While most believers continue in denial over their inability to keep the commandments of scripture – such as ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ some garnish their failures with the doctrine of Grace – citing it as a vaccine to protect them from their Christian maturity deficiencies [CMD]. Our failure to act as mature believers is disheartening, from pastors to members alike. Once God spoke through Isaiah to the people of Judah about this very attitude inundating churches today [Isaiah 1:5-6]; “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores.”
That’s the unpalatable truth – we are all “sick.” We just go through the motions of Christianity as if we will never give an account; Pastors preach messages they don’t practice, members become animated in church and retain nothing, and the cycle goes on and on. Most Christians ply their Christianity on their own terms, with no regard to the Bible. Many do just opposite of what the Bible says and you’d be surprised they speak the biggest tongues in Church; it’s an antithesis and it’s a symptom of CMD.
While it’s easy to handpick Christians on a Sunday morning simply by their dressing [and nothing else], it’s laborious to identify them on a weekday when they don’t have those suits and humongous head gears on, because their attitudes are just plain opposite from what Christianity teaches. We have failed to grow as Christians and its deplorable. We are the most opinionated group of Christians since the time of the Apostles, and while our churches are supposed to be a sanctuary for peace, they are ‘dens’ for hurt, where sharp toothed ‘Christians’ waylay ready to pounce. Have you stepped on someone’s toes accidentally at church before? You’d be surprised, but most of the greatest hurts people have experienced happened in Churches. It’s so shameful!
We fight each other, backbite, gossip, and just do whatever we feel ‘moved’ to do by our emotions, not referencing our acts in the word of God to see if Christ endorses them. One will scream at you if you raised a comment about the biblical way of handling an issue saying, “Why are you bringing the Bible into this?”
A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, yet so many ministries have the greatest divisions. We fight over who should lead a song and break churches because of who should preach. Oh! How many small churches haven’t you seen which are all vestigial, falling off from other churches? Although people may say, “At least there are churches everywhere,” I doubt that’s totally to our advantage nor the most effective method for our proliferation. Such ubiquity of churches gives us a very weak frontier; diverse visions, heterogeneous doctrines and inflated egos of pastors compete with the general vision of Christ, and it’s the Christendom that suffers. We are not united even in our various divisions and in our ‘small’ churches, we fight each other within and others without even though we are one body [or perhaps we aren’t].
While we may not care, we might be heading to heaven with all these unchecked and I quiver, if “Grace” will be able to musk our deficiencies and usher us into heaven. Even if “Grace” is successful, we might end up frowning in the presence of God because we may be seated next to people we still had unresolved issues with even at our deaths – and what a sight it will be, if Angel Michael doesn’t throw us out.
Let’s look around our circle of friends, I’m sure there’d be some we still have issues with, and I pray we’d all find the grace and brass to settle these differences, else we risk being thrown out of Heaven or sent to the other side. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you [Ephesians 4:31-32].”
See you in Heaven, with a clean heart!
Photo credit: Chuck Lawless