Wenn eine Gemeinde durch die Verurteilung anderer lebt

Chris Gordon hat in Anlehnung an 2. Korinther 3 über den Dienst des Todes geschrieben. Gemeinden, die vor allem durch die Verurteilung anderer „leben“ und ihre eigene Identität markieren, entwickeln mit der Zeit ungesunde Eigenschaften:

  1. Cult like Behavior is Fostered: As particular interpretations of the law are pounded into the people, a guilty hold is fostered over the people.  The people are brainwashed that if they depart from the tradition of the elders on any point of their tradition, they are departing from the only true church and endangering their souls before God.  In these environments, the church becomes its own kind of club. To really belong, one has to adopt the fine interpretations of the law as the hard lined pastor has forced them.
  2. A Martyr Complex Is Promoted: When the ministry is exposed for what it is, a ministry of condemnation coercing people with the fine points of the law for conformity, these groups love to retreat into a kind of martyr complex as the last ones standing on the truth, or the last “seven-thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal”.
  3. The Law Itself Becomes a Rule of Self-Promotion and Pride:  As the pastor swings hard with the law to the condemnation of everyone else, the churchgoer actually develops a confidence in his own conviction and good record of keeping the particular commandment being addressed. This produces a kind of self confidence in the particular nuances of the tradition itself.
  4. Church Splits & Divisions Are Common: When the heavy hand of the law is used to justify one’s own position to the condemnation of everyone else, this tends to arouse the works of the flesh in the people. The apostle makes this case in Romans 7:8 that the law, when used to promote self-righteousness, actually has the effect of arousing all manner of sinful desire. As the works of the flesh are aroused in this way, the ministry is actually moving the people to the inevitable consequence of division since mutual love and unity is only promoted by those who have been deeply touched by the love of Christ in the gospel.
  5. Joy in Christ is Absent: True joy is a fruit of those who have been set free by the truth of the gospel. The ministry of condemnation in contrast produces a host of malcontents.
  6. A Bunch of Church Goers Remain Unregenerate: When the ministry of righteousness is absent, people are not brought into contact with a message that can truly give life.  You create a closed community of many who are not born again (See John 3).