Everyone judges, it’s one of the many down-sides of human nature. Christians are not immune to passing judgement, nor being judged. What about those in a leadership role within the Church? Are they leading the charge?
Recently two teenage girls I know attended church services with a female relative. The girls were told their summer sundresses were “not appropriate for church”. They were asked to cover up or go home.
The girls chose to go home. (And, for the record, the sundresses were not revealing.)
The church member who asked them to leave missed a golden opportunity to deliver a message if grace. Instead they sent a stronger message of nonacceptance. They said, “You’re not good enough to be here. You don’t belong.”
I read somewhere that the number one reason ‘people of faith’ say they don’t “believe in organized religion” or don’t attend church on a regular basis is simply one word: HYPOCRISY.
It’s the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality that turns them away from the church.
Paul wrote in his letter in Ephesians 4:
(11) Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the Church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. (12) Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church. (13) This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in The Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
(14) Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever it sounds like the truth.
(15) Instead, we will speak the truth in love growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does it’s own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Thanks for laying it all out there, Paul.
Does the church have all the answers, all the time? I don’t think so.
Aren’t we all “like immature children”? Yes.
Then isn’t the church made up of imperfect people who are still growing in Christ? Absolutely.
In Ephesians 4:2, Paul is yelling at me, “Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
Nobody is perfect.
As Christians, we can’t afford to judge others. It’s not our job. It’s not our right. It’s not in our power.
What do we do when Christians disappoint us? Show grace.
Show grace because they are still growing in faith too. They are on their own faith-walk and imperfect, as we are.
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