For the sake of balance and those who are sincere and church-going, I just want to say that there are many wonderful churches. Sincere pastors. Loving congregants who are growing in the things of God by the power of the Holy Spirit renewing them.
I have not found many good churches, but I know a lot of sincere believers. I know there must be good churches out there. If there were not, then I think God’s patience would have come to an end already. I can think of a couple I would consider going to if I lived in the area. I would love to find a church that I could fit in with because it is so important to gather with other believers, and I admit, I could try harder to find one. Maybe I should.
I want to draw clear distinctions when I write about hard things pertaining to corruption among Christianity and its churches, but if I get hung up on worrying about who I might offend, then the message I have to give is at risk of being watered down. However, I do not expect to spend all my time writing about these things. I want to focus most on what is good and what is true. All things in proper measure.
For now, I have some things to say, then I will shift focus back to the planned articles.
Note to Sincere Pastors
There are many pastors who encourage fruitfulness, do not stand high and mighty behind the pulpit and hammer people with the word of God, who are loving, humble, and sincere. Even if some of the teachings are not complete, Jesus looks to the heart and I do believe he is merciful to misunderstandings especially when we live in a time that has lost much sound teaching. However, there are doctrines that he hates, so we should be careful and understand that those who minister, or even write like I do, are going to be judged according to their fruitfulness (Matthew 7:16-23).
We do not want to be workers of iniquity (lawlessness). There is a law to preach and encourage. These are the laws of the kingdom of heaven as mentioned in the sermon on the mount. How do we obey such laws? It is given by grace through faith by the working of the Spirit within us writing these laws on the fleshly table of the heart (2 Corinthians 3:3, Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10). Sincere pastors, please consider whether or not you are teaching this.
Grace should never be used to minister sin. There is forgiveness for those who repent, and we all need that because we make mistakes as we strive in the faith — as we strive to see the working of the Lord in us and conforming us to his image — an image given as the laws are written in us and the power is given to walk therein.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11-12)
Please, do not pervert grace. Do not push a fruitless and powerless gospel. That will not go well for you or your congregants.
We cannot become righteous by laying laws on people outwardly while we neglect the inner man. Such things birth Christians who are outwardly righteous but hateful, gossips, backstabbing, liars, proud, vain, and all manner of inner darkness that is concealed until put to the test. We have all been these things, for sure. Sometimes we are just struggling in these areas, however, we should never settle for treating our brothers and sisters this way, and we certainly should not blame others for how we act or otherwise justify ourselves.
We do not want to repeat the mistakes of old that make clean the outside of the cup and neglect the inside. Jesus heals the inside. This is promised as fruit of our salvation. Imputed righteousness is not just a cloak for sin. It is mercy so that we can approach the Lord for actual healing and change of nature.
Please, consider whether you are a minister of sin, preacher of a fruitless gospel, bound by legalism that seeks to make clean the outside without giving of the laws of the kingdom of heaven, neglecting the full teaching of grace and the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, breeding people who have a form of godliness but denying the power therein.
Note to Sincere Christians
Remember to love your brother and sister, even if you disagree on things within the faith. We are called to be one in mercy, forgiveness, and faith. Repent when you harm someone and know that we all mess up. We should never be too proud to admit fault, because if we are, then these things will eat us up inside and we are not prepared to receive the forgiveness we need.
Be quick to repent and quick to forgive. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Let go of greed, pride, envy, hatefulness, slander, and making judgments of the heart. Be gracious with your brother and look for the best in them. Lift them up, do not tear them down. Rebuke gently and treat people with the same delicacy you would want to be treated when found faulty in some way.
Hold your pastors accountable. Read the bible for yourself and study to show your own selves approved if you can. We are too quick to listen to someone just because they wear a suit and stand behind a pulpit. We are too quick to judge their fruits of worldly success and think God has blessed them, when in reality, they are sinking into darkness as they become ensnared by the deceitfulness of riches. Be careful which Christian music you listen to and the Christian movies you watch. Just because something is in Jesus name does not mean it is good. In-fact, such can be the most dangerous of all. You have to take responsibility for your own salvation and seek Jesus. We are so richly blessed when we walk in his ways.
Well, enough of that for now. As always, I am here to answer any questions or concerns. If someone reads this then goes on to slander me, becomes angry or bitter, then I cannot help you. I love people enough to say the hard things openly. If you find me deceived, love me enough to talk to me openly. Profitable discussion is good for the body of Christ.