It was kind of weird.
I finally got to talk to my close friends at church. I didn’t see them in fellowship. And I was upset with what one of the brothers had said about the talk on spiritual training the week before. She actually said similar things. I think she changed a bit. It probably has to do with FY. She doesn’t trust me as much any more. I am really concerned about her as a friend and sister in Christ.
I think people are changing and I am pretty sure I am leaving. She said that we should do our part in being good, that we could only criticize if my Bible knowledge is as good as MS. I used the Pharisee as counter argument. And after a few hours, I realized that I could’ve use what she said about her criticization of the speaker. That she needed to earn a degree or two in theology at a prestigious seminary and have experience of serving as a pastor for a decade or two, and etc before criticizing others.
Am I qualified to criticize then according to that standard? I probably have seen more churches than them in their life time, experienced more church politics, been to more Sunday school lessons, went to more retreats, taken more courses, read more Bible, read more Christian books than them.
It’s sad to see the negative change in her. How she was criticizing the speaker who is very qualified with many years of experience in his field. He’s an expert. What would happen if we all do that? I just see this culture of criticizing clergy spreading. I am pretty sure she was influenced by someone. Ah J is like that, I was pretty upset with him on Saturday and talked to him about it after his “grand speech” about the talk last week. Again, who does he think he is to criticize?
He referred to what he wrote on facebook a while ago:
Back to basic，如果我們生命的目標是與神有一個好的關係，試問關係是操練回來的嗎？人會不會只不停的同朋友不停的做同一活動使關係…
I know MS criticize people a lot.
My friend told me that we have to learn, improve ourselves, let others see the difference. And if we criticize them, we would be like them. But we are not the one in the wrong. We are not hurting them, they are doing the hurting. And it’s not about our benefits to confront them. I think that if we really love them, we would rebuke and confront them with the problem with love for the reason to create a better fellowship with better relationship and understanding.
Our freedom to grow is already being restricted.
What I am afraid of is that what is wrong will become intolerable, accepted and normal. What’s wrong will become normal and right. It is just getting crooked and I can’t stand my friends being corrupted and turning crooked.
And what have I learned from church this year? I learned about how shitty “Christians” can be, actually that’s nothing new to me. More importantly, I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and spiritual abuse. Not some great things to learn about. I also learned about how legalism destroys. Again, not some great things you want to learn about. I can see legalism in practice in my fellowship. I don’t you don’t get to see that every day at every church. Should I count myself lucky in learning all these things in a span of 1 year.
Anyway, enough with the negatives. I am getting sick of it.
Here’s today devotion:
Maintaining the Proper Relationship
Goodness and purity should never be traits that draw attention to themselves, but should simply be magnets that draw people to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing others to Him, it is not the right kind of holiness; it is only an influence which awakens undue emotions and evil desires in people and diverts them from heading in the right direction. A person who is a beautiful saint can be a hindrance in leading people to the Lord by presenting only what Christ has done for him, instead of presenting Jesus Christ Himself. Others will be left with this thought— “What a fine person that man is!” That is not being a true “friend of the bridegroom”— I am increasing all the time; He is not.
To maintain this friendship and faithfulness to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful to have the moral and vital relationship to Him above everything else, including obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey and our only task is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, seeing that nothing interferes with it. Only occasionally is it a matter of obedience. At those times when a crisis arises, we have to find out what God’s will is. Yet most of our life is not spent in trying to be consciously obedient, but in maintaining this relationship— being the “friend of the bridegroom.” Christian work can actually be a means of diverting a person’s focus away from Jesus Christ. Instead of being friends “of the bridegroom,” we may become amateur providences of God to someone else, working against Him while we use His weapons.
As of now, I am wondering if I should be totally honest with my friends. Should I spill the beans. Can they handle the truth? What should I do for their best benefit?
I already regret not warning the former fellowship leader about the unhealthy trends I was seeing. I am sure he knew it, but we probably didn’t know it would cause such a big fiasco.