Many questions came to me over a period of several weeks in my own quiet time. I want to share some of them with you.
*Have we or our children gotten the impression that God is hard instead of loving because of the harsh attitudes of the pastor? Is it possible that some dear, precious, innocent people have gotten a distorted view of who God is because of harsh talk from the pulpit? Do people get the impression that when a minister calls someone a bad name from the pulpit that perhaps God would do the same, because after all if the man of God does it, then would God do it too?
*Have we gotten our focus off of God and on a man or a church because the pastor continually tells us to follow him? Have we been given the impression that we won't make it if we don't stick with a certain church or pastor? Have we thought that we wouldn't go places or experience revival if we left the church? Have we forgotten that it is God who causes us to prosper in life and not a man or a church?
*Have we or our children gotten the impression that if we leave the church something bad will happen to us? Have we been given the impression that we will just be wiped out if we leave the church? Isn't God loving and long suffering? Isn't He looking to bring people into His kingdom rather than be so quick to allow them to be wiped out? Where does it say in the Bible that if you leave a church the curse will come on you? Wouldn't that be fear motivating you instead of the love of God?
*Doesn't God want His children to be in unity? Is it okay with God that there is such division among people who stay at the church and people who leave? Aren't we all going to be together in heaven anyway? How can it be love to shun someone, especially when they haven't done anything wrong? Where is God in that? Isn't He total and complete love? Doesn't faith work by love? If you are cutting another Christian out of your life for no reason other than they left a church, is your faith going to work?
*Have we gotten the impression that it is all about money? Have people gotten their minds on getting more stuff instead of what it truly means to serve God? Have we given money many times out of obligation instead of giving out of a cheerful heart because we love God? Have church leaders manipulated people into giving? Have we lost our focus about what really matters in life?
The answers to my questions are clear to me now. I know that God is total and complete love and that He would never do anything to hurt anyone. I want my children to grow up knowing that their God is loving and merciful. I want my children to grow up knowing that what really matters in life is loving God and loving people.