What bugs me most in other Christians? I had to think about this question for a while, searching for the part of me that seems easiest to get on up into my soapbox. What gets you a bit riled up?
I will tell you mine if you tell me yours… I know neither of us wants to say it, do we? And maybe mine is not exactly what you might think.
So here goes, I begin with this bold statement. We have many in the church, who all though they came to faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, still feel condemned and think that God is out to get them if they don’t follow their church’s rules or perform the right amount of serving. Much of this stems from the wrong message being preached from our pulpits, even if it is just in small subtle ways.
And along with that, many people come away after an adverse circumstance or even a tragedy, bitter and distraught, “Is this the kind of God I’m supposed to love and trust?”
Doubting God’s nature is normal. But, fearing some malicious side to Him, maybe caused by hearing the maligning words from someone else who blamed God, or maybe they just could not get to a place of inner healing and now voice their discord through judgement of God. When these circumstances come against them, it is more “Why God?” than it is, speaking of the problem and standing with God against the evil.
What we hear, and thus are indoctrinated with, is crucial because what we believe has a lot of power and can hold us in bondage. And because of this, it is vital that we are raising up the correct message of God.
I myself have been affected by leaders who were preaching, teaching and leading through condemnation and manipulation. Sometimes it has felt as though I was on a rollercoaster ride forced to follow those parallel tracks and to hang on for dear life. Led up a hill by one view, and then brought down by a different view, hurling me into despair. All the while searching for the truth. Please let me off this ride.
I am not sure why we have so many different views circling around in Christianity. I venture to say; it’s because there are so many people with their own interpretations and opinions that this has truly started affecting the furthering of the true gospel of grace.
What if, even the pastors and teachers have been indoctrinated from their seminaries and classes. If a Bible college teaches 500 people the wrong message, does that make it right? But if those 500 people then go out and show that same message to 500 more people does that affect the accuracy just because more people have now learned this fallacy? I don’t think so.
As a result, we have a church with raw holes and the assumption that we have to earn back our place in God continually. It’s quite prevalent. Therefore many are being zapped of the power and authority we actually do have in Christ.
Frequently the body of Christ isn’t in the battle winning the fight because we are doing religion. Taught to us probably by well-meaning people who were led by other well-meaning people. But listening to the wrong lion. Yes, that lion, the one who prowls around seeking whom he may devour. He has been spreading lies from the very beginning.
Don’t even hesitate for one second to think that he would never use you.
We are all in jeopardy of being led into a distorted ploy.
I do believe that we are at a junction right now in the church. If the message that God is FOR us, has redeemed us, freeing us from condemnation isn’t the primary focus, we will perpetuate the assumption that God is somehow not altogether good.
So right here, I spill my guts, or maybe by now in this post you have figured it out. What bugs me most in other Christians is the religious spirit. Not necessarily those that follow every rule and criticize everyone else for not doing it right (although that’s my second one) but it’s more when the message is being spouted that God is a punisher and not the God who is FOR us. (The promoters of the wrong message of God.)
My heart hurts that so many Christians have not grasped the true love of God and therefore don’t see their acceptance in the Beloved. God sees us as righteous in His Son. Once we realize we are totally loved, we won’t feel threatened again. We can find the real heart of God.
Jesus’ mission was to restore back the Kingdom that we lost at the fall and to bring us back into the intimate ‘knowing’ of the intense love of the Father.
God is Good All the time! This transforms everything!