Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top 10 Stupidest Things Christians Do - Part 1

After 30+ years hanging around the church I have noticed some odd behaviors. I wrote them down and then discovered a book that I have not read, nor do I intend to, entitled: The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do. After a quick look at the Table of Contents I noticed that Mr. Atterberry and I matched 7 out of 10! I felt like I was a contestant on Concentration waiting for Hugh to let me solve the puzzle.

Having nothing planned, except to avoid Black Friday crowds at the local mall, here is part 1 of 10.

-1 Shooting Our Wounded - Isn't it bad enough that church people get caught with their pants down; their failures televised on broadcast news? Look, we all sin. It doesn't matter more to God that someone is a televangelist or mega-church leader when they sin. Sin is sin.

What matters is how we act towards those individuals who do sin.

Newscasters make money by reporting the news. From the Baker' of PTL fame, to the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandals in Massachusetts and Ireland, church folks fail - that hurts the church. I am not saying that we should side-step the truth, or cover things up. Sin is sin.

Why is it that the church some how feels a need to shoot it's wounded?

It is not wrong to have an opinion about sinful acts. In fact we should speak out against them. Gossip, name calling, degrading remarks, acting better than, acting unlovingly towards, and judging people, however; is sin. Their is a law written against those things (Gal 5:20-21). I also do NOT have a problem identifying Christians that don't act like one. Hypocrisy hurts the church (wait for number 9).

In the past couple of years a few stories made the news. I wrote about Rick Warren's flip-flop on Prop 8 back in April. I don't know Rick Warren, but he told his congregation that he supported Prop 8 in CA, he then told Larry King that he didn't. So, which is it? He has, as far as I know, not set the record straight.

Hypocrisy in religion hurts the church. Had the elders removed Pastor Warren, he may have had second thoughts about sticking to both stories.

Three years ago there was a sex and drug scandal involving a prominent Colorado pastor named: Ted Haggard. Ted was rightfully removed from his pastorate. Remember we all sin, and there are consequences for that sin.

What makes these two stories different? Repentance; albeit a little slow on Ted's part, he came around to saying the following in a goodbye letter to the congregation:

"I am guilty of sexual immorality. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all my adult life." MORE...

What much of the church did correctly, starting with removal from a leadership position, was provide counseling, love, and support. Some Christians, however; took up the cause of bashing the denomination, evangelicals in general, his wife, their family - and the list goes on. The holier-then-thou blogosphere went crazy.

What Ted did correctly, was take God up on His offer to forgive, to renew and to bring new life.

How about you, has someone fallen in your midst? Have you been a minister of reconciliation, or a harbinger of the latest gossip? Is it easier for you to talk than pray? There is sin all around us: divorce, addictions, teens with trouble, it's everywhere in the church. Have you thought for a minute what it is like to be caught in your sin?

Jesus saved thieves, prostitutes, and even religious folks, are you a messenger of THAT Gospel?

Church, we are not going to solve the problem of sin with broadcast news. It will be solved with loving confrontation, mercy, grace and recognition of the very fact that we are sinners too. For a wonderful illustration of this fact, read Brian Moore's essay, The Room (at the end of the post).

Revelation 2:5 Remember the height from which you have fallen!

Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

"How about you, has someone fallen in your midst? Have you been a minister of reconciliation, or a harbinger of the latest gossip? Is it easier for you to talk than pray? There is sin all around us: divorce, addictions, teens with trouble, it's everywhere in the church. Have you thought for a minute what it is like to be caught in your sin?"

Love this entire section. It's so much easier to sit back and listen to the gossip than to stand up for the Truth.

I can remember the day the news about Ted Haggard was released. My husband and I looked at each other and nodded to each other...we both read each other minds about how we felt. God was placing Mr. Haggard right where he needed to be... broken and in need of Him. I have since heard Mr. Haggard speak since the incident and I can say he said more wise and spiritual things than I ever heard him say before the incident. I believe it is awesome how God reveals to us who we our in our nature (and sometimes reveals to the world) to bring us to where He wants us to be.

David said...

Thanks for the comment Michelle.

That is good news about Ted. I don't really follow all this stuff. I am still waiting hear how the investigations of the 6 big televangelists come out. (Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn).

So, it is true. In order for the fragrance to escape from the alabaster box, it must be hit hard enough to break it.

photogr said...

David:


I have noticed ones in powerful positions be it political,corporate, management, public officials, or religious leaders have the easy temptations of sex, drugs, or greed for money laid down to them at their feet. All they have to do is pick the desire and it is theirs for the asking.

These demonic desires are certainly just that and they come into play when one being tempted has a flaw in their consience and moral values. We all have a breaking point and that is where Satan works on all of us to sin.

We as believers should not be judging those that caved in but offer support and guidance to repent of their sinful activity.I would imagine the ones that condemed the sins may well have sinful activity too.

It is not our position to judge. As Jesus said about the woman taken in adultry that was brought before Him " He that is with out sin among you, be the first to cast a stone at her." (John8:7)

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