I visited a new church with my family last week and the pastor said something that I hear all the time. I see these two statements as contradictory, but somehow, many Christian’s don’t seem to see a conflict and I am wondering how it can be explained.
Statement 1: "Notice that Jesus doesn’t tell us to clean up our act first, then come to him. He takes us as we are!
no less than 1 minute later did he say:
Statement 2: “We must turn our back on old ways to prove that we are his. We can’t live like we are living before. Jesus makes it clear, we need to leave sin behind”
So, I guess from my perspective, I see those two statements as contradictory. We are told that God requires nothing of us to come to him. But then, the minute we do, we must leave behind all of our old ways. It just seems word games here. Seems like the old bait and switch tactic.
I am not suggesting that either of these two statements are true in and of themselves, just two things see from the same exact people. It is like talking out of two sides of their mouths.
Guy comes to Jesus as he is. Realizes he is in need of forgiveness. Says a prayer. Next week preacher talks about sin and if we are still sinning, we may not be His…
“Wait just a minute here? You said Jesus accepts me as I am…”
“Well, he does at first… I mean, if there is no change, then maybe Jesus isn’t in your heart?(they love to create doubt)… Maybe you didn’t really believe?”
“But I don’t get it, I mean, you said I just need to believe and trust him and he would perform the work? Now you are causing me to doubt my salvation! You say that because I still have some questionable sin in my life that I am working through, that I may not actually be in God’s hand???”
“Let’s dedicate you life to Jesus again”
rinse repeat after months and months…
I can only imagine the many people who suffer from mental illness that much of the Church teaches. They might mean well, but I think anyone with a brain can see a conflicting message here all around.
I think what people are trying to say is that the first step is trusting in God, then we must strive and follow him. This is a requirement to be a believer and if we don’t want to follow him, then maybe we are not really believer and or trusting God. We may need to take a introspective look.
But even if that is what most of Christendom actually believes, they don’t sell it that way. They sell it as black and white, and neglect to give you both parts before you start the journey. The old bait and switch… Get um in the Kingdom first, then tell them the truth!