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Monday
Nov052018

The Church that goes Astray

I heard a preacher say the other day that when you speak against the Church, you are insulting the Bride of Christ. I suppose he has a point, but my question to him would be, “what if a church isn’t faithful to Jesus, can we then say something?” 

Churches who make claims of being the only true church, are only kidding themselves, because the only true Church goes beyond membership and association with their denomination. I believe that the one true Church is found in a person’s heart, whose commitment isn’t to a denomination, but to the person of Jesus Christ. 

We are to be accountable to each other in the church, but some churches add to or subtract from God's Word and that is the problem with wholesaling the church as the final authority on matters. The final authority is God's Word, not the church. 

This happened in ancient Israel when the Pharisees became so important to Judaism that they replaced the need to know God. People were taught that all they had to do is to listen to the teachers of the law, and they were good to go. It’s not much different today in some segments of Christianity. 

I was challenged recently when confronted with the idea that America has turned evil under President Trump, evidenced by his trying to keep the caravan of migrant workers from crossing our border. The comment was made, “what would Jesus do?” 

I think Jesus would answer that question the way He did the first time people asked Him about civil government and the Kingdom of heaven. I think His response would be the same. 

"Well, then," Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." His reply completely amazed them.” - Mark 12:17

The United States of America has laws that govern the asylum of refugees wanting to immigrate to this country. Those laws are designed to process people accordingly and allow those who truly are in need of asylum to come in, but it should never be done by wholesale demands by the refugees. 

This spirit of lawlessness is also strong within many churches today. Jesus never intended to compete with the Church to be heard above the roar of so many false narratives about Christianity in our modern day. 

What are the false narratives we hear today? 

 

  1. God accepts us just as we are because God is love. It is true that God is love, but Jesus told the rich young ruler that he was living in the shadow of religion and did not have a meaningful relationship with God. He told him to sell all he had and come and follow Him. God loves everyone, but His acceptance of people is based upon repentance, acceptance and surrender of the gospel message. God accepts people on His terms and not theirs. People are always suggesting that God’s love accepts sin because love does that. This is a false narrative because God never accepts sin; He gave His son to atone for it, not to accept it. 
  2. God loves the marginalized, the downtrodden, and the broken. His mercy is extended toward those who are the ‘have nots’, the poor, and the needy. Yet, this false narrative tells us that social justice is the main focus of the Church. Jesus told those in Matthew 7 that many people will do great things in His name, but at the end of the day His response was, “I never knew you.”  You don’t come to Jesus by what you do; you come to Jesus to surrender your life and to give everything to know Him. That includes your theology, your reputation, and your aspirations. People who try to make the gospel into a social program are promoting a false narrative. As important as it is to help others, that is not Christianity. Christianity is a cross, is about the person who died upon it, and it is a place where we die for Him.
  3. God’s tolerance for humankind was extended for all people on the cross. His sacrifice there was not to give people a license to sin, but a license to be free. When people today say that Jesus would be tolerant of all people and all lifestyles, that is a false narrative. Jesus was not tolerant of His Church doing whatever they desired under the banner of grace and love. Read about the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. You will discover in a hurry that He does not tolerate things that place Him in second place through those activities and beliefs. 

 

God does not tolerate a prideful people and a selfish people who promote their own ideas about God, rather than submitting to Him as He is. 

There are many false narratives about God today - I just chose a few that I see and read about every day. The bottom line is that Christianity is focused on Jesus Christ, His death, resurrection, and His coming again. As simple as this sounds, it has profound truth. My hope, my faith, and my life are entwined with Him, and nothing - including all the false narratives about Him - will take me away from knowing Him. 

-Phil 3:10 “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death”

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

 

 

 

 

 

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