Hello Christian ! It’s me again and yes it’s going to be a very long letter but don’t worry it will make sense in the end.
By definition a Christian is one who acts like Christ. The use of the word Christian first appears in Acts 11 v 26 when the disciples were at Antioch. In all likelihood it was at first a mockery that they behaved like the Christ who had been crucified earlier. Anyways , the name implied a striking similar behaviour to Jesus. In essence, ordinary folk could see that they were no different from Jesus in their behaviour, conduct and beliefs.
Now I don’t get where we have this condemnation ministry going on in the church today where we see people by their sins and not as God sees them. We are good at picking out a certain type of sin and going to town with it and condemning the people who do that. In fact we are so bad as to exclude certain people from church because of their sin(despite the fact that they want to repent ) yet those who do the kicking out are the biggest culprits of sin . Yes , let’s be frank here. I know deacons , pastors and other officed people in the church who love to effect ‘church discipline’ on others to the extent of them being told not to fellowship yet the same disciplinarians are sleeping with people in the church choir , some of them engage in extra marital affairs and those who are unmarried are engaging in premarital sex but they are the biggest advocates of the ministry of condemnation.
I get very upset. No , I’m lying , I get very irate, vexed and irked by believers who are engaging in everything wrong when no one is watching (or so they think) but want to disqualify people from the love of God. I get even more upset when some of these people engage in writing off-basically where they conclude because this one sins in this way , they are outright bad and have no place in the church or being celebrated for the good that they do. We therefore don’t attend graduations of ‘known sinners’ in the church nor do we congratulate them for meaningful achievements because all we see about them is the sin they have.
Jesus is able to discern the good that you do from the bad. Why don’t we ? I don’t believe one is the sum of their actions . I therefore do not think that because you missed the mark yesterday , you are a bad person. What happened is you did a bad thing . Why then do we as christians refuse to see the good in others despite their flaws? Let me give you an example. President Mugabe may have his fair share of fans and enemies but we cannot deny that he speaks really well and he is an intelligent man. That is a fact your hatred of him cannot change. Whether he does other bad things or not is not my place to condemn him. I simply said he is a well spoken and intelligent man. That is something one ought to recognise despite everything else you may not agree with. The same can be said about President Zuma. He has played a huge fatherly role to many people and was active in the liberation struggle doing the dirty work others did not have to go through. Can we celebrate that without writing him off as a failed human being. I am not saying he is perfect, nobody is but there is something good he has done -why does it pain you to celebrate that? What spirit causes such ? Certainly cannot be the spirit of God. You will find a number of bitter christians saying I should not say that because he is this and that . Listen , you and your judgmental self need to sit down and check your own life first before condemning people who Christ died for .
Do you know that there are many people that will feel there is nothing good in them because we tell them so or make them feel that way. We tell them they are hell bound because they happen to sin in a way that we can see . I have had to sit through hours of counselling sessions trying to undo this hurt we cause to people when we condemn them as rejects. So because one once had a promiscuous past we as the church are good at making such a person feel like they can never be restored and they are of no good anymore while we have a promiscuous present.
Am i saying we must commend or condone sin? Absolutely not. God is clear on sin but what I do not find Jesus doing is condemning sinners. Take a look at the woman caught in the act of adultery( still interests me how those other men were able to see the act of adultery but anyways). Jesus did not condemn her but He did say she should go and sin no more. If it was the modern church , we would have placed her under ‘church discipline’ . banned her from singing in the church choir , placed her on ‘special report’. He didn’t liken her to the devil or anything of that sort. He forgave her and loved on her.
How we deal with sinners and how we deal with sin is distinct and different. If you treat sinners the way you deal with sin then you cannot use that Christian title. Condemn the sin and not the sinner
My challenge for the day is to see something good in someone no matter how much you despise them. You never know , that act of love is what will draw them to Christ.
I wish to close with the words of a politician who put it best when she said ’ STOP IT’. Stop excluding people from the body of Christ with your isolationist views and hypocrisy. Stop condemning people and start correcting them in love. Stop punishing people people for what God has already forgiven them for. Stop calling yourself a Christian but playing the role of the devil who loves making people feel worthless and condemned. That is not the Great Commission…