Several weeks ago, someone from another part of Florida posted on a local Facebook ads page something like this: "I'm moving into Citrus County, FL soon and I'm looking for a church. Any suggestions?"
Well, the comments began flowing immediately. Church attendees all over our community began posting about their church, how happy they were and how this person would love attending their church. I kinda felt that this was a good thing. However, then some began writing about what they wanted for a church and I began to become bewildered. Some of those comments were really eye opening. I was amazed by how deceived many church people really are in regards to what kind of a church they attend. Those comments would make a good blog some day!
I don't want to get into the weeds in regards to those goofy comments, other than to just mention a few thoughts; like...."Our church preaches only from the King James Bible," or..."Our pastor tells it like it is; he steps on our toes once in awhile." Some told how their church takes a strong stand against sin and that people are encouraged to live holy lives and the list could go on and on. There must have been way over 100 comments like this. Again, I was amazed by how ignorant people are about what the true Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Church really is!
Actually, the entire thread was so messed up by all of the religious mumbo jumbo that I felt like abandoning the entire thing. These comments most likely could have turned the honest seeker completely off, that is unless they too were of a very religious, legalistic mindset.
There were a few very anti-grace comments too. Of course they really piqued my interest. I eventually did jump into the fray by posting our church's website: www.ncgrace.com If you should choose to check out our site you will notice that our mission is for people to leave our services feeling better about themselves than when they arrived.
Well, a very legalistic gentleman responded to my posting the website and began berating me about our mission. He told me in no uncertain terms that what we have as a purpose and goal of our church is completely wrong. That we are ignoring the true Gospel and teachings of Jesus. Instead of our goal we should be telling people to stop sinning, to begin to live holy lives, to obey the teachings of Jesus thus keeping the law.....and on and on he went. He eventually suggested that the teaching of our church is blasphemy and called me a heretic. Of course this is nothing new for me! However, I felt bad for this guy. He was so religious in his thinking that he couldn't see straight!
So, I concluded through this exchange that God really wants us to feel bad about ourselves when we attend church! Sorry to say, that is exactly how some feel after they leave their church service. Sad!!!
Well, the truth is that God has given us His Gospel to lift us up, to bless us....yes to actually make us feel good about ourselves. Listen, when we understand all that Christ did for us and how great God's love is for us, we can't do anything other than to feel good about ourselves. And guess what? People who feel good about themselves, like I'm talking about are no longer sinners! They actually begin to live lives that match what God has actually created them to be!
Yes, when people attend our church, they don't get the "sinner's stink eye (As one guy described it), but instead they are told over and over that they are holy and righteous and that God loves them, without measure, that He will never abandon them, no matter what! People who feel good about themselves actually, eventually become who God says they are. After all, they (we all) are THE RIGHTEOUS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS! Call me a heretic if you want, but what I've share with you is the pure, true Gospel of Jesus Christ! Glory!
Grace and peace!