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“Everyone I Disagree with isn’t Going to Hell!”

February 11, 2009

annoying-christians

I was amazed to hear that there are over 38,000 Christian denominations.  Most of us are familiar with the large groups like the Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglican, and the Baptists.  There are also scores of other groups that do not have any formal denominational structure, authority, or record-keeping beyond the local congregation. Most of these groups agree on the basic tenets of the faith, such as who God is, who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, the authority of the Scripture, and how salvation is obtained, but they often vary on the less weighty issues of the faith, such as the style of worship, whether women can teach men or wear pants or not, and the way God speaks to us or interacts with us today. But each generally feel that they got it right with regard to how God intended things to be.

This, in itself would not be so bad, because everyone differs in opinion. God, the Creator of infinite variety, never intended us to be the same.  We will all reveal different expressions of the Spirit of Jesus Christ who resides within us. Also, we are not all called to have the same function. As the “metaphor,” the Body of Christ suggests, some churches or individuals are feet, some are elbows, others are eyes and so on.  So it is only logical that churches that are feet would have a different emphasis than a churches that were ears. Additionally, we are each limited by our weakness and can only operate according to the revelation available to us at the time. Yet, there are many within the Body of Christ that are incorrect in assuming that every Christian they disagree with on points of Scripture is going to hell simply because THEY think they are. This is true ignorance. Sadly, they are usually quite blatant, vehement, and completely outspoken about their ignorance as well, giving the rest of us Christians a bad wrap.

What I see happening on a lot of these blogs and in comments on You Tube and other places is an ugly war going on between the members of the Body of Christ.  This is tragic since the Lord desires to see unity between the members of His Body (John 17:22-23) so that our love for one another may verify to the lost that He is from God and we are His disciples. Division will never draw the lost into the Church. Why bother when they can get that sort of strife at home?  They are seeking peace within their hearts from the love and acceptance of God, finding out who they really are, and what their purpose is in eternity and on earth.

Most of the arguments I see have very little to do with the Word of God and a lot more to do with personal opinion and emotionalism.   If anyone is going to make the claim that someone is going to hell, they have to back it up with a LOT of scripture first.  Then there is the issue of knowing the heart of those whom they are accusing.  Last time I checked, that is something only the Lord can do.

Picture Used for Effect (not an endorsement)

Picture Used for Effect (not an endorsement)

Simply being wrong does not make one “hell bound”! Of course, it depends on what one is wrong about, right? I get the feeling in some Christian families it is hell to make a mistake! Pun intended! -) This is the sort of attitude that tries to justify spiritual and emotional abuse against family members, students, and church members.  What is worse, it is often done under the disguise of “love”, as they say, “for their own protection.” Also, just because one has an emotional reaction to someone or something that was said or done does not mean that person is wrong. This is precisely the sort of thinking that makes people of the world repulsed and disgusted by your garden variety Christian.  This is sheer ignorance and fear.

We have seen them all before.  There are the Christians that believe you will go to hell if you watch TV or dance.  Then there are the Christians that believe if you don’t go to their brand of church you will go to hell.  Not to mention the most recent version who are afraid if you use drug terminology to refer to the feeling one gets when certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit come upon us (i.e., “drunk in the Holy Spirit”) that you have to be a part of the New Age and disrespectful towards God, and therefore, going to hell.

I am against the sort of ignorance, dead religion, and hatred that I see going on so freely AND so anonymously, I might add, between the brethren on these blog sites and in comments on You Tube.  Jesus and the disciples spoke about this problem over and over again, stating,

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.  Titus 3:9-11

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.  Matthew 23:33-35

The religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) that Jesus was addressing in the book of Matthew, above, were always on the watch for Jesus to make a mistake or to go against the law.  Is that something you do?  Are you a member of the revival police and heresy hunters?  If so, you might want to do a study in the Bible on Jesus relationship with the religious leaders of His day. You could do a word study on pride, being hard-hearted, and the Antichrist.  Also why was it these religious leaders often killed those bringing God’s “Now Word” to them (the prophets)? Do you realize that Jesus was bringing new revelation to these religious leaders that flew in the face of their religious conventions?  They called him a “wine bibber” because he drank wine and consorted with prostitutes and tax collectors.  He even healed on the Sabbath, which was against the letter of the law.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.  Matthew 23:23-24

When you go about judging your brothers, be careful that you are not missing important new revelation God is bringing your way which flies in the face of your religiosity.

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DOCTRINAL ISSUES

I don’t have an issue discussing where people are off in their theology if it is done in love, without the proclamation that people are going to hell if they don’t believe exactly how you believe.

And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.

He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it], and that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God’s] will.  2 Timothy 2:24-26

_wsb_268x249_whyarechristianssogoodathating

However, the attitude that constantly looks for error in others is almost always accompanied by a divisive, hateful, and fearful spirit, claiming it is all done in the name of love.  It is as if religion is being used as a way to LOOK good and belong to the “I have always got to be right” club.

Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.  Matthew 23:5-7, 25-27

My primary goal in writing this blog post is to help these “accusers of the brethren” think about their motives… to help them see their attitudes… and to bring light to their journey so that they don’t live in constant fear of everything out there.

My message to you would be this, you can have the confidence and peace you need. Just ask God for it. Discuss doctrinal issues all you desire, but check out how you sound to the rest of the world. Back it up with scripture, not merely with feelings like “I am so disgusted by these demon possessed people.”  Oh… and BY THE WAY… WHY is it everyone YOU  disagree with has to be demon possessed!

I think many of the new things going on in Christendom that disturb some of you, like Holy laughter, getting drunk in the Spirit, and soaking to name a few, are there simply to challenge you on HOW you SEE things.

What Glasses do You See Life Through?

What Glasses do You View Life Through?

What you may believe is the Holy Spirit giving you a check in your spirit could be an emotion of repulsion to what you conceive holiness and order OUGHT to look like. How should holiness look? Serious? Fearful of hellfire? Fearful of going out into the world because you might get contaminated by the things in the world? Somber songs about one theme, sin? I wonder if this might be why Jesus said for us to become more child like?

37543066_55bb4732da_oIf you want to argue doctrine go for it. I am not judging you for that. Just do so peacefully and reverently towards, yes, your brothers and sisters in Christ! Check your attitude and motives. Why are you REALLY doing this? Are you doing it to belong to the “I gotta always be right” club? Or the “I gotta warn the world” club? Or is it to lift up the name of Jesus?  Sadly, I don’t see a whole lot of that going on with these people, I am afraid. They often claim they are just informing the church of dangers, false prophets, and so on, but I see a lot of self congratulating going on, mocking, and disrespect for the most part.

bridal-flowersI believe this new, anonymous internet attack on Christians grieves the heart of God much more than the mistakes they may (or may not) be pointing out. These people are able to assault the brethren without any accountability whatsoever.  The Spotless Bride will learn to check her own heart when she is offended before she goes to examine the speck in her brother’s eye.  What’s more, she will be mature enough to know if something in my brother is bothering me, maybe I have an issue within my heart that needs to be resolved or healed.

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:4 & 5

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~Copyright February 11, 2009 by Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author of Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing (see http:thespotlessbride.com) and founder of The Spotless Bride International Ministries. Permission granted to share this article if this paragraph is included. This article was taken from the blog called The Spotless Bride found at https://thespotlessbride.wordpress.com. Any images or movies obtained from the Internet are assumed royalty free due to the lack of credit given where they were found. If you own an image, it is this author’s sincerest desire to give credit. Please contact Tracey Nelson at songsofdeliverace@yahoo.com and she will gladly give credit, seek permission, and obtain a license when necessary.~

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2009 9:16 am

    Hi there,
    thespotlessbride.wordpress.com – da best. Keep it going!
    Tania

  2. April 29, 2009 1:53 pm

    now in my rss reader)))
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