Something has been bugging me. I’ve been careful to think about this “issue” before discussing it. I’ve been a Christian for a while, having come to Christ as a teenager who lived a violent and vile life. I’ve seen both sides of the cross – those who follow Christ and those who do not. While I have experienced radical transformation in my life, I am not perfect, so I try to give grace to others. But, like I said, I am not perfect.
Unfortunately, I am not alone in my imperfection, and grace is not as pervasive as I would hope in the church.
You’ve seen/heard the sensational stories of churches gone on the attack. We can see that animal. We can compartmentalize it. However, there is a more stealthy beast in the house. He (or she) does nothing so grand. Yet, he is just as dangerous, maybe more so. He sits in judgment of other Christians. He makes wild assumptions of motives, and uses those assumptions as fodder for scoffing. He wears cynics glasses and views his faith family through mocking lenses.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
It almost seems “cool” to be cynical about church people and their endeavors. We mock Christian movies. We mock Christian advertisements. We mock Christian business. We mock Christian religious practices. We mock Christian websites. We mock Christian music. We mock Christian piety. I can go on and on!
It’s been bothering for weeks, and then just today, I saw someone who is supposedly in the business of making churches better, who made a huge assumption of an unnamed customer’s motives and publicly mocked them. Let us not walk in the way of the wicked, scoffing and mocking. Let us walk in encouragement. Let us endeavor to lift the bar with one another, not over one another. Let us truly put others’ interests first.
In confession, I am sometimes that “holy” scoffer. The recognition of this in myself only fuels my concern about it and sensitivity to it. God, forgive me, and transform me as I recognize my failing.