(Image borrowed from clipart-library.com)
I’ve been going to church since 2013. When I first started going, I don’t even know why I was there. I was not a Christian. I was just somehow sitting in the back of a church listening to what the pastor had to say and then took a “new believers” class. Prior to this, I was deeply involved in the new age meditation, eastern medicine/mysticism scene. And before that, I was on drugs. I somehow traded in drugs for gluten-free juicing. How? I don’t know. Obviously God was protecting me because I honestly could have died so many times. So many dangerous situations with so many sketchy people.
After everything all came crumbling down leaving me empty and lost, I began searching for answers through Christianity. That’s when Jesus came. He came strong and hard, and I haven’t turned back since. I gave my life to the Lord and got baptized. Then I started dating my now husband and God gave us marriage mentors (praise the Lord!). We then finally settled in North Seattle where the Holy Spirit smacked us in the face with trumpets, worship was unbelievably passionate and the pastors were strictly Bible-believing, unapologetic and not afraid to call out sin. We were deeply committed and involved, serving in capacities we didn’t know we could do. God was moving so mightily in our lives and using us in ways that we never thought possible! I thought, this was it! We’ve arrived at our home (church)!!
But I was wrong… 😦
God had other plans. He moved us to Auburn.
What?? What’s in Auburn? Why? Really?? We were perplexed. But we obeyed and bought our first starter home in Auburn, WA. And now I am in a church where I am struggling to find my way. The pastors are on point, preaching the Bible, but doing it in a very harsh, militant-style way. Where’s the love? Where’s the patience and compassion? Does God hate sin? YES of course he does. Will He not hesitate to flood the entire Earth and start over? You bet He did. Does He rebuke evil? All the time. Does He order men to kill kings and impale their bodies on poles? Yes, absolutely.
But God also says, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ (Romans 8). He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
In regards to sin, brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently (Galatians 6:1-2).
If we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins (Hebrews 10:26). This is bad. Real bad.
If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9). This is good. Praise the Lord!
Brothers and sisters, please stop tearing each other down from the pulpit! Yes, expose sin, speak the truth, be real and tell it like it is. However, God already died on the cross for our sins, He took the ultimate beating, shame and death for us. Stop beating up, whipping and shaming your fellow brothers and sisters. Restore them gently and lead them to prayer and God’s word. Stop bragging about how much you spank your kids (I have no problem spanking my kids as a last resort option), however, boasting about it and doing it all the time is not okay, and may actually become ineffective and potentially lead to abuse. Please don’t pridefully justify abuse through Proverbs 13:24. A shepherd uses his rod and staff to protect, guide and lead his flock, not to pound and batter them with it. In Numbers 22, Balaam, the diviner, beat his donkey to try to get it to do what he wanted, but it didn’t work. The donkey ended up being able to talk back to him, asking him why he was being mis-treated. Stop power-tripping. Stop doubting other people’s salvation. It’s not up to you! It’s up to God!! God has anointed some with specific gifts and others with other gifts. Encourage one another. God loves us! If He didn’t, He would have never sent His son Jesus. All honor, praises and glory to Him!