What’s the solution to this country’s violent epidemic?
Many national leaders have recently proclaimed that greater access to mental health treatment, stronger or weaker gun regulations, or more security in public spaces is the solution to the violence in this country.
But the true issue is not a political or legislative problem, it’s a spiritual one. And it starts with the Church.
The Church Needs to Clean Up Its Act
If we want to see a change in the world, the Church must set the example. Christians get upset with murder and violence, but don’t recognize that same violent spirit is operating in the body of Christ.
Christians –try to clean up their acts outwardly, but have not changed inwardly. Because of this, we see believers lashing out at each other, disguising hate speech as “righteous judgment;” calling their false accusations “discernment;” dishonoring and defaming spiritual leadership, and tearing down their own brothers and sisters in the name of the Lord.
Just like the world, Christians have become reactive. When we don’t get our way, the violent spirit on the inside of us rebels and lashes out in the form of Facebook statuses and tweets that are not approved by God. We get emotional and offended when other believers have different opinions. And we are unforgiving and vengeful, constantly finding reasons to expose others’ shortcomings, instead of covering them.
Just like the world, we cannot say no to our emotions; we have not learned to turn the other cheek or take the high road.
Just like the world, the Church is defensive and emotional. When church goers don’t like the message preached at church, they get defensive. When they don’t like the way a service is run, they switch churches. When they don’t like what the preacher says, they “expose” and demean them.
Christianity, for many, has become about exposing people, rather than exposing truth. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that false doctrine needs to be exposed so that people are not led astray – but my intent as a pastor is never to expose, demean or embarrass an individual, I simply aim to uncover the truth.
Don’t expose the person, expose the truth.
It’s sad to say, but the violence going on in this country is only a reflection, exaggeration, and outward manifestation of what is in the heart of many people, including Christians, across the world.
It’s time for the Church to get heart deliverance
It’s time to change. The Church needs deliverance from its violent-hearted ways.
Far too many Christians have focused on acting the part, rather than being set apart. We cannot respond the way everyone else does. We cannot be emotional and reactive to political, social and religious controversy; we can no longer disguise, cover up, or ignore the hatred that we’ve, apparently, allowed to settle in our hearts.
Christians have learned clean carnality, but not holiness. They’ve learned how to make their mess look less messy, their sin appear less sinful, and their hatred seem less hateful. We’ve masked our internal wickedness with biblical words, thinking that the world can’t see the heart behind our Facebook statuses and tweets, but we are wrong.
We don’t need clean carnality, we need true deliverance from the inside out. No longer should the Church look and act like the world.