Dave, is a new Christian. 4 months ago after being on a 3 day drinking binge, he came to the end of himself, and gave his life to the Lord. Since then Dave attended church 3 times a week, went out with the church evangelism team, and speoke to everyone he encountered about the Lord. After spenging many hours at the church and with his fellow members, he began seeing things he could not explain...members gossiping, people being excluded, "sinners" being treated with disdain , False Prophetic words, over-hyped emotionalism and even his own spiritual walk being criticized without grace or tact. Within a few more months, Dave had become discouraged and disgusted with the church, and found that his old brinking buddies provided more comfort than the "hypocritical Christians" in the church. Dave has not been back at church since then, and consequently, no one from the Church even bothered to follow up with him.
There are many Daves out there, those who become discouraged and leave the "Church" or those who stick around and just become jaded and cynical from their experiences.
Sound familiar? Unfortunatley these experiences are all too common. Some will dismiss these as false conversions, lack of faith, some don't even notice, some will not care. It's business as usual. After all, many are called but few are chosen....right?
What is our responsibility? Our we our brother's keeper? Yes and yes. 1 Corinthinans 8:9 warns us to Be careful, "...that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak." Romans 14;13 says "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister." So it is pretty clear that we are to be careful of how our actions and behaviors affect those who are newer to the faith or whose faith is weak. We are told to be careful of these things , because not only does it present potential harm, but may also discredit our ministry. We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. (2 Corinthians 6:3). and what of our freedom and liberty? Of what value is it, if it is used to be an agent of harm or conflict? "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." (Galatians 5:13). After all, the scripture does instruct us : Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. (Philipians 2:3).
Our society teaches us that we are entitled to do what makes us happy, that we have rights and liberties and should freely express our minds. This ideology has also slipped into the church, the ME ME ME syndrome is all around us. But True Christianity means that we are called to be last, to defy what the world says, and not to be lead by our "liberties and rights". This is so critical, not only is it what the Lord requires, but it may save someone from an eternity in hell!
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