Gaslighting of the Church: A Hot Take

The world using and abusing Scripture is not a new phenomenon. For years, verses have been cherry picked out of the Bible and twisted to appease man. Recently, we seem to have reached a fever pitch of propaganda to gaslight the church into bending to the will of society.

A prominent command you hear today is to love your neighbor. The many verses that reference ‘loving your neighbor as yourself’ have been slung at the church in an effort to push the fear based agenda surrounding COVID-19. ‘If you’re really loving your neighbor, you’ll wear a mask, or you’ll get the vaccine.’ However, the most dangerous implication is that if we really loved our neighbor, we wouldn’t be holding large gatherings such as church services. (No one is accusing the fans gathered at sporting events of not loving their neighbor…but I digress.) The gathering together of fellow believers is essential and the Word of God tells us repeatedly. One example in Hebrews 10:24-25 is very clear. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” We are to encourage each other; building one another up in our walk with the Lord. Additionally, a key part of the passage is ‘all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’ This is referring to the second coming of the Lord when He will return for the church. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” Make no mistake, gathering together is more important now than ever before. We must be spiritually fed with true Biblical teaching and worshipping together with other believers to withstand these last days before His return.

Another hot phrase is, ‘God is love.’ It is the rebuttal to every opposing stance held by Christians. The world wants the love of God, but they don’t want to accept the laws of God. The implication is that the love of God justifies all choices and that is simply misinformation. Yes, God is love. 1 John 4:7-21 talks of God’s love. The issue is that verse 16 is often picked to standalone. It says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” The 8 verses prior and 5 after give the full context of God’s love. Verses 9 and 10 specifically talk of the sacrifice of His son for our sins and how that is the ultimate act of His love. It goes on to say in verse 15 that if anyone acknowledges Jesus is the son of God, that love lives in Him. We must accept Jesus as our personal savior then He will live our hearts. That is the context around the popular verse 16. Therefore, implying that no matter how you choose to live, you are covered by God’s love is categorically false. This is worldly gospel; not the gospel according to God. We must live by the full Word of God then we will truly experience the fullness of His love and His other magnificent qualities that the world omits.

The ‘God is love’ argument brings me to the commonly misused phrase ‘only God can judge me.’ The statement in itself is not wrong. The context surrounding its utterance is typically the issue. It is often cashed in as a free pass when an error in living is highlighted. Should Christians look upon others with judgement? Absolutely not. Romans 3:23 tells us we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. However, it is often mistaken as judgement when a Christian tries to win someone to the Lord. When done properly, this is just not true. Telling someone about the love and grace and mercy of Jesus is not judgement. In fact, it is a great kindness. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” This is the very next verse after the well known John 3:16 which states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” His great love was given in the hopes that you will avoid His great judgment. The popular statement holds true; only He can judge us, and He absolutely will. Romans 14:12 tells us, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” We will answer to God for every action we’ve taken. It should be the hope of everyone to hear the words, ‘well done, my good and faithful servant.’

Friend, do not allow the world to manipulate you with the very thing meant to save you! God’s Word is the ultimate truth. You can take Him at His full word. Always seek and share truth with His love.

Until next time,

Erica Lee

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