I am at the place that I believe it is the uncharitable Christian, so harsh and unforgiving, who drives the sinner away from the redeeming power of Christ. The church often drives people with life-controlling problems to reckless abandon and despair by their phony, pious ferocity against their sin. Christians, who are themselves victims of all manner of temptations, often shut out the habituated by telling them they are hopeless cases. This judgmental attitude says to the sinner, "Keep going deeper into your sin! You are hopeless! The Bible condemns you, so give yourself over to your iniquity. You are already lost, so we won't waste our time trying to help you."
"I wish Christians would quit 'totem poling' sins and treat everybody alike. They tend to put homosexuals on the bottom when it comes to being concerned about them, and on top of the pole when it comes to judging them as hopeless.
"No wonder sin is driven underground. No wonder people with life-controlling habits tend to react violently. These troubled souls are degraded; scorn is heaped upon them by a church that wants nothing to do with "queers," "fagots," and "nellies." We have all become very adept at heaping scorn on those we consider hopeless sinners. The scorn and smirk of Christians is one of the greatest causes of injury to those who indulge in sensuality.
We stigmatize people with life-controlling problems. We take away their character by thinking of them as hopelessly hooked. We are so offended by their practices, we have made their sins so scandalous, we turn them into outcasts with no hope of return. We help to destroy their hunger for God by bringing down on them an avalanche of reproach and unforgiving wrath.
If you rob a sinner of his character, if you take away his dignity, if you focus only on his failures, if you treat him as a non-person, if you shut off all his roads of retreat--he is driven to hardness. He becomes calloused and begins to fight back because that is all that is left for him. It is an easy step from hardness to violence. Humiliate the sinner, take away his sense of worth, and soon you will have driven him to total remorse. If there is no God in him to support him, he will lose all hope and finally give himself over to those who will accept him. Then he often uses that hostility as an excuse to remain in his sin.
My compassion for hardened sinners has been sorely tried. I've seen gangs kill children that die in the ER during my nursing career ..It is then that horrible thoughts begin to surface in me. I think to myself, "God, they are hopeless. They don't want You; they don't want help. I'm wasting time. Maybe an earthquake is the only language they can understand. Why preach cure to proud people who won't even admit they need help?"
I cannot explain the joy of seeing broken bodies and minds restored by the power of God. That is what draws some of us back time and again to the streets, willing to suffer abuse from the hardened Christ-rejectors. It may be only one out of a thousand who admits to a need or who hurts enough to want to change. But God will lead us to that one--and no power on earth or in Hell can hinder the Holy Spirit from zeroing in on that hungry heart to bring healing.
Paul the apostle said,
"God has shown me that I should call no man unfit or unclean" (Acts 10:28).
Everything I read and heard clearly described the human condition of weakness and the ever present struggle with evil. From Paul the apostle to church leaders such as Origen, Cyprian, Chrysostom--from Augustine to Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley, and even modern theologians and scholars--all of them described the battle, and all of them admitted they, too, were in the same struggle. In one way, it was reassuring to me that I was not some kind of freak Christian and that the shame for the sin in my own heart was shared by the godliest men who ever lived on this earth. But, in another way, it was discouraging to learn so much about the struggle and so little about the cure. Like Paul, they all asked the one great question: "Who will deliver me from this wretchedness in me? How can I be set free from my sinful nature?" And, like Paul, they all answered, "Through Jesus Christ the Lord."
Paul tried to explain the steps to power over sin in his letter to the Romans. He talks about the struggle between an old man and a new man. He warns Christians against being carnally minded and that victory over sin is contingent upon being spiritually minded.
I can't believe the path to power over sin is a dark, deep secret that would take years to comprehend. No one is free from sin . I think the pastor personal demons became a constant mental and physical battle that the man could no longer fight after giving up on God . We will never know the reasons , but it could happen to any person of faith . I pray no one in the church condem that man for confessing his sin . JMO
Edited by india100 - Nov 13 2013 at 10:11am