So I've been going on a game/forum called Gaia Online. I'm part of a guild (and I'm considering leaving) called Jesus' Lilies - Sister's Guild. I used to be in that guild years ago on a different account. I thought I'd join it again since it was great back then. I don't know what happened. Things have changed. They've become VERY legalistic. I got in trouble once because I said Merry Christmas and asked what kind of Christmas traditions they had. Then yesterday I got in trouble for talking about a movie that had Jesus in it (Alison's Choice)! Apparently according to them I'm worshipping an idol of someone who LOOKS like Jesus. I'm considering leaving the guild because they've become very legalistic. These are the kind of people who won't celebrate Christmas because it originally celebrated Mithras, and Halloween because it's the holiday of the devil, and Easter because we don't actually know when Jesus died and the Easter Bunny! Might as well not have birthday's since pagans celebrate that or a child's missing tooth because pagans believe in the tooth fairy! This is crazy! This legalistic idea and behavior will turn people away from Christ! It will cause people to apostasize from Christianity! It reminds me of how in Islam, you can't portray Muhammed or you're pretty much going to get killed. Also Jehovah Witnesses if I'm correct don't really celebrate holidays either, including birthday's.
If you're legalistic, you're not going to like this, but, let me ask you this, are you REALLY a follower of Christ? The legalists back in Jesus' time were very similar. They prided on being perfect and knowing God, when really, their hearts were actually far from God. They (as did many) believed when the Messiah would come, he'd be a king and destroy the Romans. But what happened? The Messiah came as a meek baby born in a stable, in a manger which by the way, was where the animals ate in! He grew up and people didn't pay attention to him because he was a carpenter's son. The legalists hated him. They couldn't even see that he was the Messiah they had been waiting for. You know what Jesus did? He didn't pay attention to them. He knew who he was and knew their hearts were hard. So he turned to the people who were sick and weak, for their hearts were open to a Savior. Jesus said it would be better for people to wear a millstone around their neck's if they caused little ones to stumble and turn away. In other words, if they cause the weak to turn away from God, then they are going to be in some serious trouble. If I were a new Christian and these people kept hammering me into the ground because of their legalism, I would walk away. But I know Christ is not like them. He loves me, broken and everything, just as much as he loves them. Sometimes I wonder, if I were alive back in the day when Jesus walked on the earth, would he love me and accept me, or would he turn away from me? The answer is easy, yet I struggle with it so much because I know of my brokenness. Satan whispers in my ear, "How could he ever love someone like you?" But Jesus says, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, for my yoke is light." So would Jesus love and accept me? Yes! And he does with you too! I believe it angers Christ when legalistic people hurt others with their legalism. He says, "This is not who I am! I love them and you are turning them away from me!" In fact, I will probably get in trouble for saying that because I'm "putting words into God's mouth." This is crazy! It angers me to no end when people who claim to follow Christ lay down the law on them as if they are people God hates! Let me tell you something, God doesn't hate ANYONE! Do people anger him? Of course! Jesus got angry when people were selling things in the Temple. Jesus got angry when people didn't believe he could raise Lazarus from the grave. Jesus got angry, and it was righteous anger. Are there people who do things that make him angry? Of course! But he still LOVES them! As angry as these sort of people make me, Jesus said I have to love my friends AND my enemies. I do love them despite my anger.
I've known people who aren't Christians because the church turned away from them. The church said, "You're not worth it, your sin is too great!" My heart breaks for these people. These people don't know the love of God because Christians showed them his anger instead of his love. I can't even begin to explain how angry this makes me feel. I'm one of the worst people. My sins are great. I've actually been called by another Christian a goat because I struggle with feeling suicidal! In case you don't understand the reference, God said he would separate the goats and the sheep in the end times. The sheep are his true followers who will go to heaven and live with him for eternity. The goats however will go to hell instead. The goats will say "When did we not serve you?" God will then say, "Away from me, I never knew you." So yea, another believer actually told me that while I think I'm a follower of Christ, in reality I don't and God is going to reject me and throw me into hell. Another believer told my husband and I didn't have the Holy Spirit in us because we didn't have any "fruit." In other words, we didn't have patience, kindness, and so on and so forth. These things people told me I've really struggled with. They showed me God's anger instead of God's love. As hurtful as they are though, I know the real God. He would never say such stuff to me. Does he accept my sins? No, that's why Jesus came and died for us. He doesn't accept our sins. But, he accepts us as his sons and daughters. He loves us despite our sins. If you don't get anything out of my blogs I want you to get this one message: God loves you. Jesus loves you. No matter how filthy you feel, no matter what sins you've done, no matter how sick you are, no matter how unworthy you think you are (in reality, no one is worthy, but He makes us worthy), God....loves....you! If you are a legalist I beg you, please, stop with the legalism! This is not what Jesus came to die for! He didn't come for the perfect and healthy people, he came for the sick and weak people. He loves them just as much as he loves you. You are just as unworthy of him as everyone else. No one is truly worthy of his grace, but he gives it to us anyway. So please, stop with the legalism! Instead, love people. Love those who are different from you. Everyone has their own crosses to carry. Instead of tearing them down and making their crosses heavier, lift them up and ease their burdens. If you don't, you will eventually turn those who are believers who don't truly know God yet, to people who don't believe God loves them and walk away from Christ. Show them his love, please! If I could I would get down on my knees and beg you to stop this! Show people God's love, not his anger!