My heart has been heavy with this message for quite some time. This short video is my personal plea:
My heart is deeply burdened with the stories upon stories of people that I love and care about, who have walked away from faith in Christ. Just this past week I found out several more walked away…
Time after time the very men who are called to shepherd the flock of God instead beat the flock of God into an unwarranted submission according to their own desires to fulfill their own self-centered needs.
And more people walk away.
Through verbal, emotional, physical and spiritual abuse, husbands destroy the picture of God for their wives and children.
And more walk away.
Popular speakers and authors manhandle God’s word for their own benefit – to gain applause or earn an earthly kingdom.
And more walk away.
Make no mistake. Those who have so twisted, falsely interpreted, and warped the teaching of the Bible are fully culpable for their errors. Those who abused and hurt the innocent will be dealt with perfect justice in the end.
But my plea to all of you is this:
To the abused, hurt, lied to, and shamed…to those who’ve walked away or are about to throw in the towel: let Jesus Christ define Christianity for you. Don’t let a pastor, preacher, or a particular author define Christianity.
The church will hurt you. People will hurt you. Pastors will fall. Leaders will crash. Truth will get skewed and grace will get warped.
But Jesus will never fail you and his grace and truth is more brilliant than the rising sun. His mercy pierces through the fog of confusion and twisted doctrine; it heals up torn hearts and opens our eyes to what life is really all about.
Jesus Christ came as the Word made flesh and moved into our neighborhood (see John 1:14). Why? So that we could see all that is on the Father’s heart for us. Jesus Christ came to be the exegesis of the Father on earth – to fully reveal His wisdom and power and love (see John 1:15-18).
The law came through Moses (John 1:17a), but Moses didn’t define God. He gave an imperfect, limited picture of God. But the full grace and truth of God is revealed to us in Jesus Christ (John 1:17b). He showed us “grace upon grace” like waves on the seashore that never stop and never end and never give up (see John 1:16). God’s love is tenaciously persistent and unending and always and forever for His children.
If you’ve seen Jesus you’ve seen the Father. That’s what Jesus said (John 14:9). So look to Jesus.
As my mother always says, “Pastors will fail you. Preachers will say wrong things and hurt you. Leaders will fall into all kinds of sin and wrong doctrine. But look to Jesus because Jesus never fails.”
So let Jesus Christ define Christianity for you today. If you’re in doubt or already stepping away from faith in Him: look back and look into His eyes. He loves you. He’s waiting with open arms to receive you and reveal the Father’s heart to you. Don’t let Christianity becomes defined by messed up Christians. Christ defines Christianity.
I’m pleading with you. Don’t walk away.
Love in Christ,
A friend asked:
Q: “How does one truly find Jesus when the Bible and grace have been so twisted?”
A: Here are just several quick suggestions to start a fresh journey with Jesus Christ:
- Pick up a Bible paraphrase like Eugene Peterson’s The Message and let the grace soak in through a totally different turn of phrase.
- Find a Jesus-loving counselor or pastor who administers the healing balm of grace and be fully cathartic in telling them the whole story.
- Pour your heart out to Him in prayer and look for His hand of love in the little things of life.
- Read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey and The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll