I know all the stuff people are always saying about church…”don’t forsake the gathering”, yada, yada. I agree in theory. In reality, I have had some real issues with churches in my own life, and even after 30 years, I still find myself uneasy about stepping into any of them. So, when my daughter comes home and tells me that a woman has implied that my daughter was not saved because once upon a time she smoked pot, all that anger at the presumptiousness of self-righteous twits comes rushing back to the surface.
It is exchanges like the one Rebekkah had her SECOND week at this church that make me not want to attend any. Why do people think they have a handle on other people’s salvation? You will never hear me tell another person they are going to hell because I don’t know that. It isn’t my decision, and I have no knowledge of the condition of someone else’s relationship with their maker. I can’t tell the future, nor does God run this stuff by me. If it isn’t your salvation, butt out.
Jesus did not spend a great deal of time going to church twice a week, attending a bible study at an elder’s house one night a week, planning church rummage sales, building gyms for the local youth, or discussing Christianity with other Christians. He ate with the people the religious leaders considered beneath them. His followers weren’t those people who were the best at following the rules. His followers were the people who much had to be forgiven.
Isn’t that the catch when it comes to relationships with Jesus, though? Those of us who have sinned so much already know we can’t do it on our own. Our meager efforts to “live right” were squashed into a million pieces long ago, and the importance of appearing righteous in other people’s’ eyes has faded in the face of the crushing despair of knowing we are disappointingly base, selfish, hypocritical, weak, and unfaithful, despite our best efforts not to be. And with the knowledge of just how much He has forgiven in our own lives, our gratefulness is so much more increased because of it.
I have nothing in common with those people who have no glaring, dirty sins to repent from. My family calls people who on the surface, have lived perfect, orderly, righteous lives “Oh My’s”. I know God sent people among that part of the harvest who were equipped for those argument, but it was not me. I work better among those who have seen the consequences of very bad decisions…drugs, sex, crime, abuse. I love the look in a person’s eyes who knows just how much Jesus must have loved them to die for all the crap they alone bring to the table. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than hope born in a life that has so little. To me, “Oh My’s” are the unlucky ones in this scenario. They can’t appreciate being forgiven as much as others of us can.
Too bad for them.
I guess I would have to say, despite everything, I wouldn’t really change any of the mistakes I made throughout my life. Instead, I believe my life is a perfect example of God’s promise that even the bad stuff in our lives can be used for His glory.
Yes. He’s that good.
It is not productive to inform another person that they aren’t saved because of something they’ve done in their past. There is no precedence for it in the Bible, and not many of us would pass that litmus test if it were. It is only a fool who spouts off judgements like this when God clearly did not invite us to judge each other at all.
If you think someone is being deceived, there are far better ways of helping them find the light than informing them they are going to hell. I would question the motives of anyone who would say something like that to someone else anyways.
That’s my rant for the night.