Don't leave a comment if you just skimmed.
"I assumed this was a Christian group..."
"(Fill in the blank) is worldly."
[What a person defines as worldly changes from generation to generation and culture to culture around the country and world. It is subjective to the speaker (or writer). The speaker is drawing a line and passing judgment and teaching others to pass judgment on the subjective fill-in-the-blank.]
What these, and similar words, say is that if a person doesn't subscribe to a certain version of Christianity then that person is not truly a Christian. Or that the person saying these things is more enlightened, more mature, more right, more whatever.
Quite simply, these are judgment statements comparing self to others with the intent that the speaker is a better person in the light of the speaker's eyes. It promotes the speaker (or writer) and devalues the receiving person. It is not love.
Let's define what Christian is with just a few verses, there are many similar verses for you to seek out for yourself. https://www.biblegateway.com/
John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
It can certainly be argued that it is only God's place to judge whether a person is Christian or not. However, if you really want to know who is Christian and is who is not then let the following be your guide:
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Matthew 22:36-40 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
And finally, go read what Jesus taught.
Theology can be argued forever and ever. I'm not as smart as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and the rest. I don't believe I need to be a super-intelligent theologian in order to believe that Jesus is the son of God and died for my sins.
We aren't here
- to follow man-made rules (please go check your personal rule book and see if it lines up with Jesus)
- to judge each other on certain things that we elevate higher than the teachings of Jesus
- to lay burdens on people with our interpretations of what to not do
- to teach our children the "do nots" and an attitude of judgment towards others
- to be law-followers instead of Jesus-followers (after all, why did Jesus come?)
- Love God
- Love others
- how you talk to Jesus and others
- how you behave towards Jesus and others
- how you deal with Jesus and others
What is grace?
Very simply put, grace is a gift you do not deserve.
How are we to be graceful in our relationships?
It's all about grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We're all in this together, being shaped and conformed into His image. Let's all work on being more graceful with each other. Let's listen, think, and examine before we pass judgment and start talking and writing responses. There are many who have gone before us in the journey and there is value in what they share. There are reasons why people used to do or think _______ but now... on myriad things.