There are plenty of words that are thrown around, words you might call Christianese. there's a word that's very close to the heart of Jesus, I think, "repent."
What does it mean to repent. There are a few simple meanings of the word that pastors teach quite often, most comonly taught is the "180 degree turn" meaning you turn from your sin and toward God. This version of repentence leads strait to more sin. People are taught to "flee from sin" and kick their nasty habbits without ever being taught how to deal with their sin. Church teaches us what is wrong to do and in many churches a sort of standard is set where people are either alienated or they learn to hide their sin on suday only to sin some more on monday.
I believe that first of all this word repentace must be rooted in love because sin, I humbly submit, is scripturally defined as the oposite of love. So could repent simply mean "start loving?"
If we flee from sin, without actually embracing it and bringing it before God and people to be dealt with, we can never break that mystical bond that exsits between our sin and ourselves. But how does the Church respond? Sin will scar us for life, at least until healing happens. There must be more to that word; "repent."
Wes, great post! These are all things I have though about before, just not quite figured out. I couldn't agree with what you said about turning 180 degreese. You have so many great ideas. You're the best!
Yes, Wes, there is an incredible ammount of wisdom in this post of yours. I think as the time gets close...close to what I'm not sure...but God is making it harder for true believers to hide those sins on Sunday...and those with hidden sins should take warning, deal with it, embrace it. and bring it before Gid and people, as you said. But of course that makes people, the Church, accountable for dealing with it appropriatly. There are lepers in our midst. Yes, Jesus can heal lepers, but will his body embrace them, and help them in their recovery? You started this string by asking "who can you trust"
I would add the question, "who can the repentatn sinner trust?"
Wes - good post. But I have to agree with Maryellen on her question of "Who can the repentant sinner trust?". Nobody wants their dirty laundry hung out for people to see...my experience was rather negative when people could see that I was struggling (when I was bald ;-) ) - and they didn't even know the half of it. I don't mean to put you on the spot...but while your post does offer wisdom - there are other issues to be dealt with. I don't think most people will feel comfortable "repenting" and sharing their sins until the church feels like a safe place to do so without judgment.
Oh and I hope my comment didn't sound sharp - I'm just asking a sincere question.
While yes, there needs to be a sort of safeness in order for people to be transparent, there also needs to be those people who aren't afraid to be bold and take the first step. Nothing will ever change within the church if someone is not willing to take the risk. It is so important for us, as Christians, to not be afraid of our sin in a way that makes us fake to others. This "fakeness," this "we've got it all together," mentallity is what turns so many people away. They see us as saying we live a perfect life, yet those close to us know that we are human and have very real human struggles in this world.
In my opinion, yes, something needs to be done and it may not be a "smooth" transition from where we are now (fake and unsincere) to where we need to be (real and open). Until we, the church, can admit to being imperfect and that it's okay, that in fact the very reason we need Jesus is because we are imperfect, nothing is going to change. We will continue to appear as hypocrites to non-believers and continue to cause those in our church family to feel as though they have to hide their sin, for fear of being the only one struggling with their issues. We need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable in order that we may reach and connect with others in similar situations so that we my grow together for the kingdom of Christ.
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