Brotherly Advice

Here is a bit of brotherly advice for my Christian brothers and sisters who might just be a bit too zealous in the Law concerning their unbelieving family or friends.

Please don’t use your Christianity as a club (a weapon) to beat God into them.

I’m not trying to be high and mighty here, for I have made the mistake of doing that exact same thing a time or two. I pray that the Lord will forgive me of that sin (self-righteousness), and that He would prevent their hearts from being hardened to Him because of my over-zealous, and under compassionate desire to force belief upon them.

I received a phone call yesterday from a friend of mine who told me that she is, and has been, in the crosshairs of her husband’s family, who are all doing their utmost to “lead” her to Jesus.

It’s constant. It’s always right beneath the surface when it manages to stay hidden, and it’s grinding effects are destroying any decent view of Christians and Christianity that she may at one time had.

It is a constant barrage of super-sticky piety coupled with a heavy handed beating with the law. All designed to make her make a “decision for Jesus”.

I wouldn’t be suprised if she never wanted anything at all to do with Jesus… ever again. She’s already told me that she hates Christianity, and her phoney, self -righteous family (in-laws) members.

And now, she cannot trust her little ones (ages 1-7) with them, either. They are hammering the little ones and putting pressure on them as well!

All of this stems from that deadly false doctrine known as “free will”.

The misguided (at best) thinking that one has the ability to choose to be a Christian. This warped view of the Christian faith is absolutely just as deadly when it’s aimed at others as it is when it’s embraced by the self.

It (“free will”) produces self-righteous, arrogant, super-pious, phoney, law entrenched Christians who act on the basis of fear…and not love of the neighbor.

It produces Christians who begin their “Christian walk” with something that ‘they have done’.  It starts with them… it continues with them…. and it ends with them. And they do it all quoting the scriptures… left and right…right or wrong.

I say this; love them (the unbeliever).  Let the law that is already working on them in their lives do the dirty work. Don’t make Jesus into just ‘another law’. Empathize with them. Tell them you know how it is. Tell them that many of these same things have had or are having their way with you as well.  And then, when the law has sufficiently crushed them, slip in a word or two about the One who has done something about it. Speak to them of Jesus and what he has done for you and for them. Ask them if they’ve ever been baptised and remind them of the promises that God has made to them in their baptisms. It is a great opportunity to speak the gospel to them, that God may go to work in them in that Word. You can tell them that you’d love for them to come with you sometime to church, to hear more about Christ Jesus who will someday make all things new again…including themselves. And when you leave them pray for them.

But turning the whole thing into a formula whereupon the right answer is obtained by their making the right choice of  A) Accepting Jesus….or B) going to hell  …is not the gospel. It is the law. “Do this and you will be saved”.  Jesus told Niccodemus that “it doesn’t work like that. It has to come from above.”

It is the gospel that frees and makes alive…not the law.

What would you say to these well-meaning Christians?    Keep pouring it on! (?)…  or ease up and take another tact.(?)