Dear former church:
Why do you shun people? I could understand you not wanting to be best friends with me since I left your church, but why do you turn your faces away as I walk past? Why would you stand in the middle of the store aisle, blocking my way, and act like you don’t see me or hear me when I say “excuse me, please”? How could you turn up your nose and refuse anything I might give you… change and a receipt if I’m a cashier, your food if I work in a restaurant?
You don’t want anyone saying anything bad about your church. Your actions are speaking louder and more negatively than any words I could say. People notice your haughtiness and your self-righteousness. It makes them angry. Several have told me they don’t want to go to any church because they don’t want to go to a church that treats people like you do.
What a witness you are to your world! You aren’t testifying of God’s love and mercy and grace, but of your own pride, your lack of love, and your self-centeredness. Jesus didn’t shun publicans or even Pharisees. He loved them all. He warned them of their shortcomings, but He never turned them away. Not even when they came to Him under cover of darkness, in the middle of the night. Not even when they broke their Jewish laws and traditions to get near Him. Not once did He reject them. Not even as they mocked and spit on Him. Not even as they crucified Him. Real Christians are Christ-followers. They will do as Jesus would have done. And Jesus never once in the Bible behaved as you have behaved toward me.
In doing what you are doing, to prove yourselves right in your own eyes, you are only confirming what I knew in my heart. You are only right in your own eyes. Your eyes are not the eyes of God. Your hands are not His hands, your feet are not His feet. You aren’t doing what pleases Him, but what pleases your own pride.
Please open your eyes! The Bible doesn’t teach what you are doing at all. One time Paul wrote about putting someone out of the church. And that was for fornication that was fairly widely known, and that had not been repented of. It wasn’t for wearing certain clothes, and it certainly wasn’t for going to a different church!
This is what the Bible says:
Gal 6:1-5 Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.
Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.
For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
You are responsible for how you act, and I’m responsible for how I act. Don’t be angry at me for not taking abuse. Be repentant for the abuse you gave, and change.
1 Jn 4:7-10 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God–for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other
…for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?
Mar 12:33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.