This is going to sound crazy. But I think, The fatal flaw of the Christian community lies in its followers.
Ok, now wait a minute. I know what you're thinking. How can this guy continue to give teenagers a positive Christian Worldview when he thinks Christians are a source of the problem in the faith?
Well, let me explain.
When Jesus was approaching the last hours of His life, He preached a sermon we don't hear about very much. It's found in Matthew 23, and over the course of the next few days, I'd like to examine this teaching, glean what we need to know, and apply it to our daily lives.
It's not a nice sermon.
It certainly wouldn't be well received at the Mega-Churches in America.
And pastors, at least those pastors that are in the church for the wrong reasons, have trouble identifying with what Jesus is saying.
Check this out…
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
Believe me, I'm a church lover.
I enjoy worshiping with like minded believers.
I love hanging with pastors and youth pastors.
I truly believe God is moving through the church to bring about reform, reconciliation, and forgiveness to the world.
But let's be honest, there are several Christian leaders who have asked us to do things they are unwilling to do themselves. They ask us to follow them, but they recuse themselves from the very teachings they are trying to implement; thus creating this hierarchy of faith. It becomes less of an "abundant life" and turns into this shackling of activity most are unwilling to do.
It's almost as if there is some kind of 'more blessed' position that leaders have some idea that God holds them in a different accountability. They can ask you to abstain from certain things in the world, and then you find our they're the ones that are participating in the exact stuff they told you not to do.
Let's be real.
Sometimes it's not even the fact the leaders consciously deviate from their teachings, as much as it is that we are ALL IN THIS HUMAN CONDITION. We all sin. We all fail. We all contradict ourselves at one time or another. In fact, it's as much the follower's fault, as it is the leaders.
We put these people on high platforms of visibility.
We almost worship their existence.
Our expectations are that they are perfect.
And we know…They're Just Not!
Not all Christian leaders are like this. In fact, the one's that are following Jesus in all honesty and humility, they're the one's we should embrace. The leaders who live life with us, and not at us; those are the true messengers from the Lord.
So watch out.
Don't let subtle manipulation take you away from knowing you are a child of God.
Don't let anyone co-erse you into some sort of religion where they are unwilling to participate themselves.
Ironically, Christians may be the source of the fatal flaws, but they're also the source of much grace.
I've seen Christian leaders who are full of the Holy Spirit
I've witnessed the beauty of anointed men and women who get it.
I've been privy to see some of the greatest gifts God has given this earth through those He's chosen to lead.
It's not everyone, but we must be carefully who we allow to lead, who we follow, and how we structure our faith following
For only in honest humble faith, can we truly know the heart of God.
And that means that if you are called to leadership, we need you to live life with us.
We need to know that you know what we're going through.
We need to know you're in our corner.
And that's why Jesus came in the form of a man to live on the earth, to feel our pain, to travel our temptation, and to show us GOD IS TRULY WITH US.