Saving Christianity From Christians

Move In God's Grace And Minister In Mercy

A relatively new hubber just contributed an article entitled “Out of the desert; The Evangelists.” The section that struck me was when Peprah reported what was going on in her campus the past few days: “Evangelical Christians have been on a rampage about our campus. Their method of attack was classic; picket-signs menacingly declaring, ‘Repent or Burn’ or ‘All Sinners Are Going to Hell.’”

Sometimes I often wonder, “How on earth can Christianity be saved from sinner-bashing Christians?” The demons can step aside in this instance, for these are the kinds of Christians that make ME shudder. It’s far easier to point a finger, than to embrace a sinner. How unlike Jesus who became flesh, moved in God’s grace, and ministered in mercy. Who were the people he reached out to? He welcomed tax collectors, prostitutes, and even lepers. He risked his reputation with the judgmental religious right in his day, as he offered a relationship with the sinful collection of riffraff in need of forgiveness. Jesus showed us how to love sinners and hate their sin. As he embraced these estranged people with tough love he said in John 8:11, “Go and sin no more.”

When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1-2 he revealed his mission “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Anyone familiar with Isaiah 61:2 will notice that he deliberately refrained from mentioning the second half of the verse: “and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.” Accusations against sinners abound. The accuser, the devil, is good at that. God will deal with payback come judgment. In the meantime, the Master cautions us to allow the weeds and wheat to grow together. Let’s avoid castigating sinners. “Perfect love,” rather than casting stones, “casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

© 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.

"Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7).
"Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7).

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Comments 22 comments

thefount profile image

thefount 7 years ago from North Central Louisiana

Dear Gicky, You've touched on a pet peeve of mine and I really enjoy the classy yet challenging way you've written on this topic.

These so-called 'evangelicals' are either deceived, undisciplined & immature real Christians or fake Christians altogether (wolves in sheep's clothing) and either way, they operate by the accusatory satanic spirit that you mentioned.

Bible thumpers indeed are the epitome of today's anti-Christian agenda and are destructive to true Christianity's outreach mission of love, mercy & grace: seeking and saving that which is lost.

I've come to find we as True Believers can only counteract these judgmental deceivers by being and displaying a sharp contrast of what the bible thumpers do. The harder they hate, the more we must love, the more they judge and condemn, the more we say "come as you are..." etc. etc.

May God Continue To Bless Your Writings & Ministry, David


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

David, I truly appreciate your valuable contribution of a comment to this hub: "The harder they hate, the more we must love, the more they judge and condemn, the more we say "come as you are..." It's Jesus' way of overcoming this shameful display. Alongside the prayer of One who first forgave us, I too enjoin him when he cried out: "Forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing." God bless you brother.


TimeHealsAll profile image

TimeHealsAll 7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Right on Gicky! God says to love your brother and help him see that the lord is good. To pray for your brother that he might find healing. Not to condem him. For it is NOT our place to judge! Amen to that Brother Gicky!! Nice Hub!!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Great Hub, Gicky.

“How on earth can Christianity be saved from sinner-bashing Christians?”

A profoundly simple & simply profound question. The hope & consolation we have is God's grace & Christ's supernatural project of building HIS church.

Keep kicking at the darkness...


coffeesnob 7 years ago

Gicky,

thanks for your hub-you are right on. You know my passion is about restoration so my mind always leans in that direction - even toward those modern Christian Phrarisaical types. I agree that those who spit on people (so to speak) as they tell them about God are usually ineffective in reacing people for Christ. But I believe many of these operate out of fear and ignorance. Some may not know how to stand firm and at the same time love others. I wonder how we can teach them? hmmm (keep lvoing is a good start and well said here) Here is an interesting thought -when John the Baptist preached like a fire and brimstone preacher he was indignant with the religous leaders - and then Jesus would call them a brood of vipers. I always approach these topics with caution because we do have to judge and be discerning and forthright about sin - but I also believe there is a time and season for everything and certainly when I want to win someone to Christ I simply show them His great love and how he died for us while we were yet sinners. It is God who humbles us and brings us to our knees. God bless you brother - you are a blessing indeed


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

TimeHealsAll,

Anyone can hide behind a picket sign and protest. It's far more difficult to surrender this strategy, come out of hiding, and reach out to those you protest against in love. The challenge comes when we try to communicate the truth that these people place on placards. Point a finger in judgment and people scatter, open your arms in love and people gather. There are Christians who suffer from a spiritual blind spot that can do more harm than good to the cause of Christ.

Yes, in this instance, it's not our place to judge. Thanks for your visit and comment.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

Ken,

Amen brother. Thank God we can hope and find consolation in his grace. And while the supernatural project of building God's church continues, there will be times when his own rebellious juveniles spray paint the walls with ugly graffiti.

Always glad to have you come around and comment. Stay well.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

coffeesnob,

I wholeheartedly agree with you. There IS a time and season for everything. The people of God not only have to choose their battles wisely, but must be able to discern the battle terrain and identify the enemy. When Jesus was surrounded by the crowd, his disciples, and the scribes and Pharisees, he bared his heart out loud, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Mt 23:37) Jesus yearned to gather this brood of vulnerable chicks in need of protection, but another brood, a brood of vipers (Mt 23:33), slithered into this mix of humanity with the evil intention to strike and kill him. Like Jesus, Christians today find themselves in the midst of wolves. In the thick of the battle he sends us into, Jesus challenges us to bring balance to the battle: "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Mt 10:16).

If there ever was a group of people that Jesus came down hard on, it wasn't the multitude of sinners that surrounded him, but the blind scribes and Pharisees who were against him - the religious right in his day. Just reading the "woeful list" that exposes and judges their actions is enough to make one cringe (Mt 23:13-36).

Like the scribes and Pharisees then, I'm privy to God's word today. This finds me in an advantageous and yet precarious position. It's humbling to know that I too can behave just as badly. I can delude myself thinking that just because I possess and am instructed by his word, God is on my side. The Apostle Paul exposed such people boastful, blind, and foolish (Rom 2:17-24). The Book keepers, became lawbreakers. Ouch! The written results being, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you" (Rom 2:24).

God forbid that Christians, who carry the name of Christ, unwittingly enter this tragic and pharisaical role reversal and drag his name into the mud while the whole world watches in wonder.

I can never thank you enough for the open and honest comments you contribute to my hubs. God bless you.


coffeesnob 7 years ago

All that good stuff being sent to you as well, Gicky. I have found in many ways HP to be a teaching ground and it is because of you and other Christians who love to share what God has given them. Keep sharing, brother


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

Gicky your title struck gold - your hub expands on this problem - and the solution. Thanks for your speaking courageous truth.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

frogyfish,

It's a sensitive subject for sure. Any frontal attack upon sinful people does have dire consequences. It makes enemies of our neighbors and draws friendly fire from our brothers. And when someone decides to stand in the breach, that person can get hurt in the crossfire.

Thank you for standing by the message of this hub.


Osa Osazuwa-Tosan profile image

Osa Osazuwa-Tosan 7 years ago from Nigeria

True talk indeed!

You see, the truth is that "not all that are in Israel are of Israel" but as it is written, the true Israelites are those who have the revelation of God to Abraham (the seed of Abraham), through their total commitment to know God indeed. That makes the true children of God (Christians) want to learn and to know before they speak for God. In the final analysis, the Lord knows those who are His.

Let's jointly keep the awareness alive.

Thanks.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

Osa Osazuwa-Tosan,

Amen. The Lord knows who are his. A welcome comment contribution to this hub. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. God bless you brother.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago

Gicky Soriano,

Wonderful hub! The title itself should make one think?

Sometimes I want to hold my hand up and say "excuse me, what's going on here?" What about the armor of the Lord where does it fit in? Our weapons are not supposed to be carnal...

Well said "There IS a time and season for everything. The people of God not only have to choose their battles wisely, but must be able to discern the battle terrain and identify the enemy."

This is thought provoking as you well stated we should: "Move In God's Grace And Minister In Mercy" Thank you for sharing. Blessings!


HOOWANTSTONO profile image

HOOWANTSTONO 7 years ago

It takes all sorts to make the world go round, and all things are going Gods way.

It is right to stand up for righteousness and reject sin secretly and openly, Jesus did it since the begining, expose darkness .

Its bad to call what is evil good.

Isa:5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

DeBorrah,

Yes it's high time we take spiritual inventory of the weapons available to us. We definitely have to discern if our approach is carnal or spiritual - harmful or healing. Granted the Gospel message is offensive to the world, the shotgun approach to its delivery scatters a great many souls. It takes a greater amount of accuracy and patience to deliver the message when one aims at souls with a single loving shot.

May you continue to keep in steps with the Spirit and be wise in ministering to lost souls.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

Hoowantstono,

It is far easier for anyone to hide behind a sign and protest against sin in Jesus' name. Any fool can rush in and do that without thinking through the consequences. In fact, this method will certainly draw fire and attention to the Christian cause for all the wrong reasons. Those who employ this skewed strategy of reaching out to the lost eventually retreat from the heat and huddle into groups to console each other - disillusioned that they have just been "persecuted" for Christ! Sadly, precious opportunity is lost in this reckless, heartless approach.

Sharing the gospel means sharing the "good news" of God's in-breaking kingdom and how it has changed one's life in concrete ways. Forgiven sinners have to learn how to come out of hiding and hypocrisy, become real and vulnerable, and reach out to the lost and needy world with an agape love. The task isn't easy. Jesus counsels us, "So be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Mt 10:16). It takes a much greater degree of wisdom to relay the Gospel message backed-up with an authentic life to validate God's work in one's life.

In regards to the verse you quoted, you may want to read the context of Isaiah 5:20. The LORD is addressing his own wayward and sinful people through the prophet. The people of God squandered their divine inheritance and abused the blessing upon them: “for they have rejected the instruction of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa 5:24b). The apostle Peter gave us fair warning to the people of God today, “For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet 4:17)

Jesus’ exercised good housekeeping starting with his own house – the house of Israel. He openly protested and exposed his own people. In a sense, he was attempting to save True Israel from Israelites. The apostle Paul followed hard after his heels in exposing his countrymen. As you said, “It takes all sorts to make the world go round,” but Christians don’t have to be "the sort" that plays up to the Pharisees of old. In the age of grace, the people of God ought to be praying and embracing the sinner into the fold of sheep rather than protesting and finger-pointing them towards the fires of hell. The day of vengeance of our God will certainly come. Our responsibility, the spiritual children of Abraham and the true circumcision, is to make certain that we faithfully and wisely steward the gospel message as that day is fast approaching.

I agree that we have to stand up for righteousness and reject sin secretly and openly. But it should begin with us and it should humble us to love sinners just like us.


Peprah profile image

Peprah 7 years ago

Gicky Soriano thanks for writing hub on my experience...It all about Jesus, He did not embrace sinners with condemnation but love in the Holy Spirit


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California Author

Peprah,

Yes, your hub allowed me to think through and write down my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your experience. We do what we can to create an awareness of the wrong Christian strategy employed during these trying circumstances. May God lead you to discover new and creative ways to move in mercy in our generation.


Porshadoxus profile image

Porshadoxus 5 years ago from the straight and narrow way

Just stumbled upon this one. Well done, as always.


shea duane profile image

shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

Very interesting hub.


gconeyhiden profile image

gconeyhiden 4 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

Thank you. There is only one way to follow Jesus. and it doen't include hate.

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