Theological Musings

I want to write about something that is on my heart, but not sure which blog to place it under, so I will make a new page. I have a concern for the body of Christ, particularly in America today. If you read some of my other blogs or articles I have written, you make already be able to tell what I am going to write about.

A lot of what I do ties in with evangelism, apologetics, or Biblical counseling. Many times, these subjects work hand in hand with each other. What I am detecting in what I am reading from other Christians, is a self-righteousness, or a ‘I am right and you are wrong’ attitude coming from people who are born again Christians. What it looks like, to an outsider, is that Christians think they are better than other people. I am sure that if these Christians are confronted with their attitude, and you were to ask them about it, there would be responses that have been thought out already (I’m doing this because I love God. The best way to love God is to preach the Gospel).

With all the teaching on pride and humility that we have had, I am surprised that we still act this way. I like the ‘Tactics’ course taught by Greg Koukl (you can get this course as well as other material from http://www.str.org). Yes, we need to confront those who are opposing the truth. We need to expose the truth and the lies.

I am going to use the situation with the Pope to help explain what I am thinking. First of all, in what I say here, I am not defending Catholicism or the Roman Catholic church. From what I studied about Catholicism, I see many extra biblical additions that don’t tie in with Scripture. But the point is this; how do we handle the differences between what we believe in and what Catholicism teaches? This principle applies to any religion or cult. In this instance, we have to ask ourselves, are we supposed to love the Catholic people? In order to answer this, first ask ourselves, are we supposed to love other people besides us? What does the Bible say? It tells us to love other people. The Bible says that we should even love our enemies. The Bible however, is not telling us to submit to other people. We are to submit to those in authority, and those who are part of the body of Christ.

I know that some of the defenses of my readers are going up now. I understand. It is hard to not through out the baby with the bath water. People are (in our minds) either 100% right, or, 100% wrong. It is part of our sinful heritage to respond to people who are not like us, or who disagree with us, to hate them. Unfortunately, in the body of Christ, we think this is an exception to the rule. We think, for example, that the Catholics are wrong, so they are our enemies. We should openly put them down. We should slander them. It’s ok, because we are doing God’s will by telling people (including Catholics) that they are wrong.

Again, I am not standing up for the Catholic religion. That is not the point. You can replace the name of any religion or group in the place of the word ‘Catholic’. Also, I would be in favor of having forums where debates between Catholic and Protestants could take place. I am not against people writing essays exposing what the Catholics believe in, and comparing it with Scripture. What I find disturbing is this; Today, because of the recent episode of electing a new pope, there is a lot of talk about Catholicism in the public forums. I see people making fun of the Catholics and putting them down because they are in the news now. Do we, as Christians, really think that the Catholic people will ever listen to what we have to say? Will you be able to preach the Gospel to them, ever? Do you want them to hear the Gospel? If a person who you didn’t know, came up to you and when you started talking to him, he informs you that you are wrong in what you believe in. What would you think of that person? Would you want to continue a conversation with him? He has already shown that he is not your friend. To go around telling people that they are wrong (even if they are wrong) is not the way to communicate to them their need for a Savior. Shouldn’t our main concern, in our relationships with anybody out there, be for them to hear the Gospel? If you tell a person they are wrong, you have already lost them to yourself. They aren’t going to listen to you any more. They will chalk their encounter with you as ‘just one more reason I’m not going to be a Christian’.

I am thinking of the forum specifically on Facebook. Facebook is a great way to present the truth of the word of God to friends. It’s a great way to minister and even disciple others. But think about this; I don’t know if everyone is like me or not, but I have many different friends on Face Book, and I am going to be careful about how I present issues that are sensitive to people. I have some Catholic Facebook friends and I don’t think it would help my relationship with them if I post a message giving reasons why the Pope is the AntiChrist. Like I already said, I think we can make forums to discuss issues like this, but to attack something that someone believes in, even if they are very wrong, is not the way to handle or minister the Gospel to these people. Are we doing these things because we truly care about the souls of people, or, are we doing these things because we are spiritually superior to others? Are we abusing the authority God has given to us in handling the Gospel? Are we in some kind of competition with other religions, that we feel threatened by others and what they believe in? Remember, only God’s word will prevail. Everything else will be blown down. Most people who are Catholic (or pick the religion, even Christianity) are just nominal and belong to that group, either because they were raised that way, or someone convinced them to join in, and they found a place where they fit. People want something to identify with. When you attack their group, you are, in a sense, placing an attack on them personally. Once that happens, they won’t listen to anything else you have to say, no matter how true it is.

So, if you are on Facebook, for example, and are posting all these messages that are attacking Roman Catholicism, or making fun of these people, do you have friends who could take this personally and will either unfriend you or block your posts so they can’t see what you post? Is this what you want? Is it more important for you to be estranged from your Catholic relatives, than to be in a relationship where they would feel safe being your friend and confiding in you, and possibly asking questions about the Gospel should they have them?

One last word; I know that when the Gospel is preached, it will offend people. That is the nature of it. Jesus was loving and kind, along with being merciful, yet when He spoke words that they weren’t happy with, many left. That is ok. We have to let God soften their hearts. In this case, their battle is between them and God. We haven’t personally rejected them. We want God to work in our Face Book friend’s hearts. Our goal is for them to come to Christ. They won’t see the Gospel though, if we attack them because we hate what they believe in.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: