Note:The writer of this blog offers you a humble apology. There have not been any posts in the last few months. I was on a break. While it is not wrong to be on a break, it was not right that readers were kept uninformed of the same.
It’s possible that you are a person who has been hurt by the church in the past. Or, you have never, ever, felt the need to depend on or trust church members with the good and bad in your life. And yet, today you might find yourselves surrounded by sincere, yet imperfect Christians in God’s sovereign plans.
You know in the back of your mind that God’s Word commands the disciples of Jesus to treat one another with deep, fervent love. You’ve heard time and again, the call to live truly as a church family. But you really can’t trust these people.
And why should I, you may ask? “I have no friends in the church. Whenever I’ve tried, they have only given me more problems. So it makes sense to avoid them now”, you say. “Tolerance and silent participation worked in school; it works here too”.
The Spirit-led man of God.
The untiring woman of God.
John the Baptist exposing the Pharisees. Lydia serving the first church. Paul planting churches at a rate that would boggle any start-up expert.
Men and women of God (not always pastors), even today, love God’s Word and obey Him fervently. In my experience, they have helped me and many others discern half-truths and outright errors taught in the name of Christianity. I am thankful for them, deeply so!
Who wouldn’t love to be a true man of God? God uses people with zeal for Him to establish the local church (Matt 16:17-18, Matt 28:18-20). Marg churches desperately need men and women of God: people who boldly teach the truth in love, who proclaim and defend the gospel of Jesus.
Last week we saw the problem with being the life of a Marg party.
But when does becoming a man of God become a problem before God?
1. Men of God could become obsessed by the Bible, not by its purpose. In a sad irony, men and women are found just poring over the Bible, commentaries and taking study notes but hardly involved in the mission of Jesus. The often quoted “I am a child of God” has become tainted with selfish examples of individualistic living across churches that I have seen. And I have, too, many a time, joined these “sofa-soldiers”. We do no good by only building ourselves up, and neglecting to make disciples. Jesus’ example was vastly different.
2. Men of God can have little compassion. They do an excellent job of pointing out sin. But a mistaken imagination of John the Baptist and Elijah convince some to speak in anger- because they have something more special going on with God than everybody else in town. They decide to take leave from “love is patient and kind”. Is it wrong to point out sin? Never. But can you and I be as gracious as God the Father in our daily behaviour toward others? Any time.
3. Preach and blog, but neglect the family of God? The often quoted “I am a child of God” has become tainted with examples of selfish, individualistic living across churches today. Fueled by the questionable Sunday-model of “church”, many think they are done serving God’s people because they attended 3+2 hours of church service every week.
The child of God usually becomes an immature man of God when he neglects to spend his love on and time with the family of God.
Instead of others’ burdens bothering me (Gal 6:1-2), I get caught up with spending that time with God, or in my own selfish pursuits. Have I chosen movies over silent cries of need WITHIN my church community?
Have I chosen reading biographies over cooking at a community gathering? Or is that just the ladies’ duty?
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” – John 13:34,35.
I have seen people lose respect for Biblical advice I have given, mostly because they didn’t see me build real relationships with them.
No man of God can grow if he identifies himself solely as a child of God. No one’s designed to comprehend the depths of God outside the community of the local church (Eph 3:17-19).
What have your failings been as a man or woman of God?