Well, guess I am not offended as yet.
When I was a ‘church leader’ in College (leading other students), I had the idea to raise money for a vehicle that would facilitate evangelism, that is, preaching of the gospel. I realized deep down inside that the feeling of having the vehicle really was more important than the evangelism. I had just begun dating at the time. With that conviction, I refused to pursue the idea, devoted energy to raising money for more noble causes, never spent a dime of money raised on myself.
I do not say this to make myself look good, only to illustrate that few Christians really ever mature to see things from such a perspective, much less be able to desist from desires induced by their passions.
Most Christian leaders do not have the capacity to deny their selfish nature like I, with the help of Spirit of Jesus Christ, was able to do. They allow self get mixed up in it all, encourage selfishness in their followers. Christians are supposed to love their own self, but not expected to care only for their own self.
During times of Apostle Paul, Christians already were giving in to factions, tending towards competing with each other. It’s the case because most Christians do not really get to know Jesus very well before they want to lead, or are given opportunity to lead. Then there is the introduction of money into Christianity, which brings in just about all kinds of people, ‘professional Christians’ in particular.
One of the greatest problems with Christianity is, people become Christians, are taught doctrines so they are loyal to their denominations, but never are guided towards understanding and practicing of principles of love that are foundation of Christianity.
It’s not a perfect system, and at times it can be downright disheartening.
You may be surprised to find out that I have not been an active church goer for the best part of the last three years. Note, however, I was a Chaplain for college students at a Church owned university in which I was finance faculty for 18 months before the last three years. I volunteered for the gig with hope I could make a difference. I did, but there were too many people around me leading the kids in other directions, at end of the day, while there was some water held in the basket, there just were too many holes for the water to keep in.
I keep on trying, but most of the time other people just are not in it for the right reasons. Control, money, power all tend to be more important than loving people. So either be naive and continue to participate, or be pragmatic and stay out of it until a good situation comes along. In mean time, continue to honor principles I believe in by practicing and sharing those principles.
The principles of Jesus Christ make sense to me. I owe no allegiance to church denominations. I owe allegiance to person of Jesus Christ. Some could think of this as naive, but I cannot be a Christian without giving it my all, and giving it my all means not acting as if error is truth.
But guess how we are supposed to demonstrate allegiance to Jesus Christ?
Not by praying, or reading the Bible, or going for church services.
By loving others. By caring for others’ welfare. By not wanting to take it all, and have others have nothing. Prayer, Reading of the Bible, church services valued by Jesus Christ only in presence of love for others.
Does not sound like mental illness to me. Sounds like Jesus asking for worship without demanding any. Sounds like altruistic love made possible because Jesus already has all the Love He needs from His Father.
Is it not true that those who have the most love to give are those who know how to be at peace and have joy in absence of love from others?