Welcome to 31 Days of Breaking Religious Chains! If you’re here for the very first time, check out my personal testimony to get a better idea of who I am and where I come from. Be sure to say hello! I’d love to “meet” you!
I’m going to go ahead and just say it outright:
This is the thing about Christianity…that makes me not want to be a Christian.
This, in my humble opinion, is what is killing the gospel, causing people to leave the church, and freezing hearts of those who could do great work for the kingdom because they feel like they aren’t worthy.
I’ve mentioned before, that at the beginning of this year, my husband and I were having some problems. While we sought counsel from those in our church…the looks of condemnation and judgement became evident. It’s as if, because we admitted to being flawed that we were no longer welcome among their circle of ‘believers.’
We roll up in our SUV’s, sporting our best attire, and our fancy Bible’s with our names emblazoned on the front and burst through the double doors as if we are doing God a favor by being there. As if He is the one who should be honored that we live in an age of DVR’s and Tevo so that we don’t have to miss the big game in order to pay Him our Sunday morning respects. We sit in our usual seats (and Heaven forbid someone “new” shows up and doesn’t know that they place they’ve chosen to sit unofficially belongs to us…or the Jones’ or whoever), sing our hymns and hear the sermon and go about our merry little way.
Never mind the new family there on Sunday morning. They probably won’t stick around for more than one week anyway; plus, you have a post service meet & greet after the sermon so someone else will speak to them. Today, after all, just isn’t a good time for you.
All of that sound far-fetched? Or does it sound familiar?
When was the last time your church welcomed a homeless man into the service? When was the last time your pastor addressed the tough subjects (like homosexuality or adultery or pornography) that tend to force people to not only address their issues but confront them? It’s probably been a while because the tough stuff brings out our brokenness; and no one likes someone who is broken…least of all the religious.
Somewhere along the line, believers have lost sight of the fact that we need a savior. We’ve allowed ourselves to become drunk on the power that our salvation has foolishly, and falsely, led us to feel entitled to. We’ve become selfish and unrepentant of the sin of judgements that are not ours to pass; forgetting that we too, are still very much in need of a Savior.
The core of this problem is that modern day churches are so busy teaching religion that they are ignoring the gospel. Never once do I remember Jesus telling anyone that they are meant to be perfect and flawless the instant that they say yes to Him. Never once do I remember there being anything in the Bible that says, “Once you accept me as your savior, all of your sin will disappear forever and you’ll never ever struggle again.”
For good reason…because the instant that we cease to encounter problems in life-whether in the form of sin or struggle or trial-we, in our human nature, cease to have a reason for Calvary. We lose any kind of acknowledgement that we are still sin filled individuals who need more grace than we can ever begin to fathom.
The misconception that you need to be perfect to be a Child of God is a lie. It’s origin, I do not know. But it’s one more trap of the enemy working to convince you and me that we are never going to be enough for salvation. And we aren’t. We will never earn our way to heaven.
Lord, I pray that you would help me to see my unending need for a Savior. That you would always keep me humble and always make it known to me that my flaws, my failures, my mistakes are the reason that Calvary existed in the first place. May I never become so entitled by my faith or by my salvation that I unintentionally divert others from your goodness and your mercy. This life I have, just like this gift of your salvation, is just that: a gift. May I be ever reminded that the price was not free.