The I'm-perfect church
We must consider seriously how we come across to the young people growing up in the church. What do they think we feel toward or about them? Also, how are we perceived by them? There is obviously a disconnect. We believe we are teaching and modeling everything they need to know about being a Christian, yet as many of them get older they leave behind everything they know.
They have heard many sermons on the fact that none of us is perfect and that we all need a savior. Yet, so often we come across as hypocritical when we speak about having our doctrine correct and all others are incorrect in their teachings. That attitude sends the message that while we talk about being imperfect followers of Christ, we come across as followers of the I'm-perfect church.
Romans 12:16 says this; “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” (ESV) I think this verse applies to the subject at hand. So often we do appear to be haughty and wise in our own sight in how we speak about other God-fearing people. Our attitude toward others in the church and other God-fearing people isn't always as it should be. We can be very harsh and arrogant in our defense of the Word. In so doing we give the idea to our young people that we are so full of ourselves and our rightness that it turns them away.
When we do come to a knowledge of the truth we must learn to share it and defend it in love. If we don't we are failing to be Christ like. We fail as disciples. We must never forget we do not have the authority that Jesus did, nor as much as the Apostles did. We are called to be disciples and disciple makers. We have no authority to police other congregations of believers or to judge them. We are not their masters. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Is it possible for us to teach what Jesus taught without judging others and pointing out their short comings? I think so.
Let's learn to teach by example and let's let our example be a Christ like one. Just as people were attracted to Jesus, they will be attracted to his church and its teachings.
© 2014 Leo J. Woodman