Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Temptation to meddle

2/12/14

 

Most people would probably think that meddling in the private lives of others was inappropriate and even sinful. Not so, the church. The church never seems able to get past the temptation to meddle in the management of the most intimate and significant part of any person's life, their personal relationships. This compulsion involves a real temptation, in the biblical sense of the prelude to sinful, unloving behaviors.

 

Nothing is quite so alluring to the human ego as an opportunity to criticize and manipulate others and label it an act of  righteousness. Thus, we regularly witness the church directing its attention to faults of outsiders and demanding conformity to their doctrines. Way too often the motivation for such criticism appears to be nothing more than a smug feeling of moral superiority and an assumed right to dictate divine requirements.

 

As I recall, Jesus directed that we remove the mote from our own eye before we even think about the shortcomings of others. I see no interest on the part of many in the church to honor that commandment. No, they would rather claim their elevated status as the administrators of the hellfire escape plan. Obviously, dealing with my own shortcomings is a never ending process, disallowing time for my attention to stray to the rest of the  world.

 

The church can point to Great Commission as their excuse to meddle, but that provides no justification for the fear based judgments routinely pronounced by the church. Since Jesus limited his earthly ministry to the Jews (Matthew 15:24), there is no reason to apply the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) to the entire world of today. That is especially so, when Paul came along later and proclaimed that the entire world had already been reached in his day (Col 1:3, 1:23; Romans 16:26). The word translated "nations" in Matthew 28:19 can easily mean "tribes", as in "tribes of Israel", thus limiting the commission to 1st Century Jews.

 

The church's ever fanciful interpretation of Jesus' Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) is another misrepresentation used to bolster the contention that the church remains in the business of teaching and demanding conformity of all mankind. The insistence that the events foretold in these chapters are yet future and ever imminent falls apart given careful consideration of the Bible. It also amounts to a failed occurrence of what was clearly said to be imminent at the time the prophetic account was written.

 

Of necessity, the church dismisses all such evidence in some way, because these verses directly challenge the church's right to meddle.