Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scripture for Today

We've been going through a tough time at our church. A lot of fighting and disagreement. Actions taken by some with authority that have overstepped the bounds of that authority and without thought to larger ramifications of those actions. It's pitted friends against friends, family against family and members of our congregation against others.

I HATE IT.

More than that, I'm pretty sure that this type of division is definitely not something God wants for us, no matter where we stand on the issues involved.

I hate going to worship and wondering if the Pastor has an 'ulterior motive' in his sermon.
I hate not knowing what to say to some friends because we stand on opposite sides of the issue and I'm not sure how they'll respond to me about anything.
I hate it that we get a package without a return address and I'm afraid to open it (it turned out to be a lovely thank you gift for John's work on the retreat weekend).
I hate it that I constantly think about it.

Why? Because there are more things that unite us that we CAN agree on. Those things are more important in the grand scheme of things than this issue is.


Today during my devotional time, I read this:
Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.
Philippians 2:3
Part of the commentary from the author read:
"Why do our churches attract so much criticism? Is it not because we spend all our time fighting each other rather than fighting the devil?"*
Sunday, my verse was:
Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit and bind yourselves together in peace.
Ephesians 4:3
Frankly, this whole disagreement sounds like the pre-election debate all over again. "If they 'win', we're going to h*** in a hand basket!" and I doesn't matter which side you talk to! The other side is always wrong and they are always right. End of discussion (if one took place in the first place!). And 'we' HAVE to win - at all costs. No holds barred. Take no prisoners.
Really folks.
No single one of us, no single denomination, no single pastor or congregation has a handle on salvation. Last time I checked, God was the one who made those judgments, based on people's hearts, not their actions or words or anything else. That's what grace is all about.
Personally, I'm so very grateful for that. My sins are many. My actions can use improving. My speech can certainly use improvement. I am so glad that God will grant me salvation in spite of my weaknesses. Since I can't see the hearts and minds of others and know how sinful I personally am, I am so very, very grateful that I don't have to judge others. I am quite sure that if God's grants me eternal rest in heaven, I'll be thoroughly surprised by who is there and who isn't there.
But isn't it true that the squabbling and division in the church (pick your favorite branch!) is what makes us look like a bunch of crazy hypocrites, unable to even get along with those who supposedly have salvation right along with us?

Come on people, let's focus on what we agree on. I have four people in my house and we can't agree on everything. Hey, even John and I can't agree on everything - and we're 2 people! Do we really think a body of almost 1000 worshipers is going to agree on everything? Or a church body of 4 million? Or the entire Christian body?
Come on...
Get a grip...
and focus on the important thing...
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who died and rose from the grave 3 days later. The ultimate sacrifice to make atonement for our sins once and for all. The gift of forgiveness, mercy, hope and salvation.
Let's practice a little of what we preach for once.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Always.
* Taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Women by Jill Briscoe, page 324.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I thank you for taking the time to comment and look forward to reading your thoughts!

As always, please keep your content polite, relevant and mature. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, mean, vulger or otherwise inappropriate. I appreciate your understanding that is meant to be an uplifting blog where we can discuss things as adults rather than as opponants.

Thanks,
Lea