Depending on who you talk to or what social media or news sites you frequent you might get the impression that things aren’t going to well in western culture and in the Church. More and more people are coming forward with the trials they’ve endured, ranging from minor uncomfortable situations to devastatingly criminal ones. Many are exposing the damaging teachings, behavior, and attitudes of individuals and organizations. Some of these individuals and organizations are being brought to justice or held to account for their wrong doings.
There are many many more out there who have endured worse, kept silent, and the perpetrator seemingly unaware or unhindered by it. Some of those who committed these transgressions were/have never been brought to justice and never faced the consequences of their teachings, behavior, and attitudes. They may have escaped from the temporal means of retribution, but these violations cannot go unanswered for. Regardless of the severity or the intentions of the individuals, groups, or organization all are held to account for their treatment of neighbor and brethren alike.
We serve a holy God who demands nothing less than the perfection He instilled in His creation. Since the Fall, each and every individual is hindered in their ability to live up to the standards that God requires. We err in thought, word, and in deed knowingly and unknowingly and in various ways. There is nothing we can do to alter or overcome the condition we find ourselves in. Yet God had deliberately determined the means by which His people would once again be restored and made righteous through the perfect sacrificial atoning work of Jesus Christ. Those who have been regenerated, who call upon His name, who humbly repent and seek forgiveness are redeemed in Him.
Those who are redeemed are still prone to err in thought, word, and in deed knowingly and unknowingly and in various ways as they live out their new life in Christ. While we do still continue to live mostly for ourselves, rather than totally for Christ (or others), we are bound to stumble. When we elevate our lived experiences over the truth of God’s Word we’re likely to be at fault. When we judge each other harshly and despise each other over disagreements or we go too far to correct and admonish we’re liable to fail. When we respond uncharitably to a perceived offense or react inappropriately to pain caused by others we’re certain to sin. All are guilty of such behavior and it behooves us to recognize this truth, not only for our own benefit but for the benefit of our relationships.
Do not be discouraged when your fellow neighbor or brethren has treated you in a manner unworthy of the dignity inherit in all people. Seek restoration where possible, justice where tenable, but ultimately all will give an account at the day of judgement. In addition, we must be mindful of our own behavior towards those individuals and organizations who’ve been determined to have introduced damaging teachings, demonstrated harmful behavior, and/or unchristlike attitudes. Deal rightly and appropriately to the wolves and the foolish, but bear in mind that we will be held accountable likewise in the same manner for our words and actions.