I am feeling conflicted.
I hate feeling judged by the world instead of convicted by God. And there is a clear distinction between the two. One leaves you feeling nasty, unclean and small. The other edifies you, cleanses you, grows you. I prefer the latter.
I don't know where I can express my concerns and thoughts of Christianity and the church without misleading non-Christians and offending Christians. It is a frustrating balance of legalism and unspoken rules. I am not a very "unspoken" person. I believe this is giving some people the wrong impression of me and that is frustrating. But I am who I am and the Lord made it as such. He speaks clearly to me and when I feel it is appropriate, I share what I feel led to share. I keep plenty of things tucked away in my heart, because even the Bible is clear that certain things are not for the entire body. It takes a deep discernment to know sometimes, whether or not the Lord is leading me to share.
I cannot get all of my thoughts together the way that I would like today. However, I can say that I am deeply concerned for the "church." For those inside of it's 4 walls who are focused on other's who sit there with them, who do not believe they have close-minded ideas but leave no room for testimony or growth of others. I am concerned that as a church we might be missing it.
We get so caught up in protecting ourselves against sin and staying away from it at all cost. How then, do you suppose we are going to reach the sinful?
I think it bothers some Christians that I am not sheltered in my thinking. Whether we like it or not, we live in this world. It is dirty, sinful and disgraceful. It is dysfunctional and hurtful.
I refuse to sit inside of a church every night of the week indulging in the activities that will build myself up and neglect those in my life who clearly have no relationship with Jesus. I refuse to turn away from someone who talks a certain way, believes a certain way, listens to certain music, and is involved with sinful activities because it may offend the congregation. Or because "it could ruin my testimony."
Is that not legalistic? It that not slightly political?
Does that not make you sick?
I would dare to say it sickens our King...
...and yet as a "church" we think we're getting it right. And don't get me wrong, we are in many ways. But we are missing it on many levels as well. I refuse to be a part of that close-minded thinking. It is not in my spirit. It is not in my nature.
*If I'm going to talk to an unsaved teenager who loves music with a deep passion, don't you think I ought to be aware of today's secular music?
*If I'm going to talk to someone about Jesus who has been strung out on drugs and has an addiction so deep that only grace can cut it, don't you think I ought to be aware of things that person is involved in, rather than having an ignorant idea in my mind that makes me completely out of their comfort zone?
*If I'm going to reach my unsaved friends for Jesus, should I not spend time with them, showing them love while living in a way that already speaks about my relationship with God?
* Am I never to hear a foul curse word, whether it be in a movie or in a conversation with an unsaved person because it is sin. Period.? How then am I to witness to that person who curses our God up and down? How will I handle that if I close myself off to the world completely?
* As a "church" are we supposed to just close ourselves up in a box?--kind of like the one we are putting Jesus in?
Some of what I'm writing may offend some of you and for that I'm sorry. But I cannot comprehend why we Christians are allowing ourselves to go so wrong in our thinking.
Paul talks about becoming like a certain group of people in order to reach those people for the gospel of Christ. Our generation, I believe, has a heart to do just that. However, the generations prior to us cannot stop condemning and judging based on their own uneducated opinions of this culture and it's intentions.
At times, it simply comes down to ignorance.
...Jesus just didn't make it this hard.
And I think He would be offended and ashamed that we are so caught up on some "rule book" that we are neglecting to reach those that are dying to be saved. Quite literally.
I'm a 'live-out-loud' kind of girl. I am not afraid to walk into a situation that makes me feel completely uncomfortable if it means Jesus will be glorified. Even if it means planting a seed. I love that the Word reminds us that it cannot return void unto us. Whenever I speak the name of Jesus, it is penetrating into some one's spirit. And that is power.
And I refuse to turn it over and lay it down for the sake of 'looking proper,' or maintaining my testimony. My testimony is that I love the Lord and I will forever reach those who do not know Him. No matter how that looks or feels to other Christians.
Do you not understand?
Are you offended?
What are you afraid of?