If it were possible to keep all of the commandments found in the Old and New Testament, there would be no need for what Christ did on the cross.
If you teach that you need to fit a certain mold to be accepted by God, you’re missing the point. Once you have accepted Him, He will change you into what He wants. Your only requirement is acceptance of Him. He will change you into who He wants you to be.
Stop trying so hard, and stop teaching others that they need to try harder.
I see a good reason why the youth of our churches are leaving. There is subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) condemnation in our teachings.
There is an underlying current that flows through most pulpits. The words are usually correct, but under the surface there most often is an assumption that you must fit a certain mold to be accepted by the church body.
If you smoke, you can’t be a good representative of Christ.
If you cuss, you certainly will not make a good impression on non believers, and will therefore hurt your witness for Him.
If you’ve been through a divorce, you should not be in a leadership position, that again would be a bad witness for Christ.
The list goes on, and on, and on.
If we cut out everyone who has sinned, I guarantee you, there will be no one left.
The Church is a collection of sinners. Some are in leadership positions, because we as humans need leaders. But the assumption is that these leaders are somehow “better” than the rest. They are not. They struggle just as much with temptation as the rest of us. And I would assert that they lose the battles with temptation just as often as the rest of us.
The Church is a collection of sinners, but also is the accepted Bride of Christ. Accepted just as she is. At this point in time she is ugly, she is no better than the unsaved masses that surround Her. The ONLY thing that makes her “better” is that she is accepted by Christ. And if Christ want to perform “good works” through Her, He will and does.
You who are called to be leaders in the Church body, your life will be hard. The enemy targets those in leadership. If the enemy can make you fall, he knows that he can take many of the bride with you. But if you belong to Christ, the enemy will NEVER take you down so far as to be abandoned by The Groom. The enemy has that knowledge and if he cannot steal you from the Groom, he will do his best to keep you from sharing the good news.
Please stop teaching our youth that they have to try harder to be good representatives for Christ. If they have accepted Christ, they are part of The Bride, He will change them. He will use them for His glory, even if it appears to you that they are doing it wrong.
The only outcome from the “try harder” teaching is to push people away. Most who show up at Church already know that they are not good enough, and they are trying hard to be good. Telling them over, and over that they MUST try harder, will result in only one outcome, they will stop coming to Church.
Teach the true Gospel, Christ crucified and risen. Teach the Bible (old and new) but always end with the love and forgiveness of Christ, The Good News of Christ’s Love.
The key is to stop trying so hard to be good and just spend time with Him. By spending time with Him, He will make us better. He will make us better in His time, not ours. If we continue to try to make ourselves better in our time, we will get frustrated and not only stop trying, but also stop spending time with Him. He will never leave you, but He has given us the free will to ignore Him.
So when teaching or preaching or sharing the gospel it’s good to remember that we are just beggars telling other beggars where we found the best food imaginable.
Quit trying to fix your brother or sister and just love them and tell them how much God loves them, if they choose to spend time with Him, He will fix them, in His time.
Relax, smoke a cigar once and a while. Don’t worry so much about your brothers and sisters in Christ and what they do or do not do. If they belong to Him, he’ll take good care of them.