Note: For full disclosure I wrote this post as I was on the edge of leaving legalism. Upon glancing back over Fractured Steeple: Why Are So Many Forsaking Assembly I am kinda speechless at my harsh tone back then. I thought about deleting the post, but I have left it for a couple reasons. I think this shows the growth in the Lord that I have had in the last several years. I also think that sometimes different posts hit different people in different ways. So here it is….
I have a tendency to say what comes to my mind. I toss aside political correctness. So when the Lord laid it on my heart to write Fractured Steeple: What’s really injuring the church? I was kinda like what?! “No! I can’t do that!” Yet here I am.
Like I said, I am not the most politically correct person. For that I apologize, sorry, not sorry! 🙂 I am also not a person who writes solely about grace and love. For that, I do not apologize really either. I have no dilemma in calling a sin a sin. Did God himself not send his only begotten son to confirm to the world that the only way to Heaven is through repentance and acceptance of Jesus as the Savior?
We are not saved by works alone, but by through grace and belief in Jesus as the risen Savior. I have written about hot topics such as porn, alcohol, modesty, Israel, military, the church, Pastor Saeed, judgment, the cliche of the church, homeschool, and many more. I love my guns. I love God’s Word. I love God. I love my family. I love this country. I love you.
However, I believe there is something that is actually injuring the church. People are damaging the church. Both Christians and non-Christians alike.
Why now? Why have I decided to speak about these issues now? Why have I decided to lash out at the very people that I love? Please allow me to share. On both my personal and blog Facebook page, I have shared many posts that sparked both healthy conversations and unhealthy debates. These posts usually go like this:
What does God say about homosexual marriage? Verses are shared. Someone comments. Initially, comments are usually in agreement. Then people armed with attacks begin visiting the thread. People who NEVER comment on a single thing you share from pictures to prayers suddenly gets your post, this particular post.
The comments range from “if you don’t support gay marriage you are a homophobe” to “if you are against gay marriage you should be martyred.” Although this is a generalized example, the specific comments are undeniable.
On a side note, if you really want to start a heated debate, talk about such things pets going to Heaven or Beer and Hymns.
The injury comes in forms of words, actions, and our conduct.
We are causing more division amongst believers because we are not strong and kind simultaneously. Strong in our Faith and Kind in our Answers.
Yesterday a conversation arose about a remarkably popular movie. It is one I have shared about on this blog and one that I personally recommend everyone to see. War Room is a powerful film about the importance of prayer. However, I came across a post that was harshly against the movie.
That’s fine. I’m not upset about someone having a particular opinion that contradicts my opinion. The problem I had was that the author of this particular blog post, which you can read HERE, hasn’t seen the movie. As I was reading this blog, I was reminded about other posts by the same author and ALL of them were negative.
I don’t think she likes any Christian and is pretty much against most people who are trying to share their faith with the world, such as the Kendrick brothers. I simply asked how the lady on Facebook who shared this blog post could stand by this post without having seen the movie. Then the next commenter comes, prepared for battle. Unfortunately, her battle wasn’t to stand firm on the Word of God.
Instead, her battle was to stand on the sand dunes of religion and legalism. Her accusation was that NONE of the actors in War Room were not actually born again. How could she possibly know this? Of course, I asked. She confirmed she did not know any of the actors. She quoted scripture about accepting Jesus as our Savior and being Baptized. I totally agree with this. Again, this doesn’t clear up her accusations. So, I asked again. Then she said it. She said that they were not born again because they were Baptist.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16
Instead of arming ourselves with the Word of God, seeking His Word, His Truth, and a relationship with Him, we are too busy seeking religion and arguing over issues that are not going to get us to Heaven, folks! We must stand on the Truth and call a sin a sin! The only way to do that is to be diligent in reading God’s Word. But fighting over denomination? How on earth is that furthering the Kingdom of God?!
When we correct someone who we believe is sinning, we should be using the Word of God to do so. Using His Word to help the person and not attack them or tear them down. Our personal thoughts and opinions should be left out and, for goodness sakes, not our “religion.”
I was raised Baptist. I attended a very conservative Baptist church from birth. That same church is what I considered my “home” church clear up until we moved to Tennessee. Throughout our marriage, Clay and I have attended mostly Baptist churches with some non-denominational churches added in. Usually when we attend a Non-Denominational church it is because it closely aligns with what we believe God is speaking to us. Our last church in Washington is Southern Baptist.
We loved our church family there. Clay and I do not get hung up by the sign over the door though. We try our best to go to a church that as close as possible that reflects our beliefs and God’s Word most importantly. We learned a long time ago though that it isn’t so much about religion or a denomination as it is about doctrine and a relationship. What is religion without a relationship?
Who are we as a church to decide who is saved and who isn’t? Sure, many times we will know if a person is saved by their fruit. We also will find out if they have truly repented. That is when we should approach them in a strong but kind way about such sins, but only after prayer, of course.
Reading that discussion made me so incredibly sad for the church. Not just the person who wrote the post, the person who shared it or the person who commented, but the entire church. These people are not alone in their opinions. This is a massive concern! I have witnessed it so many times!
Such and such isn’t really a Christian because they wear pants. Such and such isn’t really a Christian because they allow Santa Claus at their house. Trust me, I have my own feelings about santa, halloween, and many other things, but those things are NOT salvation issues! Neither is being a certain denomination UNLESS you are professing, to be a Christian and you are involved in a cult or other group that does not believe in scriptural salvation.
When I pressed a bit further into what this lady was actually saying about Baptists not being born again, she said, “I bet when you were Baptized you were NOT Baptized in Jesus’ name, you were Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” What?! Slow your roll. Let’s check the Holy Word:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20
I am completely confident that I am saved, born again, been set free, redeemed, a new creation—even if I am Baptist! (SNICKER!)
In all of this, I would hope to encourage you to be careful how you state things. Be careful when speaking to others about the Word that you are not making your own word up as you go. Be alert that you are not confusing Commandments with Convictions. Both are important, but both are also different. Conviction is not wrong unless you try to send another to hell based off them.
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. Proverbs 30:6
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:32
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24
P.S. I do want to be clear that I too have found myself not ALWAYS being strong and kind at the same time, so this post was written as much for myself as for anyone else. The tongue TRULY is the hardest to tame, yes?