Twisting God’s truths to fit our whims and rationalizing our sin is blatantly evil. Do not allow this in your church! We have to be willing to prevent and discipline, even kick out manipulative and deceptive people in our churches.
Why would a Christian be manipulative and say he or she is serving Christ? Our human condition, our sinful nature, is susceptible to what psychologists call “Cognitive Dissidence.” This Cognitive Dissidence is where we perform one behavior while at the same time harboring a contradicting behavior. This is a common, human characteristic that God desires that we root out. We cannot be healthy, and at the same time harbor contradictory views; this cannot be done. Psalm 10 tells us that we cannot have pride and God occupying the same heart, yet we keep trying! We cannot be a growing Christian, practicing prayer and spiritual disciplines, while at the same time, making judgments on our neighbors and friends or causing others to compromise and sin.
Let us not fall into the trap of putting on a performance—of acting out the Christian life. Let us not play a Christian; let us be a Christian. Let our actions respond to the transformation of Christ’s grace by living honest lives. We must allow Christ’s amazing grace to root out all the evil within us, especially the hypocrisy that causes so much destruction, or else our church will be just like Pergamum.
Questions to Ponder:
1. Why would Jesus take the time to give encouragements and blessings, as well as condemnations to these churches?
2. What are some encouragements, blessings, and condemnations your church would receive from Jesus?
3. How important to you is loyalty to Christ for holding onto the faith?
4. How do our wayward ways pierce Christ, such as living life on our own or running His church by our own means apart from His ways?
5. Why would someone be willing to die for the faith but be not willing to live for the faith? What would cause someone to compromise his or her faith?
6. What would your church look life if most of its people took to heart and practiced the Fruit of the Spirit to their best abilities and endeavors? What can be done to make sure your leadership sets the tone for faithfulness?
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Psalm 10:4
© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org/