I just learned that a twenty-something year old woman in Springfield, Missouri was told she was no longer welcome in her church. She was warned that if she came on the property, they would call the police on her. She was given a six-page letter from one the leaders at church telling her that her ‘witness’ is responsible for sending her entire family to hell.
She is the only Christian in her family. She’s gone to this church, by herself, since she was a little kid in the Youth Group. She grew up to become a worker in the same Youth Group and now she has been shunned.
This girl who needs her Christian friends now, more than ever, has been cast out. Her crime was getting a divorce after two years of marriage counseling trying to recover from her husbands’ affair.
Never mind the fact that the Bible gives permission to divorce a cheating spouse. When is it okay to tell a broken lamb that she is not welcome in God’s house anymore? Are you representing Jesus when you threaten a sobbing girl to keep her from coming to your church?
Which version of Jesus are you representing?
Are you the Jesus clinking wine glasses at a table full of shady characters?
Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner. The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to his disciples greatly offended. “What is he doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?” – Luke 5:29-30
Are you the Jesus who is telling stories to unwind the riddles of God’s unrelenting love?
By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” – Luke 15:1
Are you the Jesus who stands up for the one who has no right to stand?
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?”…Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” – John 8:1-6
Or, maybe, you are exactly like the Pharisees in those scriptures.
When scripture talks about false teachers, their number one criteria is doing away with the power of what Jesus did on the cross. When you kick a fallen brother out, you are denying Christ to him. You are causing divisions and demanding loyalty to your interpretation of the condition of another’s heart.
But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They’ll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They’ve put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong. – 2 Peter 2:1-2
A fraud stands in between the sinner and the cross. A fraud lives a legalistic life, setting itself up to maintain with out the need for grace. They position themselves to where you have to clear everything through them. Frauds perpetuate the sin of another in an attempt to make themselves look holy in contrast.
Your lives are roadblocks to God’s kingdom. You refuse to enter, and won’t let anyone else in either. – Matthew 23:13
Don’t you know that you can use your fallen sister to spotlight the grace of God for all of those who doubt that what Jesus did was enough? Or do you not think that what Jesus did was enough?
Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. – 1 Timothy 1:15-19
False teachers minimize the abolition of sin in the presence of grace. False teachers perpetuate the sin with their response to it. They lead their unthinking masses who have no backbone into alley’s of confusion and co-dependance and demand divisions among the believers. Threats of hell and disappointment keep them quiet until the cries of the wounded lamb die down.
Only self-righteous, scripturally-ignorant leaders make a show of their religion by disrobing a wounded sister and marching her debilitating shame in front of a shock-stricken group of shackled followers.
Who is most proud of your stance? The Christ who died to set that girl free? Or the anti-Christ who hates the audacious and all-inclusive grace that the cross represents?
You think she deserves it. Don’t we all? Point your accusing finger while reciting her sin and I’ll tell you that her sin is irrelevant in the unabashed light of grace.
Put your accusing finger down. You may get mistaken for somebody else….
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God. They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. – Revelation 12:10-11
We will not shut our mouths about God’s grace. This is my eye-witness account.
Let your rocks drop to the ground. Grace Is For Sinners.