| Are we becoming religious crackpots?|
Hi brothers and sisters, this is genuine question. I used this term in one of the Christmas threads and while others might disagree I believe it was a valid term to use in response to a couple of things I read on that thread. I am asking if it is possible that we become so "religious" in our thinking that we can even start to get a little "screwy in the head" - almost irrational in a way - and thus unable to relate to the common man who does not understand anything of our religion?
I am being serious, this is a concern I have for some of us on this forum but in the general religious community as well.
Let me give you an example. Years ago I was serving in a small African house church and a brother whom I love very much struggled in this area that I am speaking of. One day a new person came to visit our little fellowship. After the service and during the meal, this new brother who none of us knew much about, tried to get some conversation going and asked if anyone followed soccer? And that is when my friend spoke up and said, "oh no brother, we do not watch or follow soccer or any sports, we are christians here."
The newcomer didn't know what to say. He just awkwardly mumbled something and kept on eating. He was basically silent for the rest of the mealtime. I tried to say something to break the awkwardness but I could tell he was offended.
He never came back.
And I am sure there were lots of reasons for that, but I do believe it was the way my zealous friend spoke to him. And that was not the only case like this. It happened all the time. Now some of you reading this probably agree with those statements about following soccer. And thats fine, but would you also have said that to a new believer or on social media or a christian forum?
I have read similar things stated online by christians or at least this is the attitude portrayed. I am sure those believers mean well but do we even care that we come across as religious crackpots? Does it concern us at all that we are simply unable to relate in any fashion whatsoever to the common sinner on the street? I am not suggesting that we become worldly or take up watching sports...and God forbid, actually enjoy the Christmas season - but doesn't it concern us that we might be turning into crusty-old-religious-holier-than-though-christians?
Perhaps this is the wrong forum to be asking that question?
Which Jesus does the world read about when they read our lives? Paul said, we are a letter - known and read by everyone. What are they reading? Are we the aroma of Christ to sinners/new believers...or are we a religious stench that turns them away from the Lord?
| 2016/12/14 23:07|
| Re: Are we becoming religious crackpots?|
I am all for being called or thought of and belonging to a bunch of religious crackpots:
If I feel that they are full of Love for me. And for others. And if by being in there company there Love is rubbing off on me.
| 2016/12/15 0:30||Profile|
| Re: |
If it is okay to bring up all kinds of pointless issues on this forum and argue and beat each other up over them, surely it is okay to raise this issue too?
Its a legitimate question...we are a letter - known and read by everyone. Which Christ are we portraying? If an unbeliever or new believer comes to this forum and reads these threads, what impression about Christianity do they leave with?
| 2016/12/15 0:41|
| Re: |
For example if an unbeliever searching for the Truth comes to sermon index and reads an article about any particular issue of the day and walks away with the impression that they are a not worthy of Christ because they do not measure up to the religious ideals espoused on this forum, what kind of gospel and what kind of Jesus are we showing them?
| 2016/12/15 0:48|
Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
I hear you brother :)
I wonder if Jesus enjoyed the wedding at Cana?
Did He ever have fun and laugh with His disciples...or am I being irreverent?
Is there a scripture somewhere..."God has given us all things richly to enjoy?"
Let us come down from the high place of learning today and walk among the children in the low place of amazement and wonder!
| 2016/12/15 1:05||Profile|
| Re: |
thank you brother William, I feel the same way. Paul touches on this in 1 Corinthians 10:
"For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it? So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
This principle can be applied to many issues that are raised on this forum. But what comes across sometimes (I am guilty of this too of course)...is we put our foot down and attempt to force our conscience on others in non-essential things such as sports or holiday celebrations, religious practices, clothing, music, entertainment, forms of worship etc. The list goes on and on.
I get it, I really do, we all feel very strongly about so many of these things...thats probably why we are here on this forum. We are sick and tired of dead churchianity and the fluff that passes for preaching these days. So we have our convictions and that is fine, no problem. But it can quickly go beyond merely having strong convictions to taking on a "religious spirit".
A religious spirit in my definition simply means that one begins to look down on others who do not agree with their religious convictions. It is elitism, bigotry...and a very close cousin to racism. The conviction is not the problem now, it is the "spirit" that has taken over the person who has strong convictions. They cannot indulge others the liberty to disagree with them and somehow see them as being of equal standing and "right" with the Lord. A person with a religious spirit sees themselves as more righteous than others who do not belong to and by definition agree with their group and their list of rules and code of conduct.
This is a very, very subtle "spirit" and I contend that most people are not even aware that it is attaching itself to them. Think about that...better yet, let us pray and meditate on that with the Lord for a while.
| 2016/12/15 2:19|
| Re: |
If I am understanding you correctly, I am strongly in agreement with you.
It is an issue that has been on my mind very much lately.
| 2016/12/15 2:33||Profile|
| 2016/12/15 2:44||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
As a friend and humbly I want to share this with you that I find the word "crackpot" offensive and derogatory as you are alluding that others on the forum are this. The definition that comes up on google is: "an eccentric or foolish person" Matthew 5:22 tells us not to call a brother fool. on the Merriam-Webster definition it says "lunatic notions" I personally do not feel it is suitable or charitable language to call brethren bought by the blood of Christ "lunatics"?
Ephesians 4:29 New International Version (NIV)
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
you said in context:
I never have to wonder where the term "religious nutcase" comes from. Just go on facebook or come to Christian forums like this one:-)
So your point of view is that SermonIndex, out of many christian forums on the internet, is lumped in with religious nutcases? I would like to know the Christian forums on the internet that do not have these individuals you are speaking of. And to be honest to again call brethren "nutcases" I believe is wrong also. Nutcase defiition: "a crazy or foolish person" or "slang an insane or very foolish person"
You admitted it was wrong to use nutcase and then you used the other derogatory word:
Sorry I should not have said nutcase...I believe the correct term is "crackpot". Religious crackpots:-)
brother, could you post with more grace towards other brothers and sisters in the Lord and be more mature catering more towards unity and a godly solution to the problem, instead of just speaking in these ways and even starting a new thread with the same term. You have acted like a leader in the body of Christ starting house churches and being in leadership in Churches so I am speaking to you strongly and honestly as another leader in the body of Christ.
The problem is not as much what you are alluding to in this thread of some topics being discussed such as Christmas being pagan or not. But what unbelievers see that really turns them off is uncharitable, unloving christian discussions that are hurtful, not full of grace, not kind, not compassionate, no long-suffering.
John 13:35 New International Version (NIV)
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I fail at the way I address brethren at times but may we all aim to love each other and serve each other with our words as if we were serving ourselves. We all have areas at times we need encouragement, repentance or change. I see this in my life daily. That is why Christian fellowship is precious that if we are humble we will grow by it and all progress in our Christian walks towards being more like the Son of God.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2016/12/15 9:01||Profile|
| Re: |
I am not directly addressing the OP's post when I say this, I say this in response to a lot of the posts on this forum. I am speaking what God has placed on my heart to say, and I think it's a very powerful message. We "ALL" here need to be very careful how we treat a fellow Christian, when we encounter them, we also encounter the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Carry on!
| 2016/12/15 9:20||Profile|