So I find myself a little...perturbed... at THE church recently (Note the capital THE...meaning, not my church per say, or even every church....just certain branches of the church.) (OKay so maybe my punctuation is a bit off too, but hopefully you get the point)!
For one, about a week or so ago I was watching a video of some missionaries in my heart country of Ecuador and just felt myself becoming more and more annoyed as I listened to these wealthy, white, American's preach to these children that they should dream big and that if they just trust God enough, He will give them every thing they WANT in life! Seriously?!?! First of all...as MISSIONARIES shouldn't you're main message be THE GOSPEL?! You know...Jesus on the CROSS, already giving us EVERYTHING! Second of all, how irresponsible to tell a little child whose parent's probably make just a few dollars a day that if he just prays hard enough God will do whatever he wants Him to do!
And I'm not saying I don't believe that God can provide for this child, or that we, as Christians, shouldn't offer hope to those who are suffering. BUT... shouldn't our message be JESUS?!?! Wasn't it Paul...the greatest missionary ever....who said "I resolved to know nothing among you EXCEPT JESUS CHRIST and him crucified"?!?! I just find it very wrong to set a child up to believe that God's some sort of genie in the bottle you have to rub a certain way to get your wish! Or to force the "American Dream" on a child who most likely won't ever achieve it (as if the "American Dream" is really worth reaching!).
Anyway, I also took some time to watch the documentary "Hell House" today, which is about a church in Texas that puts on a production every Halloween where they set up different scenarios...like a girl having an abortion, or a homosexual dying, or someone killing themselves..in a "haunted" house .and talk about how all these people are going to hell because of their choices. And I know...or at least I believe...that the point of their message was these "people" go to hell because they never accepted Jesus, but through out the whole documentary it comes across like it's their other choices...NOT their choice whether or not to serve Jesus...that determined their place in either heaven or hell.
This kind of attitude annoys me so much! This belief that THE church seems to have sometimes, that we need to clean up the people OUTSIDE of our church and make them live by OUR standards without ever leading them to the feet of the ONE who created the standard!! How is some one who does not have an understanding of the LOVE and GRACE of God suppose to try and live this MORALIST life we proclaim, when they don't even know the ONE who empowers us to do it?!?!
And I know I don't know everything....I have A LOT to learn still ...but it seems to me, that it's the people who claimed to be Religious...the Pharisees and Sadducees in the Bible...that Jesus had the harshest words for! In fact it seems to be that while everyone will be judged at the end of time....that judgment will be based on whether or not you know Jesus. And THEN of those who know Him and accepted him as savior, there will be a judgment on how you lived. It's not those OUTSIDE of the church but those INSIDE whom Jesus calls to this high standard of living!
Yeah...so....hopefully this doesn't just sound like a babbled rant that means nothing. Hopefully you see my heart in the midst of THIS....that it's FIRST all about JESUS and knowing HIM...and THEN about living our lives in such a way that points back to HIM...not us! Cause ultimately.....that's exactly what I want my life to be about! It's ALL to and for JESUS!