We’re living in an age when Christians are being persecuted for their faith by religious zealots. While the horrors of the Middle East are getting everyone’s attention, we need to bring our focus back a bit closer to home so we can see what’s happening here. Many Christians in America are being publically torn apart, criticized and ridiculed, and many of their critics are “Christians”. The world watches and it sees that the church is falling apart and that Christianity is the root of much hatred. We’re not drawing them closer to Jesus when we do this; we’re pushing them away.
It’s time to stop pointing fingers!
We are all saved by the grace of God! Not a single one of us has earned it or deserve it. We were once all sinners destined for punishment, yet because of God’s love for us, He became a man and offered His own body as a sacrifice for our sins so that we could be forgiven and brought back to our Heavenly Father. This alone should cause us to keep our eyes on Jesus and our mouths and hearts eternally praising Him for being our Lord and Savior.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”—Romans 3:23-24.
It’s good that we are aware of false teachers and preachers and it’s also right that we let others know not to follow them. Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
However, it’s one thing to expose heretics to save people from falling into their deception, but it’s another thing to make it a daily quest to see what dirt we can find on them so we can constantly degrade and ridicule them. It seems that some Christians spend more time at this than they do at being a witness for Christ—and the world is watching. This is not what Jesus told us to do. He told us to beware of false teachers and to expose them when necessary, but the commission He gave us is a continuance of His own ministry, and that is to preach the gospel and get people saved.
“And He said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’.”—Mark 16:15
It’s so obvious why the “new age Christianity” is overwhelming multitudes of people with its deceiving message that Jesus died for everyone and so everyone is automatically saved. No need for repentance, no need to change your lifestyle. Jesus said, “It is finished” and to them, that means that all humanity has been redeemed. And there are countless people who are going to stand before God at the Great White Throne and be told that they’ll spend eternity in darkness because they weren’t saved. Some of these people might be our own loved ones and friends. They are being drawn in to this heresy because there is a bonding of love and respect for each other in spite of their faults—something that ought to be prevalent in Christians.
Many of these new agers see Christians as people who don’t get along, don’t agree on doctrine and who take pride and commission in destroying each other. Although they are on the wrong path, they are committed to each other and support each other and they don’t criticize or condemn each other. Therefore, this religion will continue to grow and deceive thousands of people because there is a common unity among them that inspires others to want to be part of it.
People come to Christ from various cultural backgrounds, with a wide range of lifestyles and with assorted needs. Some study the scriptures and are theologians before they’re saved, and others master religious degrees after they’re saved. Regardless, every Christian is on the narrow path heading toward God, but they are not all in the same place on the same path at the same time. So it’s wrong for the mature Christians to look back at the new or immature ones and criticize them. What we need to do is love them and pray for them and encourage them toward Jesus.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”—Colossians 3:16
There are many posts on various blogs and on Face book from Christians who make fun of those who have fallen off of the path or of those who sadly, think they’re Christians but never made it onto the path. Some of these Christians only post when they’re criticizing or making fun of others, and they think that they are helping the rest of us to stay clear of these people. However, what’s it’s really doing is showing Christians that we need to stay clear of them, and it’s showing the world that they need to stay away from Christians.
Our focus as a Christian is to testify to the love of God and to preach the gospel of Christ so others can get saved. We may be the only witness of God they’ll ever have, and so we need to walk in the love of Jesus and preach His salvation message so that they can repent and be saved. But when we spend our time criticizing others, people don’t see Jesus in us; they see us preaching a religion that is destructive.
Every saved person—aka Christian—is a part of God’s family and we need to love and respect each other for that very reason. That person we’re criticizing is also the person who Jesus suffered and died for, and it grieves the Lord to know that we are mocking one of His own children. Even in our worldly families, there’s often one member who really needs some changes in their life, and we may not like how they live or what they do, but in our heart we love them because they’re family and it hurts to make fun of them. We need to adapt this attitude toward our Christian brethren.
When we read that a false preacher is ill or dying, we shouldn’t joke about it or speak harshly about it. This is a person who will spend eternity in hell if they die before they get saved. This is not an opportunity to gloat in our own righteousness. This is an opportunity to get on our knees and plead for their lives before Christ, and ask Him to send laborers to witness and pray with this person. We have all sinned against God, and just because we accepted Christ years ago, doesn’t mean that God loves a person any less who took their lifetime to find Him.
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”—Luke 15:10
We need to stop pointing fingers at others and start loving them with the same love that God has for us. Our testimony of God’s love in us can change the hearts of others so they can find Jesus and give their lives to Him. Our commission is to preach the gospel and get people saved, not to point fingers and criticize.
“Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”—James 5:20