The Church has a tendency ,when focusing on a desire to be Holy, to focus on those who struggle with sin and have unrighteous behavior. Yet this is only one side of the coin. Jesus hammered on the self-righteous more than those given over to sin and the self righteous sought to kill him. I have seen many church splits due to self-righteous thinking and cannot remember one that was due to gross immorality. Self righteousness is not just being smug and trusting in your own works but is an attitude that believes because of ones nearness to God and victory which God grants this somehow makes one Christian better than the next. I see this often in how some judge other expressions of faith or churches because of their differences on worship. Ecclesiology, etc. head coverings. People bite and devour, gossip and even exclude people from fellowship in an unbiblical view of separation rather than being long suffering and patient. One may pray five hours and another two, go to a home fellowship or more organized church, have women who cover and women who don't but none of these things give us a greater standing before God. I encourage the brethren to study this issue because self righteous behavior is harder to spot and deadly poison. How do we know if it lies in our breast? By how we treat others. Do we look with scorn on those who may be weaker? Are we impatient with the shortcomings of others? Can we fellowship with those who are different from us or insist our expression of faith is superior to others (home church or not, worship styles). What are your views on this subject. We are called to be in the world but not of it yet so many Christians flee and try to create their own subcultures where we Are so out of touch with others it nullifies our effectiveness. I have seen brothers live in such fear of them or their children being defiled they retreat from the gates of hell rather than storm them. Thoughts? Opinions on the subject?
True nearness to God makes one humble and grateful, forgiving and compassionate. If one is self-righteous they are far from God. The Apostle's teachings in the NT teach us how to have victory over sin and be overcomers and we should not ignore these teachings but rather incorporate them in our lives and pass them on to others. God wants us not only to know that "sin shall not have dominion over us", but to walk in that reality. Your thoughts definitely have merit because they are present day realities (sadly). Though men can be self-righteous and unholy, how do you propose that we shut out all of that noise and continue on preaching the truth? I think we have to look to Jesus and how He walked. He was able to resist all the attacks against Him and continue with an absolutely keen focus to do His Father's will, walking holy before Him and overcoming the flesh, the world and the Devil. And He wasn't smug, pointing out other's weaknesses. He did not put others down to somehow elevate Himself. He came down to the sinner and lifted them up to be with Him, through love and forgiveness. Truly, His "gentleness makes us great". Psa 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. (raw-baw' - Nourished, enlarged us, cause us to increase, grow up.)