you don't look the way they think you ought to look, believe exactly what they believe or behave in a manner that is acceptable to them. It matters not to them what the Bible may say about a particular issue or situation. What matters to them is what they think.

I'm not referring to issues the Scriptures specifically address. I'm talking about things the Bible does not specifically address. I'm talking about things the Bible does not specifically mention. In most cases, these are relatively unimportant issues that people become indignant about. They tend to emphasize the less important things while neglecting the all important things. How sad the church has come to this!

Oftentimes, we become hypocritical about the whole situation. We tend to see the faults and problems of others but somehow we manage to never see our own shortcomings. Jesus makes mention of this in Matthew 7:1-5. In verse 5 Jesus said, "Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother's eye." Pretty strong words, huh?

It seems this problem with the spirit of condemnation is not a new thing. Jesus encountered it when He was here on earth. Upon reading the Bible I find that the scribes, pharisees, saducees and hypocrites were the  self righteous people of Jesus' day. Perhaps we have more in common with the religious people of Jesus' day than we care to admit! 

If we are not careful, we'll become like the self-righteous pharisee who proclaimed to God in prayer, "God, I thank you that I'm not like other people...or even this tax collector" (Luke 18:9-14). The tax collector, on the other hand, expressing grief and remorse concerning his condition cried, "God have mercy on me, a sinner". 

If there is one thing I've discovered over the years, it's that the Body of Christ is large enough for many diverse opinions and people. I believe all those who have believed on and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord fit into the Body and have a vital function. The fact is, we all need each other in order for the body to function properly. 

It's easy for us to peer down our noses at people who look or behave a bit different than we do. You know, just because they are a bit different in appearance or behavior than we are doesn't make them more right or wrong. If they are covered by the blood of Jesus that makes them my brother and sister in the Lord. After all, isn't that what really matters?

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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