This last week, I did a terrible thing. I entered into an on-line debate about how bad the world and church is these days. No good thing can come from arguing with people who think they are right about everything.
But I guess I'd seen a fellow pastor put one too many click bait statements out there. The one I fell for? "Sexual Atheism". No... not referring to the belief that sex does not exist. But, it turns out, sharing that if you don't follow Gods rules for sex, then you don't believe in Him.
I entered that pool, and drowned. At the end of that day I felt so far from God. And Instead of life rafts, I got isolated scripture after Ellen White quote sent to me.
Now here's the thing. I believe in Scripture. In fact I use many of the same texts that were coming my way to arrive at the position I do on the subject. A 1st Corinthians verse used for keeping the church sexually pure - I use to teach humility for Christian leaders. I also believe Ellen White has some very good council for us - even today. Actually, this pastor in question and I probably believe just about all the same things. We are probably in lock step with the full 28 fundamentals our denomination puts out.
So what's the difference?
It's not so much what we believe - but rather, in our day to day lives and ministries, what we choose to emphasize. For we cannot preach and teach every thing, every day.
Even Jesus and the Pharisees followed the same law. But they lived a life emphasizing very different things about God.
You see... in the past, Christianity has divided itself up into groups that believe different things. We call them denominations. Today, people don't always choose a church (congregations or denominations) on what it believes on paper... rather on how it chooses to live out those beliefs.
Do you go on television (or Facebook) and tell the heathens how heathen they are? Do you stand up in your local pulpit and tell the sheep there are wolves in our midst? (I wouldn't argue the truth of these)
Do you take a hit from the pious, and reach out to the leper? Do you flout the religious rules of the day to help a cripple. Do you spend all night in prayer asking God to give you strength to walk through the next day with all its calls for the poor, broken, sick and hurting.
Right now... call me a wolf if you must, but before I am known for anything, I want to be known as someone who follows Jesus. Not just what he said, but also what he did.
Btw... I've a ways to go in this department.
As Christians. As preachers, with the "hurricane" coming straight towards us, I think it's like telling people how dangerous the hurricane is, v's helping people get out of the way to safety.