I know how difficult it can be to preach the authentic Gospel of Christ when fellow Christians are doing the most damage to the credibility of the Gospel Message with all of their finger pointing. How did get to the point of reducing our faith a list of rules that need to be obeyed (with the threat of Hell looming over us)? This is classic Pharisee behavior. Paul encountered this amongst his own apostolic peers in the early church in Galatia (think about the Judaizers in Galatians 2). It can be very discouraging.
Don’t sweat it. Don’t get discouraged. People build ministries purely devoted to chronic accusation and finger pointing. They attract and reproduce the type of believers they are. Yes, they’re annoying, but they’re God’s people to. Show them the grace that none of us deserve! Ministries rise and fall every day. We either learn our lessons on spiritual leadership or we don’t. Keep preaching the message of God’s grace. I guarantee it will be a break though for people with ears to hear.
We’ll never get rid of grumpy legalist's, but we can definitely out last them. They’ll eventually burn out while we’ll still be shining brightly with Gospel of Christ Jesus!
It’s ironic that people will preach like a bully and pound that pulpit demanding people obey old mosaic laws they don’t understand and cannot keep themselves. It’s an issue of spiritual immaturity, that’s all. I’m convinced that grace will abound to them in greater measure. Just be patient, and maybe keep your distance! You can retaliate with prayer and forgiveness. Believe me, it works.
These verses of scripture encourage me greatly:
“Now the decisive conclusion is this: in Christ, every bit of condemning evidence against us is cancelled.” [Romans 8:1]
“Unbelief is such a predictable set-up where that which is highly esteemed by faith, seems scandalous and offensive to the self-righteous mind. Since there is no ground left for boasting, grace offends the typical ‘law of works-mentality.’ They are the ones who refuse to see the reference to their original identity revealed and redeemed in Christ.” [I Peter 2:8]
“Temptations and contradictions come in different shapes, sizes, and intervals; their intention is always to suck you into their energy field. However, my brothers, your joy in who you know you are leads you out triumphantly every time. Here is the secret: joy is not something you have to fake, it is the fruit of what your faith knows to be true about you! You know that the proof of your faith results in persuasion that remains constant in contradiction.” [James 1:2-3]
Be encouraged my beloved friends! If God is for you, who can stand against you!
Pastor Jeremy E.