Note from Kathy:
I have been absent from blogging for a couple of months–seemed that too many things crowded into my mornings preventing me from thinking about blogging. They were good things to be sure–traveling to Honduras to have a women’s conference, and preparing for other Bible studies and talks when I returned. Life for me over the summer seemed to bring a new season of peace and rest after long years of grieving the loss of my husband and facing other wilderness experiences. I seem to learn more about God in the wilderness, and so while I can’t say that I want the wilderness experiences, I can say that it has been during those times that I have learned more about Him, from Him, than ever before, and so I consent to participating with Him in whatever means He seems to choose for my training. Right this minute, I am appreciating and enjoying the season of rest.
To get my blog up and going again, I would like to submit the guest post of a fellow blogger, Jack Watts who writes the most beautiful and amazing prayers, and who has just published a new book with these prayers. I highly recommend his blog site www.pushingjesus.wordpress.com and his new book Real Prayers for Real People With Real Problems.
In the meantime, enjoy today’s post:
Church Is Not for Sinners
October 12, 2012 by Jack
Refer to Step 11: I made a commitment to nurture my relationship with the Lord, asking Him to reveal His will to me and to provide me with the power to carry it out.
Be entirely tolerant or not at all. Follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.
Although Christian doctrine repeatedly states that man’s nature is sinful and separated from God, believers seem to be surprised when people act sinfully. We’ve sanitized our churches so thoroughly that sinners don’t feel comfortable attending church. They don’t believe they are good enough to come because the church has become the home for the self-righteous—not for sinners—just as it was in Christ’s time.
With no place else to go, hurting people by the millions turn to alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity to self-medicate their pain. This works for a while—sometimes a long while. Then, the negative consequences set in, destroying the person’s self-worth, and ultimately the person’s life.
When people like these hit rock bottom and need help, they should be welcomed with open arms by churches but, more often than not, self-righteous Christians make it too uncomfortable for them to actually heal. So where do these people go? They go to AA, ALANON, and dozens of other 12 Step groups where they are accepted just as they are by the “God of their understanding,” which, more often than not, isn’t the God of the Scriptures.
Could you imagine bringing fifty recovering alcoholics to your church next Sunday? If you brought two or three, that would be okay, but fifty? What would the reception be like? Would they be welcomed at your church with open arms? Think about it, and be honest.
It’s highly unlikely, isn’t it? They would be accepted at AA, where they don’t have to fear being judged by self-righteous people.
You can even see the influence of the self-righteous in Christian bookstores, which are monuments to irrelevancy. They are filled with:
- Sappy books which espouse Christian platitudes
- Positive thinking books with a Christian slant
- Prosperity books, which distort biblical principles
- Non-sexual romantic novels
- And thousands of Bibles translated hundreds of ways.
Increasingly, Christian publishers stay away from anything controversial—anything edgy, anything relevant. They are afraid of offending the self-righteous. A culture of fear exists in Christian publishing companies just as it does in Christian churches. Both are fearful of offending the self-righteous.
“Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions” (Romans 14:1).