I used to watch Fox News Channel (CNN, MSNBC, etc), now I don’t. The reason is I’m disappointed that the world’s attitudes have infiltrated the Church and causing havoc. News outlets staples are accusations… arguing… casting doubt and vitrolic debate. The goal? WIN. Defeat the enemy (Whoever disagrees with you). Persuade everyone YOU are right.
This is in every church I’ve served and it ought not be. I’ve talked to many pastors and what I describe crosses boundaries of denomination and geographical location.
The same issues are in the church as the world: Disagreement… disappointment… mistakes… offenses… differences of opinion, etc. A different set of values is supposed to reign in the church: Grace… mercy… compassion… patience… love… forgiveness… restoration… and reconciliation. Too many have the world’s attitude in the church which stirs up dissension (Which is not of God).
People will fail you sooner or later. They will make mistakes and blow it. As will you. The question is not “If?” but “When and how will you respond?” Will you react like the world or in a manner that glorifies God?
Sorely needed in the church is a serious commitment to compassion, mercy, love, & grace… being patient with all, and especially forgiving as you have been forgiven. Working for restoration when there is brokenness… reconciling instead of dividing because as Jesus said, “All men will know you are my disciples by your love for one another” (John 13:35). As one pastor I know teaches his congregation, “We don’t talk about people, we talk to them!” I like that.
Two concepts needed in church when there is stress: “Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel” (Phil 1:27). “If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Ro 12:18).
No matter what others may do… YOU follow Philippians 1:27 and Romans 12:18.