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There are times in our lives that we have to learn to embrace a truth for ourselves. Not because it’s what our parents taught us or because it’s what we learned in school or church. Because it’s what we know to be true from our own experiences and our own journey.
I discovered that my “beliefs” were being challenged by everything that came by. Ironically enough, they were being challenged internally. . . by the very people who claimed to hold to these truths.
At first, it was in practice. I found myself wrestling with this concept of love. Love was great in theory. It was easy to say, “I’m doing this to you in love.” But did Christians really think about what was in the best interest of the person whom they said they loved?
Love appeared to be a concept Christians hid behind in order to justify how they treated nonbelievers. But the “love” that Christians claimed to have for people, and the love that I saw Christ exude in Scripture were two different things entirely.
I read a blog post about what church shouldn’t look like, and this paragraph stood out to me.
Some of the church environments I experienced maintained that the church was a haven of peace and hope in a horrible, broken world. We were the sheep. They were the wolves. We had to protect our sheep by keeping the wolves out. We were “in the world but not of it,” remember? While there are many churches who consciously or sub-consciously adhere to the idea of being a place to hide from the evils of the world, I remind you the type of company Jesus kept when he walked this earth. He could have adopted the Pharisee’s method of separating himself entirely from everything “unclean.” Instead, he was known as a “friend of sinners.” Can our church say that?
Coupled with a rather distorted view of love was a dogmatic approach to debatable Scripture passages. There was a tightening grip on issues that could be debated. It was as if the stability of the Christian faith was founded on all the minutiae embedded within.
If, for example, someone held a differing view on what the book of Revelation means, Christians would scramble to ensure that their viewpoint was the one most commonly reported.
I remember all the Fundamentalists jumping for joy when the Left Behind series of novels came out (and yes, I was part of that number).
But could it be that all of this eschatalogical banter is, at best, tangential to the Christian faith, and at worst, a rabbit trail that actually detracts from what God intended when he planted these thoughts into John’s mind?
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