While reading different publications and magazine articles both, online and off, I saw one that had been written and reposted by someone I knew. It was an article about a very well-known minister, a pastor for that matter, of a large church.
This pastor made some statements about small churches and selfish parents and I’m sure you know who it was, and his comments were rough and they went viral. Later he apologized for what he had said, and made the statement, “after I read them (sic my words) they even offended me, and I’m sorry for saying them.”
In the article, it shows a photo of this pastor going through the city and crushing ‘every small church less than 200 people in his path.’ It describes the pastor with words like ‘menacing’, ‘fury’, ‘an appetite for destruction’, ‘having fire breath able to destroy a church leaving nothing but ashes’. Other acts included letting out a mighty roar, having eyes that radiate with a glowing red color and having the ability to ‘unleash searing blasts of heat’. This brother/pastor/minister of God was depicted as cackling manically as he brought destruction upon these small churches. Quite the ugly picture for a Shepard of the flock of God to say the least.
So, when I read this article, after I researched it and found where he had apologized for those words I wrote a short note to my friend and said, “….and the comments made where he apologized for those statements, do they count or should we just continue to only focus on the negative?” To which my friend replied, “It’s a joke. It’s satire.” Now I know this, and I get it but it caused me to start thinking about myself and how I have been guilty of reposting things like this and, to be honest, I think the Lord pricked my heart and let me know this was not, well, not something He found funny.
Because of this article I started thinking, Is this a result of the poisonous thinking of society that has affected the church in these last days? Sarcasm in place of sincerity? Is to be sardonic the best way to behave toward a brother or sister? Sadly, the world looks at the church and Christians and Christianity as a joke, something to make satire out of, and unfortunately, we, the body of Christ, often help promote it. I mean if you watch a TV show with a Christian in it more often than not the Christian, especially if he or she is a minister will be the crook, or the deranged serial killer or the comic relief, the joke. And sadly, we the body of Christ have done little to offset this because we offer plenty of fodder for the world to use to make the church a joke.
There was a recent poll taken asking what were the least trusted professions. Of those asked the response was lawyers, politicians, car salesmen and ministers. Ministers were a bit higher, depending on the poll, but needless to say, that is a sad, sad indictment.
My thoughts then are, why? Why are we, brothers and sisters in Christ, helping to degrade our family? With all the world making a joke about the body of Christ, why are we, the people of God helping them? Jesus said to us, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” If this pastor were my pastor or my family or a friend would I still think it a joke or just satire? Should we, as the church, keep placing a mistake made, especially after the person repented and said I’m sorry I said that, should we keep putting that forward so all can laugh? Is this what love does? Peter said, ‘Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.’
I know I have said things in private and in public that I wish I could take back just about the moment they flooded out of my mouth, and have repented for saying them, and I know I would not want them to be constantly displayed for all to see.
I guess what I am trying to say is this: As Christians, we should start being known for our love, for being kind one to another, tender hearted and forgiving. We have enough opposition to the message of Christ and His ways in the world today! We should be the peace makers!
When one of our own family falls let us run to them and help them up, dust them off and come the rescue to help restore them. We often see large ministries and well-known pastors as targets to pick off but we should understand that when we do this we are hurting our own. Paul said, “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church” — but it appears we think it’s okay, and the reason we do could be because we don’t see it/them as our own body, because if we did we would be much more forgiving.
I know preachers and Christians and you reading this and me writing it have said and done things we are not proud of, but would you want to see them made into a joke or satire and posted or reposted for all to judge?
So, the next time someone starts to share a joke or a really bad mess-up about a family member or shares an article that does nothing to build up the body of Christ, maybe we should give a gentle reminder and say, ‘well I know it’s ugly, but it’s family and family comes first, so let’s take care of our family’ and in so doing give those watching a lesson in love.
This was something on my heart as a message to me. Maybe it will help some of us the next time we have the opportunity to be a part of something that is less than uplifting. Maybe we can take that occasion to act in love and put ourselves in the place of the person we are about to speak of and ask the Head of the Family, ‘So, do you think this is funny?’
Until next time remember look to your future and not to the past, learn to live in the grace of God and love much forgive always and hold no bitterness toward anyone.