Jul. 27, 2017

Regression

I’m afraid, yet I know the Lord has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and sound mind. The bible tells me so.

I am afraid that Christianity is moving backwards. I’m afraid we are returning to the days of the intolerant Church of England where demands were more important than God’s design. I’m afraid that we believe coercion, force, and rules are the answers to man’s need for God. I’m afraid that religion itself is, once again, replacing a grace relationship with a Savior.

I see it everywhere.  I see it in the hateful words we use when we talk to others. Yet, I also see it where we hide behind beliefs and cliques as opposed to speaking with boldness and truth. I don’t think I am afraid of the message as much as I am afraid of the words the messengers are using. I’m afraid the message has become one of mutual attack by members of the same religious society as opposed to true, lasting, personal transformation that serves the society around us.

I see church groups form a subculture through small groups that produce arrogance, false humility, false superiority, and in no way reflect a pastor’s leadership or God’s inclusiveness.

I see women deciding that the answer to society’s ills is for women to return to their “rightful place” in God’s kingdom. The problem with that teaching is man defines “rightful place” as being where men are appeased and released from most responsibilities other than pretending to focus on God’s will for his family and earning a living. Sometimes. There are times that the woman is the key provider but is also expected to keep 90% of the home.

I hear women being apologetic that they are sharing home duties with husbands, including interaction and responsibility for children. While the bible teaches that women should be keepers of the home, it also teaches that men have a tremendous responsibility to love and care for the occupants of that home in a Christlike manner. Christ offered sacrifice, unconditional love, and servanthood to His church.  He still does. Christ doesn’t keep score. Men do.

I see Christians making the decision to get tough on people instead of being tough on sin. Christ had a way of being tough on sin while salvaging the value of the individual person. We seem to be returning to the day of hyper-vigilance where we stay on attack mode as opposed to fulfilling our call to go, reach, teach, tell, and baptize. We've launched modern day Crusades that focus on winning; not witnessing.

The thing I am most afraid of is today’s Christianity reflects very little of Christ Himself. Today’s Christianity seems to be about taking sides and only listening to those who think like us. Our faith no longer represents unity of belief; it has everything to do with unison of attack.