Jesus, Save Me From Your Followers


#1

The title of this thread was lifted from a T-Shirt that an agnostic/atheist was describing to me. After thinking it over, I decided I agreed with it even though I am a Christian. Unity is very difficult across the lines because of the little knives people stick in one another. Yes, Jesus–save me from Your followers.

Reading from Roots of the Reformation by Karl Adam, I find in the epilogue by Kenneth J. Howell an interesting quote:

“The social evils of our day, increasingly prevalent since the 1960s, have had much the same effect on Catholics and Protestants in the United States. We are witnessing an unprecedented cooperation between them in fighting against the social evils of abortion, euthanasia, and sexual license. …”

While we are fighting evil on one front, I fear that the true light we claim to have is leaking out the back. How shall we acquire unity of the faith and be a light to the world if we have little knives at each other as soon as we turn from fighting a common evil?

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

1Jo 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jo 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

What miracles might happen in the world if Christians really loved and preferred one another? But we have not loved one another–that is the message to the world. We are arrogant to one another while we pretend we are humble. We smile in civility while the little knives go into our brothers. How long, O God?


#2

#3

There will never be a perfect church because all the churches are full of imperfect people. All we can do is try to Focus on Chirst who was perfect and do what we can to follow Him.


#4

Now that I think of it, didn’t Jesus say:

Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!

Why in all of our zeal can we not remember:

1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Moral of the story: Sometimes when you are right, you are wrong. But if you love enough, you are always right even when you don’t know which end is up.


#5

Syele -

I sure do agree with you, the Church will always be made of imperfect people, messing things up for themselves/ourselves and others and making loving each other very difficult, if not seemingly impossible. And yet, I can’t help but feeling that we all use this notion as an excuse to not strive for the perfection that Christ called us to, and that includes at the top of the list, love and unity between all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Somehow, in the back of our minds, I fear we think that Christ must not have envisioned what things were going to look like 2000 years down the road, or *surely He wouldn’t have asked of us *such an impossible feat! But, of course, if we believe that Christ is God, which most of us profess, then we have to shake that completely false notion and realize that He knew exactly what this challenge was going to look like for us, and yet He still made it a requirement for following Him.

I don’t think we are doing very well in following Him. And I don’t think the world is fooled by our big churches and lively “worship services” and our Bible speak. Christ *told us how *they would know us and Him, it was if we were one, as He and the Father are One. And that isn’t the way we are currently trying to do Christianity, and the world is being lost because of it.

:frowning:


#6

Yep, yep, Miss Jeanette. We love ourselves more than we love Him–that is the whole problem. We can’t pick up His life unless we lose our own. St. Catherine of Siena said that we acquire vices and virtues by means of our persecutors–that is, our neighbors and our friends. The words of St. Francis seem to apply here: “Share the gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.” Are we ready to be reduced to Christ? (This walk is not for the faint-hearted or the self-serving.)


#7

Hi,

AMEN My minister is going through a sermon series on self-absorption and the ME ME ME mentality. In other words we live in a Babylonian mentality world. He asked us to reexamine ourselves and where we stand with Jesus. Are we trying to serve ourselves or will we serve Jesus. Honestly, I choose myself more because I love myself. That is of course why the commandment is love your neighbor like yourself. Because we LOVE OURSELVES PRETTY DARN MUCH–right?:frowning: My minister stresses the point of dying to ourselves daily and do what God wants us to do and that is love and serve others:D

Jesus came here as a servant to give us an example of how we need to be. If Jesus can be a servant WOW I better humble myself a whole lot more:o

Ok sermon over back to regular scheduled programming:D :thumbsup:


#8

#9

I have a friend who says, “You can stop looking for a perfect church, because once you join it, it won’t be perfect any more!”


#10

typo


#11

That was a good sermon. :wink:


#12

I laughed when I read it was a t-shirt! It’s funny…because it’s true, unfortunately.

Oftentimes I’m afraid to call myself a Christian. I’ve expressed this to God many, many times in the past too. The reason isn’t because I disagree with Christian principles, but it’s the knowledge that I will ultimately fail to embrace all of those principles as I should…and I dare not soil the name of Christianity. I’d rather not call myself a Christian and then have someone see me in a state of imperfection (which is more frequent than I’d like to admit) and have this person say, “That is how Christians act!” [Isn’t this how much of the world categorizes and stereotypes the foreign and alien…by generalizing?]

As I’ve said before, elsewhere: Christianity is, at heart, a very beautiful religion for those who wish to embrace it, but as imperfect beings, when we embrace such a beautiful thing then it tends to become soiled and adulterated. Christianity has a really beautiful message, but when imperfect beings try to act in accordance with the message, it becomes confused with imperfect actions.


#13

Ouch! :eek: That is all so true, it hurts. I know many Christians who don’t use the word “Christian”–they use some word like “believer”, “follower of Christ”, etc. Other words with positive/negative meanings are “Christianity”, “religion”–Now what the heck is “religion”? Is it some THING we do to make God happy, is it a system, or should we prefer the term “relationship with God” or “walk with the Lord”? James, however, talks about “pure and undefiled religion”–He and Paul are the only ones who talk about “religion” in the New Testament. Paul refers to the “Jews’ religion”.


#14

“That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, so that the world may know that you have sent me.” John 17:21

I sure don’t want to answer for the souls of all the people who might have been saved had we Christians been united in the love of Christ.

Lord, have mercy.
Paul


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