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Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Church; Warts and All

I've always had a problem with believers who wish to present themselves as flawless. Somewhere along the line, Christians became deceived that they were expected to be perfect. We lost that the gospel message is about forgiveness, redemption, and His righteousness being placed upon us. It became about being perfect, as if we were worthy of God's forgiveness upon our lives. We've missed opportunities to present the gospel when we've covered up our mistakes, instead of admitting them and seeing them as object lessons.

(Not everyone, mind you. In fact, I am surrounding by many people who willingly admit their sin, work to improve, but admit it to allow the gospel message to be evident.)

I've always assumed the church (collectively) should do the same as well.

I have a friend who may be sued by a Christian School. They've sent him a nasty letter and made some veiled threats. It stems from a cartoon he made. It's a biographical account from his childhood.

I read about it and immediately was enraged. I talked to him over email and found out the letter from a lawyer was the first communication the school had with him. I have nothing to offer in power, money or intellect. So, I thought I could at least offer my blog. I planned to write about it. To offer hyperlinks. To discuss how bad it is when Christians turn on other Christians, especially ignoring Scripture (I Corinthians 6). I was ready to shout about it from the rooftops.

But then I started to feel uneasy. Do I really want to air dirty laundry out on the internet? Would this be a chance for the world to see the church admit it messes up, or does this turn the world off to Christ, assuming even the church hasn't been changed by His message?

So I leave out all hyperlinks or names, just to say: I have a friend who is being threatened by a Christian School. I wish it wasn't so. I have no idea how he should respond. But I trust that somehow Christ can be magnified in the midst of this bad situation.

2 Comments:

  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger ~d said…

    had a hunch...followed some links...yeah, sticky situation.

    my opinion...neither side is being very loving at this point.

    who will make the first move?

    (i don't know, is that too black and white?)

     
  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger mary said…

    People ought to observe that a group that can't love its neighbors, especially with the Biblical advice for responding to criticism, represents its own interests and is not the Church.

    Any group in this country can get together, set itself up under civil statutes as a "church," appoint members to roles, and then set about to establish itself in the opinions of others. However, if its behaviors are contrary to the Biblical picture of the Church, people are obligated to say so.

    The right to say so, and to be free from unwelcome "religious" influence, is under attack by these hypocrites. At least they are suing and not resorting to their usual witchcraft--well, maybe they're trying both. The neighbors of these groups have to be saints to get along with them.

    In its confused version of being rulers, Calvary Chapel-related "church" members stole things from me like a tape recorder and other things I depended on and couldn't replace. They even usurped authority over my car--the "Lord" gave them this direction. Their response to my mentioning the dishonesty of their behavior was bad enough that the advice in the Bible to let it drop--or offer them whatever else they might need--seems smart until one looks around and sees they're just common criminals trying to frighten people. As long as they say they represent God, the issue isn't quite so clear as it would be if they were 3rd century Greeks. Sensible people should just steer clear of them.

     

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