Strange things, these ‘Christians’ (cross-post from Heat & Light blog)

October 30, 2007

This post has struck a chord with many. I thought I’d share it with you all as well… be encouraged to chime in.
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Isn’t it strange that many Christians, especially churches, forgive fellow ‘believers’ and will often go to almost any end to cover their brothers’ sins, especially when it involves breaking the law, and at the same time spend great energy condemning non-believers who are behaving exactly as their morality and conscience allow. It’s especially sad that God tells us to do exactly the opposite: to discipline those in sin who claim to be following Christ, and extend grace to those who haven’t yet met Jesus and begun to have their heart changed. Watch who Jesus was harshest with – the Pharisees (religious folk), not the sinner. Not only is it strange, it’s very sad that we have this so backwards. The church would be a different place if we held ourselves and our brothers & sisters to the standard Jesus set for us, in grace of course, and in the meanwhile extended that forgiving, gospel-driven, hand to those whose hearts have not yet been changed. THAT would be strange…and a refreshing change of pace. Any day now, Lord…

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3 Responses to “Strange things, these ‘Christians’ (cross-post from Heat & Light blog)”

  1. I have to say that my experience is the opposite. My father was a Pastor and people in the church can be down right mean at times. I have also worked in the church and see that people can come through that door and feel as if they can hold people to a higher standard than the people they live by or work with. Each person is different and not all people in the church are one way or another. This is what calls us to look at wach person individually.
    Blessings,
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha

  2. saintlewis said

    Thanks for chiming in, Debbie. To a degree I agree with you, in that I’ve seen that as well. However ‘judgment’ in the negative sense is never called for – discipline often is. Biblical discipline is not ‘holding one to a higher standard’ – it’s the standard to which we hope to be held to ourself, and is the primary reason one should become members at a local church: to be accountable for our actions and submit to the loving discipline, and discipleship, of a local body when we fall short. Sorry your father’s experiences were so negative, though – it just shows that the Biblical ‘middle’ is a hard path to follow and the church falls off on BOTH sides. Blessings.

  3. Joanna said

    I couldn’t agree with you more. My husband and I have worshipped in a church that exercises church discipline in love. We have experienced it ourselves, as he fell deeply into sin about 2 years ago. Although he was dismissed from fellowship with our congregation for several months, we never stopped praying for him and trusting God to complete the good work He began in him.

    While church discipline is difficult to understand, and to many in the modern church it seems “unloving”, I must say that the most unloving thing we can do for our brothers and sisters in Christ is to leave them alone to die in their sin.

    Church discipline forced my husband to take a good look at who he is in Jesus and who he was not. It changed both of our lives from teetering between cold and lukewarm to HOT! I am amazed at the life-changing work that God has done in my husband and in our family, and cannot thank him enough for loving us enough to show us who we are and correct us. As the Word says, “Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline.”

    I personally could not be more grateful for our church leaders who were willing to stand on God’s word, not their personal opinions. Having watched other families go through the same crisis, I know that our results are owed to Him!

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