THORNS by Big Methusaleh
Is it possible that brothers and sisters are hurt and angry because Christians have offended them in some way – judged them, mistreated them, scorned them because of the way they look or because of their politics? Or because they challenged the authority that abused its position?
Oh yes – I’ve seen it, experienced it, and have witnessed the wreckage that we Christians can produce on those who don’t fit our Christian mold. Shame on us, and shame on anyone who can’t see this or won’t admit it.
Our “formulaic” belief system is not what God designed for us to pass along to the world. We’ve got to really love people, like Jesus did, and apply salve – not salt – to people’s wounds.
Have you offended anyone, or caused them to question their faith in God or in Christianity?
Who’s right here? Who is the greatest?
The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
7“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[a]
12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
So what do we do now?
Now, now my friends – I understand your strong and emotional feelings for matters of the heart, like salvation, sin, forgiveness and grace. But we can all do a better job of exercising some love toward one another, don’t you think?
As with any interchange of ideas, there will be disagreements – but that’s the whole point! You should not enter this discussion if all you want to do is foist your opinions as total truth on someone else.
You should only take part as you open yourself up to new ideas, explore fresh ways of looking at old ideas, empathize with your brothers and sisters who write opposing points of view, and prepare yourself to respond in the love of Jesus toward one another.
Is that possible? Yes. Let’s do it.
Let’s not see this debate slow or stop – there’s something good happening here and I would love all of you to share this blog with your friends and families and invite them in.
Ask your unsaved friends to read and comment. Encourage your relatives who’ve always gone to “traditional” churches to take part. Please find a few atheists and open the doors for them to have a part! How about former church members who have been hurt and are disillusioned with the whole organized church scene?
Do we just write everyone else off as being in error, or do we take our time and calmly listen, then reason together until we all gain understanding?
How did Jesus handle this type of situation?
Wouldn’t it be beautiful if this became a forum whereby we could be honest with one another, grow together and become “fitly joined together,” as the Bible says?
Gee whiz, saints, the world might even see this and be impressed!