This blog was originally posted on Friday. After hearing about the beating death of a young man, in a church, with his parents involved, I took the blog down. After much prayer and soul searching, God revealed to me that the blog was given to me by Him. While I would rather play nice and “tickle the ears” of my readers, I have a great responsibility to lead from my heart. He lives there. He will never mislead me.
The young man in the NY church was beaten when he asked to detach and separate himself from the church. In our day and time, it is very important for us to differentiate between a church, a clique and a cult.
A church can be defined as a welcoming place that seeks to impact others for Christ. A clique can be described as a close-knit group not wanting to see growth or let other people in unless they are willing to think exactly the same. A cult never lets people leave peacefully.
With that in mind, God revealed to me that Friday’s blog still has an important message. The message may have been lost in the first translation, so I pray that you will read and consider this a reshaping of sorts. The message is simple – fight to keep Christ on His throne. Use spiritual dynamite to blow up any resemblance of cliques in your church body. If you find yourself happy on the inside of your church, but mad at everyone on the outside – you may have skated into a cult mentality. Please just think about it.
Did you know that in the Bible it says that, “iron sharpens iron?” Did you also know that the word of God is likened to a “two-edged sword?” Those aren’t nice or friendly analogies are they?
Words like “active,” “sharp,” “double-edged sword,” “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow” are used to teach us to seriously consider God’s word on a regular basis. Many times, we may disagree. The answer is not to divide up into our little cliques. The answer is not to reject someone with a differing opinion. The answer certainly is not to stop going to church all together.
Have you ever watched an ironsmith sharpen iron? He heats it up and beats it with a heavy hammer. Have you ever sharpened knives or a sword? You don’t use a feather, do you? You use some type of rough, heavy stone to sharpen the blade. Silk won’t work. It takes resistance to sharpen a sword and it takes resistance to sharpen the mind of a Christian.
Disagreements, arguments, differences of opinions and decisions to divide can occur even in the most loving of congregations. Healthy debate increases a church’s productivity in God’s kingdom. Weak Christianity is often the result of our refusal to listen to the opposing side.
I repeatedly say I am on the outer fringe of Christianity. I am not the nice, little Baptist girl any longer. God would not allow me to stay the same. He doesn’t want any of His children or His churches weak and lazy. I encourage each of us to listen to and love the brother or sister who sees things from a different perspective. After all, none of us are perfectly right or perfectly wrong.