Chris,thank you for this wonderful testimony! I wish this was common. You have hit the nail on the head with the hypocrisy of the church. I believe you did just what jesus would have done and the 'religious pharisees' acted just the way they would have back then too.I thank you for having compassion, yet taking a stand on the truth as well.In Him, Chanin
ccchhhrrriiisss,wow...what can i say? thank-you for posting this testimony..such a blessing!if only the body of Christ would start to show the love of Christ and stop fooling around with such sin and hypocrisy.[i]"and above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins." [/i] 1 peter 4:8thanks once again for sharing this...your sister in Christ,arielle
Hi Healingwaters...!I suppose that perhaps it should be made a little more clear that it is okay to preach against sin -- especially noting that [i]all[/i] sin is an abomination to God. However, you are correct in that there should always be an emphasis in pulpits that, regardless of sin, no one is beyond the reach and love of Christ. Sadly, it seems almost common for church people to [i]categorize[/i] sin. Churchgoers are quick to point out "deplorable" sins (like adultery, fornication, abortion, homosexuality, murder, etc...), yet forget that "less-atrocious" sins (like gossip, slander, greed, lust or hatred) will take you to the same Hell. It is amazing to read comparisons between David and Saul. David's sins were [u]enormous[/u]. By today's standards, King Saul's sins almost paled in comparison. Saul's sins were disobedience, rebellion and pride. David's sins were adultery, deception, and murder. Many of today's churchgoers might forgive Saul -- but expel David. The way that some people gossip about those who are trapped in sin -- it seems as if they almost [i]want[/i] them to go to Hell. It reminds me of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, where the Pharisee prays aloud, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men..." (Luke 18:9-14). Regardless of how sinful a person may be, the last chapter of their life has yet to be written. I read the stories of men who were steeped in "abominable" sin who experienced powerful conversions. Men like John Bunyan, John Newton, Nicky Cruz, and even King David. Thank God that the books of their lives did not end in sin. I imagine what would happen if any of the most terrible modern individuals (like Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson) could experience such a conversion. What a powerful testimony it would be! Yet so many in the Church seem to have difficulty loving unconditionally young ladies who have had babies out of wedlock or young men trapped in lust. We should always preach the truth fearlessly. But it should always be mingled with the message of the cross -- that Jesus loved people enough to die for them. Its my prayer that we are baptized with compassion so that we can see those who are lost as "sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:35-36). We should have such a deep compassion for all people, that we would give our lives to see that they do not go to hell. If we can't love -- we have no business to preach.
Thank you Chris for a wonderful and thoughtful post. When Paul wrote letters to the Churches he was encouraging, admonishing, and rebuking the believers that were in the cities and towns in which his letters were being sent. His corrections were never to the world. Those who are without are bastards until they are brought into the enlightenment of the gospel, so that the Father will receive them and in time become sons.As Christ said, "I pray not for the world but only those you have given me". That is still a reality and the gospel message goes forth to those "such as should be saved", that they too might experince the blessedness of being apart of those whom the Father has given to Christ. But for a world that is already condemned because they like us have Adams seed and death reigns in them, why condemn them anymore because they are doing deeds that are abominable and are a result of the fall?Jesus said, "render unto Caeser that which is Caesers and render unto God that which is Gods'"Man that is powerful words when you think about it. That which is Gods' is our responsiblity to nourish and to uplift, why do we take on more then what we can chew and go outside the family of God and try to change the world? The world is none of our business, but Gods'. Our Father is the one who loves the world, He is the one who sent His Son into the World that the world thru Him might be saved. Christ's interests is His body, NOT the world! That is a terrible statement to make, and I assure you, I am not trying to split hairs, but to show that the Godhead has a system of responsibilities that each one carries out, even though they may be the same person.What I am saying is this, if Christ didn't condemn the world, why are we doing it? Are we not Christ on the earth, are we not His body in the earth? Then if we are Christ on the earth, why are we acting as if we are higher then He, He is the head, we are the body.The more I hold my tongue and keep myself from speaking evil against the world, the more I see the Fathers work in everything I see. Even if it looks evil, He is working behind the scenes creating something good, it may take years but in the end, it will do that which He has purposed it to do.I remember years ago, we planted some Red Maple trees on our lawn. They were small to begin with when we planted them, but year after year, they didn't grow at all, they had leaves but that was it. At one point we were going to uproot them, but I interjected and said that they started to grow a little, though it was a lie, I didn't want my parents to uproot them. I left the farm, and years later, I came back for a visit and I saw those trees taller then me and full of leaves.When we look at the church and we get impatient with our members and can't understand why they don't get involved and advance like everyone else, yet God has them right where He wants them and He is working on their lives. Our Father is even working on the lives of those who are in the world preparing them to receive the gospel. WarmlyKarl