People believe all kinds of things. Believing, however, does not mean people embrace and exemplify that which – and in whom – they say they believe. Similarly, could it be that statements of faith declare things that are inconsistent with what churches really believe, preach, and teach?
If you believe something and then discover your beliefs are contrary
to the Scriptures and Jesus’ teachings, are you going to stick with
what you believe, or embrace and proclaim the Word of God?
For example, do you believe the following statement: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) If YES, how does that truth influence and inspire the ministry activities and efforts within your church?
Oswald Chambers may have been spot-on when he said, “Today we [presumably referring to the American church] have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ.”
Sadly, it seems many people are unaware of or unfamiliar with the Gospel message and basic biblical truth. Others, though they have been exposed to the truth and have some degree of understanding, are actively or passively rejecting the truth, and rebellious. I don’t say that to disparage anyone or come across as judgmental; rather, I do so to make a point. Many people who self-identify as ‘Christian,’ don’t know that they don’t know what it means to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Plus, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)
If we love, we care. The two are inseparable. And, if we care about people, we disciple.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who [truly] believes.” (Romans 1:16)
-- Charles Puchta