Sunday, September 4, 2011
~ "The Way..."
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. (2 Peter 2:21)
In my search this morning, trying to find the verse that I wanted to use, I came across a website that designed as a "do-it-yourself exorcism" blog. Not only was it absurd, but as I glanced over the comments, they were filled with swearing at one another, name calling and ridiculous suggestions that seemed to come right out of Hollywood. Needless to say, I sat here shaking my head and moved on. That experience brought me to today's verse.
How sad it is when a devoted Christian walks away from all he or she knows and seeks out the enemy. Many do not ever find their way back. Peter tells us that it is also sad. Not only do so many know the way and turn from it, often they will try to bring others along. My thoughts go to the "cults" of Waco, Tx and other places, where mass suicides took place, where child sexual abuse and control is practiced under the cover of Christianity. Not all of these cults end up on compounds and dead. Many still flourish today - in the lime light of public opinion they continue on, denying they are a cult and believing and preaching that their way is the right and only way. How sad for them - those who have chosen to control the masses through their interpretation of the word of God!
Each of the "leaders" of these cults must have had, at one time, a sound and firm knowledge of the Word. What happens is that they twist and edit it to fit their needs. They often interpret it as "literal" and "vague" in the same breath. They make it "say" what they want it to say, not what God wants His people to hear. They use their authority to persuade hungry Christians to accept their interpretation as law. They take liberties with the children of God and lead them down a path that is destructive and often, for those who escape it's clutches, it takes years and years for them to sort out what is real and what is true. They spend a lifetime unlearning and relearning God's commands and blessings. Many of them never quite get it all out of their system. They are victims of a crime against God. They want so desperately to be on the righteous path - some of them fear they will never find it. Although they believe they are forgiven, the still have that tiny bit of doubt that they will burn for all eternity because of the nonsense pounded in their heads over the years. They wander in and out of church that has imposed more laws on them than the entire US government has in it's 235 years of existence. They have not humbled themselves before the Father because they don't know that's what they are supposed to do.
All we can do, as Christians who are washed in the blood of Jesus, is help those lost souls through prayer and through continued sharing of the true word of God. We cannot force them to see the way, we can only point them in the right direction. Don't give up. As futile as it may seem at times, they are souls worth praying for, worth talking to. If their way of life, their worship settings (if they even have any) become too threatening to your Christian walk - continue to pray for them. You don't have to interact with them - you don't have to "save" them. That is up to Jesus. You have planted the seed and shown them through your own walk of faith - the way. They must find it as you did. Continued attempts at converting the stubborn (if you are not properly equipped to do so) may lead you down their misguided path. Stay on the one you are on - as Peter tells us - better that we not turn our backs on what God has commanded. Jesus is the way, the only way to Heaven. Let Him be your way!