Okay, I am at work (YES!, I add, I AM working on my day off! Gasp!) and waiting for some info from our new San Diego restuarant and thought I’d post a blog. My boredom is your reward! 🙂
So, a friend is having this online “debate” of sorts with someone who used to be their teacher or youth pastor or something. The essence of his stance is that Christians cannot drink, dance, or sin – well because that would test the whole grace theory and is wrong. And I WILL agree that we, as Christians (well, for those of my readers who ARE Christians….) should not TRY to sin just because we know we will be forgiven (or, more theologically correct would be “we know we are already forgiven”). We should not say “well, I probably know this is wrong, but I am gonna do it anyway because I was promised salvation.” But to say we STOPPED SINNING when we became Christians is a crock of you-know-what.
However, the context of the argument was raised because some “self professed Christians” had shared publicly that they could do things like drink beer, go to clubs to dance, and still be very spirit filled. The pastor disagreed, saying – to paraphrase – “people who don’t even go to church have no business talking about God”.
Now, I am just a human, and as such am very flawed. And I was not directly involved with this debate, and may now be focusing on one small point he was making and may even be taking it out of context. But I CAN say, I have been involved with enough Christians who have held the view that, if you are a Christian, you are 1) without sin or stop sinning all together (at least, you must to REALLY be a Christian) and 2) have to spend all extra time in church or you are taking the chance of losing your salvation.
Case in point – when my friend wrote back quoting the Bible/Paul where he said he struggled everyday with sin, the pastor wrote back and said, “well, that was before he was a STRONG Christian!” His response has NO reference in the Bible at all, but rather the dogma of his faith! And another former pastor chimed in with more verses by Paul that indicated it was an ongoing struggle….
Why am I sharing all of this now? Well, I am personally tired of “the righteous” taking their seats of judgment and acting like they have somehow found “the way” to perfection. Like going to church 4 days a week or women only wearing dresses or never watching movies. I argue that some of the very people in these sort of congregations are the most unhealthy spiritual people on earth! I mean seriously, I went to a very “righteous” church last year and someone hit my car in the parking lot and dented it badly…….and didn’t leave a note! On one hand, I thought “well, we are all sinners, what can I expect?” but on the other I thought, “I just sat thru a sermon saying how this group of people were above the rest of the world because they followed very precise rules.” Yet I have been hit by non-Christians who have left notes on my cars. Hmmmmm. Morality is not exclusively a Christian thing perhaps.
And what about the Sunday School Teacher that is accused of murdering that 9-year-old girl in Tracy, CA? If “going to church” and “not drinking beer” means you are “righteous”, what happened here? Or, can it be said that every beer-drinking person is horrible? I think not.
Now, admittedly, I am judging so am no better than anyone I am ranting against. And, as the “salt of the earth” Christian DO have standards and a challenge to be different from the world. But, as such, I contend that more damage is done when the “zealots” of the world scream on their corners like some crazy Pharisee – not out of love, but out of pride. Pride? Yes, in that moment I believe this person felt we was above my friend and anyone other BROTHER OR SISTER IN CHRIST because they were “more righteous” based on OUTWARD ITEMS (going to church, abstaining from beer, etc.) When the BIBLE tells us the heart is what is true, and what God sees. Finally, I will say this again – I am saved thanks to no part of ME…..I am not worthy of salvation. I suck. But for the blood of Christ, I would be toast. And He saved me and I am now His child. ONLY CHRIST HAS A RIGHT TO FEEL RIGHTEOUS, AND I AM ONLY RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE OF HIS BLOOD, NOT ANYTHING I CAN “DO”. And I argue that, if that is the case, what now can I do to cause my salvation to end? Because, if I truly have the power to do that, I am more powerful than Christ Himself!
But I am rambling. and I am not a theologian. And I don’t know, I kind of wish more Christians would leave room for the Holy Spirit to do His job and stop acting like God…….or maybe rebuke out of LOVE instead of pride…….