Church Traps

Church Traps

 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… Romans 12:6

 How do we define Christian passion? Are the most emotional people in a church the most godly? I want to take a closer look at this today.

 I have been in Christian churches of all kinds and varieties. A “one size fits all” denomination just doesn’t exist. That said, most churches fall into the same kind of trap. This trap involves public displays of religion. I’ve experienced polar opposites of this legalistic device in different religious communities. My Christian college was very stoic. Swaying to worship music was frowned upon. There was even a sign that was posted on the huge screens behind the chapel stage that warned against dancing during concerts. Any sign of emotion was seen as a lack of self-control.

I have also been in churches that so valued outward displays of emotional piety that they would accuse more introverted people of not being saved. These churches demand that their parishioners throw themselves prostrate before the pulpit in front of everyone on a regular basis to demonstrate ongoing holiness. Most American churches have at least a hundred people so this is devastating and overwhelming to quieter people. The house churches, after Jesus ascended into Heaven, were usually small. So publicly proclaiming your faith would be in front of twenty people. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

I have a friend that loves to do door to door evangelism. It is what God has called him to do and it is blessed. He has never suggested to me that I do the same thing. I also know a precious married couple in their eighties who would never raise their hands in church or run to the altar. And they are some of the godliest people I know. Just two years ago, they spent four months in China using the Bible to teach English. Their sweet quietness draws people without them having to raise a finger. God blesses every part of their lives. The bottom line is this: faith will manifest itself in the life of every Christian in different ways. Forcing people into a mold teaches salvation by works.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father

Forgive me for judging people by my own personal standards. You have made everyone unique and I praise You for that! Help me to value the specific work that You are creating in each person that I meet.

In Jesus Name Amen

 

Journal

Have you fallen into the trap of legalism? In which direction?

What traits do you judge in other people?

What does the Bible say about judging?

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