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We get concerned when something goes wrong with a Christian, a family, a church or a Christian organisation. We wonder how it can happen among Christians. We wrestle with different types of solutions based on prayer, counsel, mediation and intervention. But many times these solutions don't work and the problems only get bigger. We throw up our hands and feel sad about the way Christ's name is getting maligned. Isn't this happening across the board, in every area of life and work?
In some cases it becomes obvious that some of the people involved are not Christians at all at heart but only in name. But this is easier to grapple with as an idea compared to situations involving Christians who are active in 'ministry'! We don't need to judge them and imagine we are better people. But it's difficult to understand how they could behave like that!
The issue is not just about individuals because problems are happening on a much wider scale than a few individual cases. The cause goes down to the root level, not to any fault with Christianity but to the way it is proclaimed and taught. Faulty practice is based on faulty concepts.
The problem God tries to deal with is sin, and Jesus is His solution for that (Mt.1:21). But when people don't even see that as the problem but come to Jesus looking only for health, wealth and comfort they have truly missed the Gospel. But they think they have 'come to Christ' and carry on with their natural way of thinking and sinful desires. When people are convicted about their sins and the church offers them only forgiveness and a promise of heaven they remain in their spiritual infancy without even realising it. When the church offers people entertainment in the form of 'worship' service and sermons that tickle their ears, they miss the way of denying themselves, taking up their cross and following Jesus in the process of sanctification (Lk.9:23). Especially if the church offers them some form of involvement in its various activities people think now they are in 'ministry' and don't realise what is lacking in terms of integrity and how they appear in God's eyes.
With a large number of such 'mixed crowds' is it any wonder that they cause problems everywhere? Yes, we need to deal with the specific problems, but without dealing with the root issues such problems will not get resolved or decrease. There is corruption in every department of the church.
The Lord wanted to plant wheat, but an enemy has sown many weeds in the same field. Instead of trying to pluck out the weeds, which might result in throwing out some wheat too (Mt.13:24-30), let us make sure that what we plant is wheat (God's way of salvation from sin). Let us also be vigilant enough to see the enemy coming with weeds (false doctrines, mixed truths, human ideas), and drive him away. Let us not be men-pleasers because ultimately we will end up grieving our Lord (Ga.1:10). Finally, have we understood the Gospel right, and are we following it right?