How is it that the people who claim to follow you most closely bear such a marked resemblance to the ones you criticized most during your ministry?
- People of the Book.
- Separated from “sinners.”
- Concerned for your glory.
We are devoted to studying the scriptures and parsing out their meaning and application to our lives.
We have a passion to be pure and holy and right.
We are so concerned about offending you and worried about the lifestyles of others that we are convinced offend you.
We listen to long sermons, attend Bible studies, and try to read our Bibles daily.
We attend church, gather in small groups, and spend the vast majority of our time with other Christians.
We pray for the state of our world and our nation, constantly lamenting how far they have strayed from you, fearing (or are we secretly longing for?) your judgment.
We hide your word in our hearts.
We walk not in the counsel of the ungodly. We do not stand in the way of sinners. We don’t sit in the seat of scoffers.
We have come out from among them and try our best not to touch what is unclean.
We go to Bible-believing, Bible-teaching churches.
We listen to Christian programs and Christian music. We attend Christian schools. We support Christian causes.
We raise our hands and close our eyes when we sing praise songs. We earnestly squinch our eyes when we pray and utter our “amens.”
Why do I get this feeling that we are missing you?
Why are we so afraid to burst this “bubble” in which we live?
Why do we avoid the world so much — the world you called good?
How is it that we can’t seem to even conceive of obeying some of your clearest instructions? Like “love your enemies” and “do not judge” and “make every effort to keep unity”?
How is it that we can rationalize some of the most hateful words and attitudes imaginable while being convinced that we are serving God?
Why do we leave some of the most obviously needed works of compassion to the “Samaritans”?
How is it that we can spot another’s sin a mile away but cannot see the Pharisee in the mirror?