Lately I have been feeling aggravated and grieved by people who teach the wrong things. Specifically I have been frustrated at people who teach false doctrine to faithful souls. In conversation with friends I have found them to be struggling with similar frustrations. At the beginning I was annoyed at pastors and church groups who teach that women are second-class and are only useful in the home. I then became frustrated at people who think they understand the gospel and yet exemplify or teach little or no practical grace to the people they minister among, but instead deal in judgment and legalism, as if they are somehow better than anyone else. I then became frustrated at people who are part of the visible church who are involved in abuse, or exploitation, or tangles of lies. What kind of witness is this to the world? And to the people of God?
All these things, and many more like them, have been bothering me because they are so counter to the beauty of the Gospel. This blog post has taken many forms in my mind over the past weeks as I imagined how I could best revile these people; how I could make them see the error of their ways, how I could best say to them – how dare you? How dare you trample up on these little ones of Christ? How can you who claim redemption treat people in this way – people who trust you?
But then I realized what I really needed to say, and it hasn’t turned out to be a rant against injustice, liars, and ignorance – in fact it’s quite different. It’s a word towards the victims of these things, the confused, the hopeless, the violated, the guilt-ridden, and the fearful. The God who has redeemed you has not left you without hope or help – He is here, and He is working. He has not placed a law of rules and regulation upon your shoulders; His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He will not leave you drowning in the confusion of this dark world but will someday lift the veil from your eyes so that you can see in full. He has not left you in despair, but will wipe every tear from your eyes. The work of Satan is not winning any battles in our world, Christ Himself is waging war – and the gates of Hell will not prevail against Him.
So, although sin abounds, even in the church of Christ, grace abounds all the more. So do not lose hope. Do not give up, burdened ones, run ever to Jesus – he will carry the little lambs in his arms – and cling to Him. He alone is just. He alone is forgiving. He alone is pure. He alone is faithful.