My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's Time For Christians to Take Back Their Faith

The Gospel of Hatred has been preached since preaching began, I'm sure. It's always there, lurking like an invisible slime which ultimately suffocates those infected by it. But it has become so widespread now that it seems when the general public thinks of Christians, they think intolerance, hatred, unforgiveness, and host of other dark things which should never be associated with our faith. Kind of like the child molestations by clergy. It doesn't take many instances for a reputation to spread. And there are many instances. Certain other faiths are also struggling with their image due to extremists who may not even actually believe.

What distresses me is that many Christians, who I know to be Christians, are caught up in this Gospel of Hatred. How sad and terrible that it is so easy to drift from the Commission we were given and preach the wrong gospel.

For those of you who are wondering, I am specifically speaking of the radio and television preachers who, as far as I am concerned, have become as the Church of Ephesus.

"To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 'I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.'" Revelation 2:1-4 New King James Version

We, as Christians, were given a great and wonderful commission: to preach God's Gospel, which is the Gospel of Christ. And what have we done? We have allowed perverts to infiltrate our pulpits. We have allowed the Gospel of Hatred to become our message to the world. It is time for us to return to our first love, which is Christ. Which is God.

And what is our commission?

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 New King James Version

Now, before you go spouting off the Ten Commandments, or anything else, let us refresh our memories on the commandment Jesus gave us.

"These things I command you, that you love one another." John 15:17 New King James Version

Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:38-40 New King James Version (emphasis mine)

So what is Jesus telling us? That instead of going line by line through the scriptures looking for dos and don'ts, we can boil the entire thing down to God. God is love. He loves all of us. ALL of us. That includes the Hitlers and Bin Ladens and Presidents and murderers and child molesters and everyone. You. Me. We are ALL included.

And the way we are to treat one another is how we want to be treated. So, if you are preaching hatred, intolerance, and damnation to people who are gay, or liberal, or who support some legislation you think is evil, you are preaching the WRONG GOSPEL!

Do you realize what dangerous footing you have put under yourself? If not, then let me remind you of something else Jesus said.

"But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37 New King James Version

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!"" Matthrew 7:21-23 New King James Version

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hyprocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5 New King James Version

Consider Jesus' response to the woman who was brought to him after being caught in the act of adultery. (I find it interesting that the man was not brought.)

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." John 8:7 New King James Version

So, what am I saying? That we should not accuse people of sin?

Yes.

That is not the gospel with which we have been commissioned. Only God is authorized to convict people of sin.

Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revaled this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 16:17 New King James Version

Our task is NOT to tell people they are going to hell. It is to tell people God forgives them when God convicts them in their heart that they need forgiveness. We tell people God forgives them. When they ask us exactly what it is God is forgiving them of, we send them to God to ask.

The Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of God which is the Gospel of Love.

God wants us all to come to him. We drive people away with lies every time we speak hatred and intolerance to them. Woe to us for doing that.

Love is what made us Christians. Why should we withhold it from others?

Love people! That is the commandment of Christ.

Let's follow it.

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