Years ago a visiting minister to our congregation would not sing along with us several of the songs from our hymn book because they were written by what he believed were false christians, though why he set himself up to be their judge I have yet to understand. However, I remember our pastor later mentioning the absurdity of that kind of thinking, and well it was. The songs were very edifying and godly.
Yet its strikes me funny that we see this type of thing going on amongst us all the time in other ways. I see perfectly good sound and edifying articles posted on face book that hardly anyone hits the “like” button on and I know it is because of “WHO” wrote the article rather than anything to do with the “content” of the aritcle. The people are already judged and condemned and so is anything they have to offer. How sad. It reminds me of the parable that Jesus told:
And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself; “God I thank you that I am not like other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give tithes of all that I possess.”
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled and he that humbles himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:9-14
Many people said of Jesus that he had a devil. But others said, “Can the devil open the eyes of the blind?”
Jesus said, if you are going to judge, at least judge righteous judgement. If what you read is good, it is good. Give God glory. Be thankful for the vessel that was utilized to bring forth a good word in due season. God has even used a donkey to bring a message to a man once. If we refuse a message because of the vessel it is delivered in, even though the messsage is perfectly sound, we are a respector of persons and God says if we have respect of persons we are sinning.
If we are claiming to be living a “sin-free” life, then we should not be having respect of persons. Respect of persons is holding someone up so high that they are almost God-like- unreproachable.
You can gossip all you want about the person who “left your congregation” but woe to the one who says anything about the mighty one in holy robes who stands behind the pulpit. That is respector of persons! That is not right and God will bring judgment upon that.
People are people. Gossip and slander is wrong no matter who it is about. And if someone has left your “congregation” if you are the true body of Christ, your burden would be to see that person reconciled with the body. But cutting them off and treating them as if they are no longer part of your family is not right. That is pushing them further away and sealing them out permanently because you are not showing love but rather wounding them so deeply they will never be able to trust you again. Even God said to his back slidden church, “I am married to you.” (Jeremiah 3:14)
Our message and burden to every soul should always be reconciliation. But reconciliation never comes through the pompous, proud religous minded groups. They either lock you in to a religious system or lock you out because you wont bow to their written or unwritten creeds. Jesus would not be locked in and so was locked out.
Lets stay free! Free from sin, free from Pharisee thinking, free from religious pride, free to love souls so we can truly help them be reconciled to God and/or his body!