I am constantly hearing people within the churches lament that there are so many people refusing to listen to the gospel and turning to follow such philosophers as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.
We cry over the billions of people who turn away at the mere discussion of religion, claiming that religion is a crutch that only the weak need.
We pour out our hearts in prayer for the ones who scoff at the name of Jesus and berate us for our belief.
And so we should.
Church, we are surrounded by a God-less world. A world where God is not wanted and, in the eyes of many, He is not wanted. And it is right for us to be heartbroken for those who turn from the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
But I can’t help but wonder why it is that way.
I will tell you the truth, Church. And it’s going to hurt.
It’s our fault.
We have failed to accurately and lovingly reflect God’s glory to those around us.
We have judged the weak and wounded.
We have ostracized the hurting and wandering.
We have become Pharisees.
We have failed. It is of us as well that it is written “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” (Romans 2:24)
To those who are reading this who have been failed by the Church, I’m sorry. While the burden does not lie entirely on my shoulders, I can feel the pain of you, because I too have been failed by the Church, many times and by those with authority and respect within their churches and ministries.
I know what it’s like to be pushed away because of sins and crimes. I know what it’s like to go to a pastor or any Christian for help and encouragement and to find nothing but scorn and contempt.
We failed you.
Church, it’s time we actually got into the Word of God. And not just read it. Do it.
James encourages us to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22).
I want to challenge you, Church: start reading the New Testament, specifically the gospels. And once you reach a part where Jesus tells His disciples to do something, stop reading and do it. Once you’ve done it, continue reading and repeat the process. It’s going to take you a long time to get through any gospel, but you’d be amazed at how much it will impact your life and the lives around you.
Be blessed, Church.
“Only those who believe obey and only those who obey believe.”