Friday, February 13, 2009

Condenmed To Fail

Do the modern churches of today embrace those who happen to make ‘un-godly’ decisions in their life? Or do they condemn those without giving them a chance to repent? I recently heard of a husband who left his wife for another woman and now it seems as though his church friends and others don’t want anything to do with him anymore. Maybe he has avoided them because of his decisions as well, but, it seems weird to me that when something big and ungodly happens to a brother and sister in the Lord, they are looked at as someone that no longer fits into ‘the club’. If I remember correctly, Father embraced those who were drenched in sin, and he accepted them regardless of what they did. How is it, that a lot of ‘Christians’ act as though ungodly acts that are committed are not to be embraced. I would tend to think that if someone is struggling with sin or whatever, that is when they need us, brothers and sisters the most. But, it seems as though Christians run the opposite direction to avoid those who purposely sin to let their un-acceptance of the sinner be known… No wonder why the husband was avoiding his church friends, he felt condemned from the get go. It makes me stop and think how corrupt the family of God has seemed to become. It is as though we can no longer depend on each other as Father had set it up to be! One can have a lot of Godly friends and people he/she may know at their church, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this person couldn’t go to any of them during hardships because of the fear of condemnation he/she may feel if he/she exposes their sin!? I am not saying that the man who left his wife did the right thing at all, but I happen to think that there is more to this than what meets the eye. There are details that are not exposed and perhaps many reason that led up to affair. And, if one can’t feel comfortable seeking help, then no wonder why it ended the way it did. There are no excuses for sin, but I can say that without grace from our brothers and sisters, we are left alone to deal with things on our own, and that is not how Father intended it to be!


Amy said...

Nicole, IS so sad AND wrong for a congregation to literally disown or treat someone harshly over a decision they made, or a sin they commit. Far too often, the institutional "clubs" have become places where "having it all-together" (or at least acting like it) is the only thing that is acceptable. Thus, when someone errs, they are strongly repremanded, or shunned. It's all quite fake. Strong words, I know, but this totally goes against the heart of Papa Son Holy Spirit.

Christ LOVES us out of sinning, struggles. Love is about relationship, acceptance and welcoming...not what this congregation did to this man.

~Amy :)

Bino M. said...

"I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." - Jesus

deaconandusher said...

Usher: Deak, how is it that people actually believe that a house of "rules and regulations" is somehow a safe haven?

Deacon: Legalism....pure and simple. You see Usher, if one truly knows how that type of model (Romans - Constantine - 3rd century) rose up and grew to be the acceptable thing the western world accepts as "church", it's quite simple. One was induced to become a Christian, then he had to abide by the laws and if he didn't, then he was shunned.

Usher: How is it that the human have adopted such a stupid rendering of "church".

Deacon: It's all about legalism and doing right. It is as though man thinks he can be righteous. He cannot. God made him a sinner, dependent on Him. If he were rigteous in his own strength and capable of perfection, then why would he need God?

Nicole said...

Great insight! Yes, legalism plays a HUGE role in Christian circles these days, and it makes me sick... It can ruin and destroy relationships right and left because grace is left out of the picture. We don't allow mistakes! Wouldn't this world be a lot different if we did allow and accept people for who they are and what they do?!

Kent said...

In a conversation with a friend of mine who is a dad raising boys, he said something to me about how the girls dress these days and all the trouble it is causing his boys and their friends. I have three girls and they have been treated in such disrectful ways by even the boys that are growing up in christian homes and my girls don't dress provocatively. The condecending way he was talking about girls, not specifically mine, just girls these days in general, led me to ask him a question in light of him saying most girls don't deserve to be respected if they dress in ways that cause boys trouble. I was glad this question I asked him left with with nothing to least he was thinking about it.

How does the way you are judging these girls who aren't even close to being prostitutes work along with the way Jesus treated even those who were prostitutes?

Jesus treated the prostitutes and the cheating tax collector and others with respect and love and grace. Somehow the religion that that sprung up around Jesus' message seems to have left that part of the message behind.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Interesting to read your comments. Yes, there are some churches (clubs - as I see them referred to) that are legalistic and that does hurt both them and others. I've been there and in various ways so was our church in times past. Wow! Praise the Lord for His longsuffering with us and for opening our eyes and hearts to our condition, how and where we needed to change, and how to let Him work that change in us - even if we may have been slow at times in the process of that work. But, recently in our church (club)(yes, the same one I just referred to) we had a young lady who became engaged and during that time got pregnant, and had the baby out of wedlock. [By the way, she is still unmarried. Not because she wanted it that way, but because of her choice to return to a right walk with her Savior and her fiancé’s decision to reject her and her decision.] Anyhow, she went to her pastor and confessed what had happened and she repented (with long-lasting proof of the reality of that repentance) and was graciously helped and supported by her pastor, her parents, and others in our church who were aware of the situation. This past Sunday she and her new baby came to church. While some in the church knew of the situation others did not. The pastor graciously and warmly acknowledged her, the baby, and her family. Her testimony of what she had done and how she had repented was presented before all. The church responded with great warmth and compassion. Her father has since testified how that he is so thankful for all in that church and how during the pregnancy (and difficult times incurred - both physically and emotionally) those in the church who knew about it were right by their side and so freely and wonderfully ministered to them. He also commented on how grateful he was for his "church family" that so graciously received him, his family, his daughter, and the baby after the announcement to the whole church. I understand, as obviously you all do too, that there are those who are legalistic and judgmental. But, there are those who while never compromising the standards, ways, and word of God still can and do function with the compassion and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ - such as He demonstrated to the "woman at the well" and the "woman caught in the act of adultery". Our Lord is ever increasingly at work within the hearts of the individuals who comprise our church (Praise His holy Name) and we all pray that he likewise will continue His most needful work in our lives and the lives of all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Hey, thanks all for taking the time to read this. I know it was long, but I just wanted to share this with you. I trust it will serve in some way to help and encourage you in your walk with our great God and Savior. May our Lord's blessings be richly bestowed upon each and every one of you. 1-4-Him

Laurie said...

Dear Anonymous,

It it interesting that once this young woman talked to the pastor and repented in front of the church she was then accepted. It makes me stop and wonder about all the others who sin and never make it to the altar and publicly ask for forgiveness... are they not accepted if they don't go the pastor or elders and ask for forgiveness or subject themselves to public scrutiny? The reverse scenario is true as well and the religious "clubs" are filled with thousands of people who look good on the outside, seemingly doing all the right things but who are currently not (or never have) really submitted to the Lord. (This is especially true when there is no physical residue or evidence of sin that can be seen by others. A charade can be maintained if you plaster a smile on your face and say you're doing great when asked on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.)

What if you don't raise your hand when "all heads are bowed and eyes closed" and then go forward after everyone lifts their heads and opens their eyes or go ahead and say the sinner's prayer? Seems like many churchgoers are more inclined to believe a true conversion has occurred if someone has gone through all the prescribed standard church protocols.

These don't seem to be actions that are required by scripture but rituals necessary for club acceptance. I do believe that true repentance will show up in someone's life and be evident to all observers but for club acceptance it seems we have to go through the club rituals and "submit" to the "order" and "authority" of whatever particular organized church we belong to.

In saying this I don't discount the fact that sincerely loving people, able to extend the love and mercy of Christ to others, can be found just about anywhere... even in the organized church. I know a few. (Hi Larry) :)

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