As I say many times per day, we have really forgotten how to love each other in this day and age.
Acceptance and tolerance are preached all the time, but in my opinion, the acceptance comes in the form of love. Love each other, no matter what.
It ain’t easy. I have to remind myself of this all the time, and there are many times I wish I could kick myself in the rear end.
So many times, we as Christians use our Christianity to be gigantic snobs. We get a phone book called “The Shepherd’s Guide” and only want to hire or deal with fellow Christians.
All of that crap really sickens me.
I mean, who do we think we are? Do you really think Jesus intended for us to only deal with Christians and those who believed the same way we do? It’s maddening to think that.
A large group of girls at church were asked about friends who abused alcohol and drugs. The question to them was: What would you do if a friend of yours came to you and said they had tried drugs or alcohol?
At least three of the girls immediately spoke up and said “Well I wouldn’t hang out with them anymore.”
Really? Why? If you stand firm in what you believe, a friend who doesn’t align with your morals or beliefs is not going to influence you so much that you are dragged into some kind of abyss of debauchery.
Love those people anyway! Make a difference. They aren’t terrible people just because they experiment with something or make a bad choice.
I’m mean, come on.
This kind of ignorance comes from well-intentioned parents. But those parents are so out of touch. We need to be equipping our kids rather than teaching them how to snub their noses at kids who are obviously searching and possibly even crying out.
Furthermore, what kind of message are we putting across when we dump relationships at the drop of a hat? As I said, can we just go quietly on and continue to love and pray for people?
I think we are living in a strange time for church communities. We’ve got a group of “rah-rah-sis-boom-bah” churches coming up right now. They are big on presentation. They are growing wildly. Everyone looks good. There are programs out the wazoo and the music rivals a concert every week with lights, professional singers, and booming music.
A huge emphasis is put on looking and sounding good. Performance, presentation. Rah-rah, feeling good.
The gospel is touched upon, but mostly only the good stuff. Health and wealth, to some extent. It’s a dangerous climate.
Satan and Hell are not spoken of much and nobody wants to hear that they are destined for Hell. Oh my. Don’t remind me that we are all sinners! I want to feel and look good.
Youth groups for kids are supposed to be fun, but they are also supposed to be places where kids feel accepted and again, are equipped on how to treat others and spread the gospel, as well as the love of Jesus.
So many kids often sour on church youth groups when there aren’t enough scavenger hunts and shaving cream fights. They don’t want to go deeper with Bible study or investing in relationships. Many of them just go for the fun and don’t want to be there for the equipping.
I also think this type of church climate is fostering Christian bullies. A group of “Christian” young folks were recently caught ganging up on a couple of their peers for being outspoken about their beliefs. Adults involved were alarmed at the way the group of Christian youth were speaking and acting toward the other kids. Furthermore, the ongoing treatment and indeed, the “snubbing” I spoke of, continued to go on after the altercation.
Look, I believe that churches are places for broken and hurting folks. Those folks who are solid and healed are supposed to reach out and love. We as a church community are supposed to take care of others and welcome everyone in, warts and all.
We are supposed to be teaching our kids this, as well, not focusing on vain things.