Forgive Them Father – They Know Not What They Do (Part 1)
Amazing! Sad! Exciting! Heartbreaking! Cool! Wrong!
These are just some of the emotions I have been experiencing lately. Emotions not relating to anything happening inside of our church – what is happening inside of our church is one big, exciting, God-sized thing. It’s some of the things taken place outside of our church that has me perplexed. Things like – churches complaining that our billboard is offensive and is communicating a horrible message to our community (according to them) – churches who from their own stages/platforms are denouncing our church, our billboard, and condemning us for welcoming “sinners” into our church (at least 3 churches I know of).
We have also had many of our road signs vandalized or stolen (we’re allowed to put them out on the weekends and this usually happens on Saturdays so we know it is not code enforcement). Surprisingly, at the same corner where our signs have been vandalized or stolen – there are usually a couple of other church signs there that have been untouched. Sometimes other church signs are placed directly in front of our signs. Twice this week I have had people approach me because I was wearing an Eagle Pointe t-shirt and then proceed to read methe riot act about how bad our church is & how we’re leading people astray. Of course these are people who’ve never actually been to our church. I just let them know that we “do” church differently, in a way that I am completely at peace that God is pleased with, andkindly thanked them for their opinion and input.
I am reminded of what Ghandi once said (BTW: Don’t tell people I’m quoting Ghandi – who knows what they’ll say ) He said, ” I like your Christ – I just don’t like your Christians!” I think the same could be said about most of the “not yet-Christians” in our world today. It is heartbreaking to me that in addition to fighting all of the negative influences/attacks of this world, fighting a spiritual adversary who is trying to bring us down at every turn, that we also have to deal with attacks from churches. Imagine what would happen for the Kingdom of God if churches/Christians spent as much time trying to reach people for Christ as they do worrying about what other churches are doing. I will tell you one thing that would happen -we wouldn’t be living in an area where 92% of the people do not attend church – that percentage would be a whole lot lower!
The reality is that we could have 20 churches with 2000 people in each in our community, and we would still not be putting a substantial dent in the number of people who do not go to church (who most likely are not Christians). This is why I am constantly praying for the other churches, pastors, & ministry leadersin our area. I pray, “God, if that church is honoring You & putting a smile on Your face USE THEM & BLESS THEM!” As I drive around and see other church’s signs – it is a reminder to me to be praying for God to use & bless that church. I ask you to do the same. There is no place for jealousy and competition in the kingdom of God and cause of Christ! We need to be working together – we are all on the same team – and the more our spiritual enemy can keepus separated – the more he wins. Sadly, we’re not talking about points on a scoreboard – we’re talking about where people/souls are spending eternity. (I look forward to blogging more about this real soon).
Let’s keep our focus on the main thing/big picture that God has called us to!