There are many things done in the name of Christ that are not right, disruptive and disgraceful. Over the centuries Christians have felt compelled to force their beliefs on the heathen, keep its adherents in slavery and demand obedience "or else". How and where this way of thinking came from is a mystery to me, for it flows totally opposite to the instructions Jesus Christ gave which are to love one another.
Perhaps nothing has done more damage to Christ's name than the belief of some that they are the only ones on earth who know the truth and therefore must capture and beat that truth into the heretics who are either nave or deceived. This type of behavior inevitably causes division within the Church and produces deep wounds in the hearts of the simple.
Why do those who are convinced they have been called by God to force others to believe some new and off the wall revelation the most dominant and aggressive members of the Body? Why do those whose belief systems are controversial at best and absolutely contrary to the Word of God at worst feel that their brand of truth must be shoved down other Christian s throats?
Personally, I am sick and tired of people accusing me of being an infidel, scoundrel, heretic or spiritually brain dead just because I will not buy into their theology. Personally, I am weary of defending the simplicity of the Gospel from relentless attacks by those who want to twist and turn it into something so complicated and contradictory only a fool would believe it to be true.
Over the years, I have watched countless people barge their way onto this site with the sole purpose of converting everyone here to their theology. They come in with both barrels blazing; shooting holes in the doctrine of everyone who dares confront their error. They paint themselves out to be some special messenger from God sent to break the backs of those who believe the lie.
Most of these folks quickly find out that all their aggressive tactics get them is ignored. Once they figure out they cannot change everyone they leave in a blaze of glory; more or less telling us all we are doomed to hellfire and eternal damnation. The truth is that their accusing finger points three back at themselves. They are the ones in error, not the rest of us who just want to love God and share His Word.
I hate endless debates on subjects there is no hope of finding common ground on. I hate word battles that only serve to inflate the egos of those who adamantly believe they are right no matter what. I hate the air of confrontation and condemnation many feel is their reason for being here.
Christians, unfortunately, have not gotten along for 2000 years. Power struggles, ego trips and pride have ripped apart the Body of Christ since the First Century. Just as Paul warned against grievous wolves whose intent is to devour the Body, so I feel inspired to warn of those who seek only to "bite and devour" instead of wanting to edify, encourage, comfort and bless.
We have the freedom to speak whatever we wish and to lay out what we believe and why. We DO NOT have the freedom to belittle what someone else believes or berate them just because they believe differently than we do. God gives us incredible freedom within the Body of Christ to speak the truth in love, help one another and in all things seek to edify each other. God has NOT given us the freedom to hurt one another.
I pray that we all redouble our efforts to build up the Body of Christ and not seek to tear it down. I pray we all reach out in love more and thrash out in anger less. I pray we all manifest a little more humility and lot less pride. Thank you for allowing me to unburden my heart.
I have been thinking on this very topic this morning, B2Y. Just yesterday I was talking to a few others here about this topic as well. What is sad is that instead of building up and strengthening the Body of Christ, sometimes we as Christians seem intent upon beating it up instead. That is heartbreaking.
Thank you for sharing the burden on your heart.
When my youngest son was first reborn he liked to drive his Mother crazy with arguments, she (or I) was wrong in this scripture or that thinking, understanding, or knowledge. It was a real pain sometimes.
She asked me what to do and how to respond, I replied it is the new Christian syndrome be patience and let him grow in knowledge and understanding and soon we can have a discussion instead of a confrontation with him.
Now in is maturing as a follower of Christ we enjoy family discussions and debates over scripture and living a life pleasing to the LORD.
(I think some of what we see falls into this area.)
True many problems that arise here are due to incomplete scriptural knowledge and understanding of the many inter-related topics of our relationship in Christ with God and daily living. (Even us that have lived and studied for over 30 years are still learning and growing in all that we are and have in and through Christ.)
Perhaps to go further I need to write my own blog on the subject.
There can be great strengthening and building up of the Body of Christ in honest discussions and disagreements in scripture, unfortunately within a blog atmosphere it seems to easy to let personal get in the way instead of letting the Spirit have control within the debate and veer from scripture.
Even the Apostles discussed and debated each other without a falling out.
We might want to understand this in scripture a little more.