Friday, December 13, 2013

Churchianity: Taking Pride in Grace

Do you ever visit another church?  If you’re out on vacation, visiting relatives you’ll go to there church.  If they attend a different denomination than you do, you’ll have an interesting time trying to follow along.

I have noticed something in my time doing this.  All churches I’ve attended seem to believe that they are the only true Christians.  Well, not all.  But most.

It is interesting because I don’t think they realize how foolish they truly are when they behave this way.  It a collective pride that is destructive to the true body of Christ.

The Catholics made this concept popular when they caused a great schism.  Afterwards, they loved to capitalize on the idea of losing your grace due to heresy, which for many leaders was anything they disagreed with.  And thus, they were able to hold sway over the masses out of fear rather than trusting in Christ’s love.

Today, there is nothing as extreme, but again this pride does exist.  Churches across the country act like they are the only church who houses genuine Christians while all others are teaching false doctrines and teachings.  Or committing immoral acts.

There are certainly many churches these days who are either teaching false doctrine or are committing immoral acts.  But that is no reason to be prideful in your own church’s state of collective grace.

The Jews who persecuted the early did so largely because they took pride in being God’s chosen.  As such, they had many earlier followers martyred and tortured.  Going back further, the first generation of the Israelite Exodus never saw the promised land largely because of their own pride in being “God’s anointed”.  As John the Baptist said, God could raise up children of Abraham from stones.

If you have a good church with many devout believers, that’s awesome.  But at the same time you have to watch out for the nasty pride that can creep in and take over.  Otherwise you’ll end up just like the Pharisees.