I suppose that all of us have been guilty of it at one time or another. We believe there is something we should or should not do. We discover that there are other Christians who do not feel the same way as us and right away we decided that we must "fix" them. If it was merely telling them what we believed and why and allowing them to decide whether or not to seek God about it themselves, it would be one thing. However, in our zeal to "fix" them, we often cross the line.
This was a problem in the early church as well as in the church today. Paul addresses this issue in Romans 14. The early church was made up of both Jews and Gentiles. It was made up of people from various ethnic groups, cultures and backgrounds, just like it is today. When these people came to Christ, they brought with them their personal experiences, biases, customs and so forth. Like today, a number of these people felt it was their Christian duty to force what they believed to be right upon other Christians.
There is a difference between simply presenting what you believe to people and trying to ram it down their throat. When you do the former, you say what you have to say and let the individual decide if they wish to pursue it any further. You don't constantly confront them about it, drag it into every conversation when the person has made it clear they do not want to discuss it or condemn them for not believing as you do. Jesus did not do things this way and neither should we.
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.
For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables.
Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.
Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord's help, they will stand and receive his approval.
In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.
Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
For we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Christ died and rose again for this very purpose--to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
For the Scriptures say,
"As surely as I live," says the LORD,
"every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will confess and give praise to God."
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.
So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Romans 14:1-13 (NLT)
I believe that says it all.
I'm not claiming that this blog is written to me, but I'll respond as if it was.
Why do so many assume that when one is writing about what God expects of a Christian, that the writer is condemning?
People take offense, then immediately they think they're being judged or condemned. This is not true.
I've made it plain that although I don't believe that mainstream Christianity obeys God as they should, that their obedience or disobedience isn't what saves them or condemns them. If our obedience saved us, we'd all be lost. None of us obey as God demands.
All I've been doing is showing what I believe God expects of us. If what I write ****** ones heart, then so be it.
I could find many verses from Paul about obedience, or how to treat a disobedient brother, but why bother.
Paul in Rom. 14 talks about not judging a brother, it doesn't say a thing about not going to a brother if you see him in sin.
I'm not judging anyone here, I'm no better than anyone here. I probably sin more than many here, that's not my point.
My point has been to show where I believe that mainstream Christianity has lied to my brothers in Christ.
Sometimes it takes hard sounding words, but my intent is not condemnation.
BTW I believe the Holy Spirit uses us to ***** the hearts of our brothers and sisters.
The nitty stuff is ridiculous to confront; things on conscience. Some things need to be confronted that aren't sin but social. But that's just a good friendship.
Even the important non-negotiable need to be handled with care otherwise the reject the message with the messanger.
It is very important to get good at knowing how, when and if to confront.
I believe that culture had an issue about eating meat that had been used in sacrifice to idols. What was left of the animal I suppose. Should a christian believer knowingly eat of it, or not. And, if one had good conscience who did eat of it, what about those believers whose conscience would not allow them to? We have to consider others, who may be weaker in faith, and not cause them to stumble. Circumcision and keeping the law, was another one. Immorality. False teachers and doctrines. They were all written about in the NT writings.
Jesus told us that there would be division. It is an issue that I think on, and pray about to, K . We will all answer personally to Jesus Christ, for what we have done, what we have built, upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. Every word, deed, and thought. He knows the motives, the heart. We do not, not always. It is an issue we need to take very serious.
K , thanks for addressing this. Let us all pray, study, and always answer in love, and not be too quick to answer. But also, not be too quiet to either. The word of God, the gospel of Christ, is well worth defending, but not in any fleshly manner. And absolutely, it is Jesus Christ who condemns. 'It is a fearful thing,to fall into the hands of the Living God.' His voice then shook the earth, scripture says, then, "Yet once more", and everything that can be shaken, will be. This is very serious business, God's business is. I respect you a lot. God Bless sister.