I have been reading some harsh accusations against some famous Church leaders since the past year. Personally, I don’t know for sure which is the truth. However, this I believe, that men makes mistakes. Hence, it’s illogical to lean completely at someone with the hope that they won’t disappoint us. I’m not even sure about my own judgment since I may make a biased opinion.
But this is the main point, that we shouldn’t focus on the human, but on the God they’re living for. What I’m trying to say is that Christianity isn’t about the men who lead God’s people; it’s about God Himself – how we’re being changed by God’s freely given grace as someone who receives His love with the desire of being conformed to the image of Christ. Being a Christian isn’t about living to be that pastor who seems to be living a sinless life (which isn’t true), but that we fully surrender to The One and Only Sovereign God – that we may live as Christ had lived.
Some say how Church leaders from different denominations are financed differently and they make this to be the basis of the argument of how denomination A is better than denomination B. I don’t know exactly how much pastors from various Churches make, but I don’t think that people won’t invest years of their life studying the Bible for the sole purpose of wealth. Won’t it be much better if they study to open their business instead? I don’t know what their original motivation is, but this I know, that people come to the Church so that they may meet God, and if those pastors help us in doing so by delivering His Words, isn’t knowing so enough? Is it the right move to put so much spotlight on the people and judging them, with the risk of dismissing the true motivation of worship, which is having a relationship with God?
However, we shouldn’t dismiss the fact that the Church leaders may actually make mistakes in sharing the Word of God. Either their teachings may be unbiblical or that we disagree with their statements. Despite of that, we need to remember that Christianity isn’t about Theologians’ teachings or whether we agree with their views or not – no, it’s about the truth that is from God that we find in the Scriptures. Men and their teachings aren’t the focus of worship, God and His teachings are. Therefore, it’s irrelevant to judge that one Church is better than the other, or that Christianity is a “bad religion” based on what the men do. We need to remember how despite of the different Church affiliations, all Christians are under the same body of Christ.
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Christians understand how we’re all heading down the path of destruction, and we’re helpless if not by God’s grace. Receiving it doesn’t make us better than other people, for we are saved not because of what we do, but by grace alone. We’re not living a spotless life, but we crave for the eternal joy that is in Christ. It’s not a temporary moment of escape; we’ve seen what the world offers, and it’s not enough. We’ve seen a glimpse of the joy that He offers from learning His Words, and we thirst for that feeling! We finally hate being covered in darkness and see that we’re meant for something else that’s way better. We know that we’re still doing bad things and we hate it.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
(Romans 7: 18)
For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Thankfully, by God’s grace we’re changed. Not that we may see that we’re better than other people, but that we can finally live in the love of Our Creator. As John Piper puts it, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” I’m really grateful that if we try to replace the word “God” with “men”, the statement won’t work at all.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
A friend once told me that one of the problem that we have with the concept of God is His invisibility. However, she added, this doesn’t mean that we can’t have a communion with Him. I completely agree with this statement. Don’t let our doubts be the reason why we stop seeking him. Don’t try rationalizing everything or creating your own Theology, it won’t work. Our feelings change, but He doesn’t. Seek the truth in which all Christians believe, which is God’s Words. Commune with Him.
And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
Further recommended readings:
- Christian who are jerks (Adam Ford)
- I don’t really go to church on sundays (Adam Ford)
- Becoming a Worshiper of God (Ligonier Ministries)
- Five Points (John Piper)