What happened to your faith in God? That is the question I recently posed to a young woman who has been part of my family life since she was a toddler. I love my young friend as one of my own children. Sadly this beautiful young woman has decided to live life as a man. With complete conviction in her answers, she believes there is nothing wrong with her life choices. What troubles me the most is this is a person who grew up in the church and has had substantial exposure to scripture. For this young lady church life was focused on entertaining the youth but at home she was under legalistic authority. The contrast was enough to confuse anyone.
Most likely some will say I am being judgmental about my friends choices. I am judging the fruit of her life. This is not a person who is not a Christian rather someone who professes Christ as savior. Anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ has committed to submission of His authority. Matthew 7:21-23 tells us “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ This is what drives me to teach those who have decided to follow Christ. It is not God’s desire for any to be lost but to follow Him is not always an easy road.
In an effort to avoid legalistic theology many church leaders have watered down the full gospel message to allow people to live comfortably in sin. The result is a culture of marginal Christians without a full understanding of godly living. The blame is not entirely the fault of Christian leaders. There are many stories of congregations replacing their pastor because he would not give in to non-biblical demands. There are also a lot of small churches without a pastor because they want one to fit their agenda instead of lead them with God’s word.
Look around in many congregations and there are leaders addict to porn, unmarried couples serving in the church, and open acceptance of just about any sinful lifestyle. What you will be hard pressed to find are those who are truly seeking a Christian mentor that will clearly instruct them with the Bible on practical Christian living. That is because to embrace the full authority of the Bible is to sacrifice our own personal desire in order to live as God has commanded.
The scriptures are in place to correct, rebuke, and encourage all with love. A legalistic church will only correct and rebuke. An unhealthy church will only encourage. Neither of these extremes will produce a mature believer in Christ. I want to be a pastor that challenges and encourages with truth and with a true love for others.
If you have any questions about the Christian faith feel free to email me at Revburtschwab@gmail.com. It does not matter if you are Christian or other I will personally respond. Please be advised that any trolls sending hate mail will receive a form letter and a prayer.
Rev. Burt Schwab