Them and Us#4. “When they don’t want to listen to us.”

Them and Us#4. “When they don’t want to listen to us.”

Church scandals get a lot of press quickly. It is almost predictable that the headlines will announce details of illicit relationships, fraudulent activities, or abuse of staff—or all three for that matter. However, long gone are the days when I scoffed at the demise of these churches. Though the guilty may deserve their public humiliation, the innocent do not! It is heart-breaking that some of those caught up in the hurt will never set foot in “any” church again.

It is not surprising when those “burned” by their church experience include us in the assembly of the guilty. For them, there is nothing we can say that will redeem “church” again in their minds. These people who once spoke of “Us Christians,” now speak only of “Them Christians.”

But we need not despair. The Power of Example that Peter recommended for the wives of unbelievers (1 Peter 3), is a universal principle. Peter told them to minimise their outward adornments and to concentrate on their inner holiness. The desired result being that their husbands “may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1).

As much as we wish it otherwise, those who are hostile to Christ do not want to be associated with “us.” For those who are switched off to our words, Peter would advise that we stop talking and start living a holier life.

No church is above using outward adornments to attract and keep members. But eventually, such methods will render them unlikely to concentrate on soul-winning holiness. And without this inner strength, we remain susceptible to falling away when troubles beset the church.

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:16-17).

John Staiger


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