Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Brothers of Christ

I'm so saddened by the state of this world some times. It's hard to see good when we're surrounded by so much madness. On one hand you have cults that lure people in under their mind control and use religious rites and emotional manipulation to draw people into a false race for 'heaven' of some sort.

Then you have the television evangelists and the mega church slicksters who promise wealth and good times here on earth.

The evangelicals rightly point out that those groups are "false teachers." But then we get the mainstream evangelicals hocking the Bible for money in tracts, movies, cups, mugs, jewelry and other junk.

Recently, Hollywood (you're supposed to jump back in sudden fright at that word, because it's eeeevil) produced a movie about Noah. Or, based upon the character that appears in the Bible, among other ancient texts. Unlike others, I never expected an atheist to produce a faithfully Biblical movie. Evidently, in addition to using the Book of Enoch, the director drew upon the Kabbalah.

Some Christians have endorsed the movie. Others have come out with cries of blasphemy as if the studio and director are attempting to deceive people and twist scripture. They have taken this up as a crusade to defend God and the Bible.

Personally, I wish Christians were so inclined to defend God's word where it is truly being twisted and where people are routinely being deceived: in churches the world over!

I'd like to see Christians show compassion for the lost like Paul did when he preached on Mars Hill, surrounded by pagan deities and false doctrine.

I know, we've got plenty of heresies that have sprung from Mars Hill, too. Some have justified using cheap marketing techniques to "attract" people to Christ, as if that's what Paul was doing.

And while Paul's approach might be debated, he certainly didn't go out and condemn people and slander them. He didn't go around rustling support for how pagan and blasphemous they were. He didn't incur their hate and then go telling everyone what a martyr he was or point out how much he was suffering for Christ.

How will the world learn of God's love, if not from His vessels? God's love doesn't point an angry finger, spew hateful words or berate the sinner. Jesus didn't chase the sinners around with a whip and tell them how blasphemous and evil they were.

Actually, he did that to the religious leaders. He reserved words like "brood of vipers," "hypocrites," and "dead men's bones" for the self-righteous, self-aggrandizing men who condescended to everyone else about doctrine, The Law, theology, etc. They had the P.H.D.s, the Masters of Divinity, the weighty Theses and stern looks toward the rabble they hoped to lead. And Jesus said they bound men up with heavy burdens and made the twice the sons of Hell as they were.

These men are still around. They still "lead" the church. They're the scribes and Pharasees who rail against a Hollywood movie, yet tune in to TV and consume the whole of our culture. They rail against those evil pagans, not blinking at the pride swelling in their hearts for their own righteousness.

Christ followers are not supposed to be like that. We're supposed to be respectful of everyone. We are to humble ourselves and put others first. We are to show the love of God, not in getting reviled because we're jerks, but in humbling ourselves in the face of those who would revile us for our faith.

So, I'm feeling all alone out here. Not that I think Christians should or shouldn't see a Hollywood picture called Noah. We shouldn't endorse it or denounce it. It's the world. But we should humble ourselves in service to those around us. We should esteem others and treat them with respect.

We should behave like son's of God and brothers of Christ.

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