1 Peter 3:8
HATE IN THE 'CHURCH'!
"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind."
Let it resignate with you! Yes, it is happening all over the place! It's appalling, shameful and the biggest stumbling block among, so called, Christians.
Much of our behavior, under the umbrella of Christianity, is so far from what God had in mind when He added members to the body of Christ. The local 'Church' use to be synonymous with love, a place of refuge, mercy, compassion, healing and restoration. Unfortunately, Satan has done a real good job at dividing, splitting, and hacking away at anything that spells U-N-I-T-Y and some of us have helped him do it!
Satan cannot read minds, but he is able to accomplish what he does by watching our individual behavior and responses to life, our personal interactions with one another, and our own personal feelings that we act out or verbalize daily. He knows exactly how to trip us up and cause negative and ungodly behavior to spill out into the local church, thus, hindering all that God is trying to do among His people.
Let's face it! Satan never invents anything new. He uses the same tactics as he did with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. He thwarted God's authority when he said to Eve, "Hath God Said"? she bought into the lie he presented and thrust the entire human race into sin! So...here we are folks! His focus is always to take away God's authority. Every time we sin, Satan has accomplished thwarting God's authority over us.
Satan is counting on Christians to fail God and fail Him miserably each and every day. God has warned us; we are not ignorant concerning his devices. So what has happen within our church walls???
We are constantly creating new programs, ministry, idea after idea and year after year, with no change among us or within us. This is a sad revolving door! Some tend to think that the bad aura among us or the deadness is associated with the lack of good music, antiquated practices, and a lack of vision. I have been in a few churches over the past 40 years of my Christian life and I can tell you that-that ain't the bulk of our problems!
The lack of 'Unity' and 'Obedience' to God is the bulk of the problem! I have no problem with 'Change', for we need to seek practical and relevant ways to reach people and we need to meet the needs of a generation who are being swallowed up by egregious sins. We must have wisdom and discernment from God on how to do that without compromising the Word of God.
There is an incredible amount of HATRED, LYING, JEALOUSY, ENVY AND CARNALITY in the church. We say we love God, yet hate our brother. There's nothing new under the sun. Joseph's brethren did it to him. They had in mind to kill him! We have examples all throughout Scripture concerning this. The Apostle Paul mentioned Alexander, the coppersmith, who did him much harm.
Hatred is born out in several ways; from executing ways to keep others in the local church from participating in ministry areas to sewing discord among the saints. The core issue that lies behind hatred, jealousy and envy is PRIDE! That's the sickness individuals are really suffering from. God hates this!!!
We attack one another, malign one another, lie on one another, and don't speak to one another and we sing like crazy on the Praise Team, Preach from the Pulpit, fight for Power and Position and Recognition and are in charge of all sorts of church leadership business. Not to mention, the ones who see the wrong and choose to look the other way because they don't want to be put out of the 'Click'. We curse one another under our breath and should a fellow believer come and try to inquire as to why they are being treated in such a manner, we avoid meeting with them, we act as though nothing is wrong, and we sweep it under the carpet. I had one saint say to me, when I asked to meet with them, "I don't have time for people who want special attention." How sad, How very sad.
In conclusion, there is one thing that I have learned about God and it is this, He rewards every man/woman for deeds done, whether they are good or bad.
I realize that everyone who sits on a church bench isn't saved! Let the wheat and the tares grow together, the Lord says. The Holy Spirit gives discernment when you see certain behaviors, although the Lord knows those who are His. He also says that by their fruits we shall know them.
Straighten out any offenses, wrong doings and evil treatment against your brother or sister while there is still time. Don't sweep sin under a rug by trying to smooth a matter over with a gift, a smile, or a dis-honest compliment. James 5:16 clearly says, "Confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." The health of our churches and assemblies won't survive if we continue the way we are behaving; from the leadership on down.