Behavior of the Body of Believers
Dear Brother Ron
I believe that the body of believers is not much better than they were in Paul's day. We have corruption in the body of believers. We have people who use church as their social hour and don't take sermons to heart. We have people who are so-called "Christians" and they are treating people worse than some atheists do. Some atheists have morals better than some Christians. Some Christians don't understand that grace is given freely, but it is all the more reason to celebrate the grace of God. They take his grace and sacrifice for granted. Do you see what I see, or am I alone in this battle?
You may think I am being judgmental but God is the only judge. I do not judge. There is a difference between judging and condoning. I am NOT condoning behavior that weakens the church. So I may be judging their behavior, but not judging them. Judging a person and behavior are very different things. This society has become to politically correct and people have disregarded morals for the feelings of others along with taking "judge and lest be judged" out of context. Well we can't control their feelings so we might as well tell our opinions right? Who is going to step up for reform?
You are not alone. I moderate a forum of over three thousand ministers and hear the same comments repeatedly. From these comments, I would also conclude that this is not a new problem by any means. Since it has been going on at least since the time of Jesus (read His comments about the Pharisees in Matthew 23), chances are it is not going to stop any time soon.
I refer to the people you are talking about as Chinos (Christians In Name Only). There is a lot of discussion within the Christian community (and probably within other religions as well) as to who is a "real" believer and who isn't. Personally, I tend to use the duck method of evaluation. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, flies like a duck, quacks like a duck and hangs around with other ducks, it's probably a duck. The same is true for those who claim to follow a certain faith.
Although the Bible tells us we can not work our way into heaven, we are told to conduct ourselves as living examples of our faith. If our behavior exemplifies our belief, then others will accept the validity of that belief and be encouraged to adopt it for themselves. If our actions do not match our professions of faith, then those professions of faith are just so much hot air.
You ask who is going to step up for reform. The answer is you are. You can't control what others do. The only way to combat this hypocrisy is for you to live and minister as Jesus told us to do. I realize the struggle will be long and hard. You may be criticized by the hypocrites for being a "do-gooder". But along the way, some will get the message. Don't worry about the ones who don't. Our Father doesn't expect you to save everybody. But you will get your share and that's all He expects.
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