as Christians, we sometimes long for affirmation. We long to feel as if we matter.
Lately, I have come up against obstacles. I have been fighting an internal battle brought on by others who are quick to push my thoughts aside simply because of small and petty disagreements over secondary (non salvation) issues.
even presenting topics for discussion, can sometimes bring controversy..because the truth of the matter is that no one likes to be challenged.
If we could grasp how differently church looks today than the church model in the Book of Acts, then we would learn that it IS ok to ask questions.
Asking questions and even disagreeing with someone doesn't make us heretics.
It makes us human. It means that we can see something wrong with the world and with the church and we simply want it fixed. Spritual discernment is like detective work. It involves not only testing the spirits around you, but testing teachings against the Word of God..
God told us to "test all things." and yet, it seems that with the testing comes subtle forms of persecution.
case in point.
I have been called names. I have had my salvation called into question simply because I challenged others people way of thinking. during these times, I have been deeply hurt. I have wondered if my prayers even matter. I have wondered if anything I have done or any encouraging word might have been in vain... I have listened to the lies of the enemy, but albeit only briefly. When we attack one another, we are being used as weapons of the darkness, and we become agents for spiritual abuse.
Isn't it ironic that even Jesus stirred up controversy during His day. He spoke agains the way things were done in His time. He spoke about the hypocracy of the religious leaders, and called into question their actions. He stirred up their way of doing things so much that they wanted to kill Him. He openly defied their traditions and pointed out their lack of mercy and compassion.
i don't think our aim should ever be to stir up controversy. we shouldn't rattle things simply just because we can.. but we are living in a time when even asking relevant questions and bringing forth topics for discussion.. brings all sorts of slander and "controversy," especially amongst other Christians.
Jesus said that we will face persecution. It is certain. If we are going to be led by the spirit, then we suffer the same of kind of persecution that Jesus faced. We will be led toward a cross. It's inevitable. Jesus said that we are to die to self. He says that we are to be led by His Spirit. If the Spirit of God, led Jesus toward persecution and self sacrifice, then we have to be aware that we will led in the same direction.
The Spirit of God does not change. It is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
anyone who preaches different is preaching a wide path message, and being led into a "tickling ear" , "another gospel" type of message.
We subsitute the words of Jesus with whatever self help guru is taking center stage for the day. It's in our nature to choose "easy."
Jesus said the path would be be so difficult, that only a few people were going to actually make it. Jesus said to take up your cross and to follow Him, and yet we follow the easy and convenient fast food teachings of man and ignore the words of Jesus altogether.
I'm not trying to be mean, I'm simply relaying what Jesus had to say about things. Please don't shoot the messenger, and if I am somehow wrong, please throw me a lifeline, and if you love me, please pull me out of the water and pray that God's will (not your will for my life) but that God's will be done. Haven't we yet learned that God's will is perfect and that it involves perfect love. If we can't wish that for others, then we are blinded by the darkness.
When will people understand that words hurt. It hurts to be shoved aside and told that you don't matter simply because of a varying viewpoint..
Didn't Jesus tell us to love another unconditionally and work together for the good? Did He tell us to shove one another aside when we disagree or did He tell us to avoid petty arguments and name calling? Didn't he say that those things were divisive and that separating into litte segments (by disagreeing on petty issues) is a work of the flesh?
Why do we dissect one another to the Nth degree. Why do we cut each other up into tiny pieces with hurtful words? Why do we call into question another person's salvation simply because they think differently about money or politics? Why don't we take the time to listen to what they have to say, and then, try to lovingly pull them out the water if they are, in fact, drowning?
What ever happened to the concept of "unconditionally" loving someone? Why does love and acceptance have to be conditional?
Last night, I kept thinking of the story of the prodigal son. He left home to sow his wild oats.
When he came home, his father didn't reject him. His father threw a huge party and there was a feast.
Why don't we celebrate one another?
Is this why no one wants anything to do with Christianity? Is it because, when people try to come home, we tell them that they aren't good enough, that they are no longer worthy? When we do that don't we realize that we are telling Jesus that His blood wasn't enough?
Do you hold people's pasts against them or crucify them because they interpret a verse of scripture differently than you do ? or because they drink wine instead of grapejuice for communion? or because they believe that women shouldn't wear pants? or whatever... you get the idea. petty arguments and strife. work of the flesh. who cares?
As Christians, why do we try to judge where a person is spiritually because they interpret something differently than you do?
Didn't Christ say that the litmus test for being able to tell if someone is a Christian or not, comes by identifying a person by their fruits, which include their love, kindness, gentleness, patience, and longsuffering?
who are we when we start telling someone that they aren't saved and then rejecting them or belittling them because they think differently on a topic or they question the state of the church today?
Isn't that essentially devisive when we judge and condemn others? Didn't Jesus warn against divisivenss and factions and petty arguments that lead to strife?
The truth is that we are all going to come to a point where we disagree. But to try to judge another person and call them a hypocrite if they don't agree with you, is..well, hypocrital.
It's not done in a spirit of love.
We have to be careful not to let our own religious pride steal the love that we are meant to have for one another.
It's so important that we learn to discuss things in a loving manner, rather than with hostility or with bias or condemnation.
The other day, I read a quote. It was profound. " The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or denounce it.. You lay a straight stick right beside it."
We are called to lead by example. We should put aside our differences and start prepping the tables for a feast.
We should put the fire on and gather up the finest ingredients for the best meal ever....
when people see arguing, they won't want to come home, but when they know that they will be loved, then that is something different altogether.
Christ showed us warmth. Isn't it time we heed His example and learn to show that to one another?
I realize that in the past, i may have said harsh words agains people with which I don't agree. I was wrong. It's ok to disagree with a teaching or an idea. But if we are to call ourselves Christlike, it should be done in a spirit of love...
If we love one another, we will try to help one another..and that means that if we see something wrong, we should address it... but unnecessary rudeness is NEVER ok.
on a side note... during the course of the last several months.. I have emailed several different people in various types of ministires. Each one has ignored me, and for some reason, chose not to respond.
I can't help but feel as if it is because they disagree with me on various topics that I write about on my blog. But whether or not they agree or disagree, there is still a certain level of rudeness in ignoring another person for any reason.
If we can't unconditionally love and accept one another and talk to one another like human beings, then we aren't like Jesus. Period. and those aren't my words.. that's in your Bible. who knows, maybe they are just busy...on another thought, who really cares? Christ is the only one I aim to please.
in the past, I was wrong in some cases. It is ok to disagree with others but it should be in a spirit of love. anything else is of the darkness. I apologize for the times I was wrong.