Rugged Individualism

We hear, especially as Americans, phrases like “self made man” and “Positive thinking brings positive outcomes” a lot. These phrases and many others shows the American drive to be reliant on no one….not even God…for what they need. This my way is right and everyone else is wrong attitude has fostered hate, anger, malice, and the attitude that the bad things in life are not my fault and someone else caused it. Our politicians campaign not on their stance but how the other guy is wrong…always tearing down and never building up. Choosing instead to be a negative force rather than a positive one.

Many Christians also do this to believers and non believers alike. If you are a believer chances are at least once in you life someone has said you were wrong because you didn’t believe what they did. The Baptist fight with the Presbyterian’s and the Church’s of Christ fight with the Reformed Church and so on. Arguments break out over if baptismo (Greek for baptism) meant immersion or simply washing and rather wine was really wine or simply grape juice. We won’t even go into the fight against the Catholics (interestingly enough the starting point for all their accusers religions… but that is for another post); and Lord forbid you are an atheist you will never hear the end of how you are evil and going to Hell.

The truth of the matter is not one denomination has the monopoly on the truth. We waste out time arguing the simplest and most mondaine aspects of our faith that we miss the big picture…much like the Pharisees did. This time would be better spent winning others for God… not by bashing the over the head with their fate as an unbeliever but by showing them the love of God through compassionate giving of ourselves and our possessions. You will win an unbeliever over to God by showing them the caring and compassion that Jesus has for all. They will see the genuine change in our lives and want what we have. Instead we are arguing, griping, complaining, and scarring the unbeliever away.

Not only are the unbelievers running away but even those that are believers. Our young children grow up listening to stories about Gods love and how he saved us. They hear how we are to show his love to others; and of course in our conceited mindset we tell them about how we are doing it best when we are actually being a horrible example (I am guilty of all of this too). These children grow up and realize what jerks we have become and they know that that is not the way to live.  They then often confuse our disobedience to the word as obedience (because we have told them since they are little that we obeyed the word) and come to the conclusion that to be a Christian means to complain, argue and be a general jerk. So they leave the Church and God and are easily lured into the evils of this world.

WE need to STOP the arguing and finger pointing. STOP complaining about how another denomination or peoples act. And START showing the LOVE of Christ to our families and the World. As long as we argue and complain, fight, cuss, and carry on SATAN is WINNING. The EVIL ONE is DISTRACTING us from doing Gods work and we are working AGAINST God and ASSISTING the DEVIL. From Protestant to Luthern; from Episcopal to Baptist; from Catholic to Mennonite we all believe the same core thing: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. Why, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter if we have wine or grape juice; immerse or sprinkle; pray sitting or pray knelled at the alter; or any other millions of arguments. We need to come TOGETHER and be the UNIVERSAL church that we were intended to be. To do so we could win great victories for Christ and send Satan running away.

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