Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coda

I want to tell you a personal story that illustrates why I get so angry that we’ve allowed ourselves to become known by the spirit of pride and condemnation.

Before I get there, I should recognize that I’m often critical of the church in my writings. People may get the impression I hate it. I don’t. I actually love the church. And like I said earlier, I recognize there are multitudes of us who quietly go about our lives being merciful, showing charity, and being a real light in this world—the whole world, not just our own little Christian circles. I’m fortunate to know lots and lots of you like that. My friends at Journey saved my belief in this.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Christians Are Today's Pharisees, pt. 2

< --- Part One

In America we Christians, fairly or not, have collectively become known to our culture to be like Pharisees. All of us, Catholics and Protestants alike, need to hear and learn from Jesus here:
“Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:13)
Jesus calls to sinners. He doesn't convict them. He gives hope, healing, and mercy to anyone. He loves furiously and he offers good news to bad people. And the sinners flocked to him by the thousands.

They still do today, by the billions.

Meanwhile, the respectable, "righteous" religious people couldn't accept him because he wouldn't take a "stand against sin". He wouldn't sign their petitions to "preserve morality". He actually seemed to enjoy partying with corrupt bureaucrats, alcoholics, and hookers.

When someone first learns that you're a Christian, which of these 2 camps do you believe they automatically think you fall into?

How do we get rid of this stain on our character?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Christians Are Today’s Pharisees

I love Matthew 23. It’s Jesus laying down a no-holds-barred smackdown on the self-righteous Pharisees. It blows the caricature of a flannelgraph, mild-mannered inoffensive Jesus out of the water.

Here’s the thing, though.

Today, he’s speaking those words to us.

We are today's Pharisees.