Selfish Holiness Never Gets Me Anywhere

What was I doing this past Saturday afternoon? Oh, nothing, just going on a rant against Christians.

One thing that frustrates me a lot is that when Christians go on rants against people – particularly other Christians. Most notable recently is the case involving Mark Driscoll, the recently-resigned pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I had actually written a blog post about it which I have decided not to post. In the post, I wrote this:

Thing is, instead of being carried around by whatever form of doctrine that’s being spouted about, we’re to speak truth in love, we’re to grow up in every way into Christ. Is saying what we say about Mark Driscoll and Michael Gungor and Joel Osteen and Steven Furtick and such “speaking the truth in love” and seeking unity among believers? We look at them and think, “Well, they’ve gone down the drain, there’s no hope for them. Guess they’re doomed to hell.”

When we make a pastor’s words or mistakes or bad judgements out to be much more than what they are (sins), we as a church look just like entertainment television: making way too much out of humans doing what they do, messing up. Because we all sin! We all fall short of God’s glory!

So please, for the good of the gospel and the unity of the church, PLEASE stop doing this to people. If you’re concerned about their spiritual health or doctrinal rigidity, pray for them! Love them. Stop feeling like you have to take a stand against them or their teaching or any issue really without actually doing what Scripture tells us to do. Show people grace.

If Jesus did to us what Christians often do to others, we’d be without hope.

Do I agree with everything I wrote? Yes. I still believe it. However, I chose not to post it because, while I was writing it, I was being the very thing I was criticizing others for: not speaking the truth in love, but in vitriol.

I was having quite a heated discussion with my mother about it and she brought up (a couple times) how I was being exactly what I was mad at them for being. It didn’t really hit me until later that day and in Sunday school yesterday when we went over Ephesians 4, which discusses unity in the church.

I realized I was not pursuing unity in the church with my attitude or my words. I was trying to win people to my side.

That’s not how we’re called to live as Christians. We’re called to live together, united in purpose and intention, that purpose and intention coming from Scripture, not my mind or anyone else’s. We still speak truth, yes, but for the goal of building up the body of Christ towards Christlikeness, not for winning an argument. We’re not called to pursue selfish holiness, but a self-less, Christ-exalting, others-encouraging holiness.

I close this with a quote from Robert Morris, the pastor at Gateway Church who welcomed Driscoll to a conference at his church a couple weeks ago. You can see the whole clip here, but I’ll type out the quote here for you. Emphasis mine:

We could crucify him (Driscoll), but since someone has already been crucified for him, the other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves lest we are tempted. It’s sad that in the church we are the only army that shoots at our wounded.

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