She sat there among a congregation of older women. It was just few weeks after she returned to church and this time around she has decided to do it the right way. The weekly bible study began and the only things she gained at the end were all words of condemnation and new adjectives at castigating being a single mother and having a baby out of wedlock. Even though nobody mentioned her name, she knew they were all talking about her. Everyone talked and debated about it, she was the only one mute all through. At last one of the women said well, at least having a baby out of wedlock is better than abortion and just then everyone kept quiet, like they did when Christ asked which one of you has not committed a sin before. She left feeling dejected all over again, she thought God had forgiven her, she was already getting over this loss of self worth and trying to get to a place of justification, but now she felt she shouldn't have attended that meeting. At least, it wouldn't make her feel bad again about the memories of the last 3 years.
I understand the concept of standard in the church. I value and embrace laying a foundation for members to follow, but what happens when people fall? Are we God enough to condemn them and make them feel bad about themselves? Do we owe God an exemplary life of love towards other people to make them feel accepted? If we as Christians cannot love the church and the people of the world, how can they believe that God loves them and accepts them just the way they are?
Luke 10:27 He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
What do you think about standards in the church that condemns having a baby out of wedlock or getting married after defiling the bed, the consequence being that the church will not conduct such naming or wedding ceremony? These are the sins with physical manifestations, what about the ones we do not see? I believe God does not place our sins in order of its gravity. John 8 :7 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone' Standards are good, for He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill them, but how do we show love and not drive people away by laying down laws that make them feel refused. For if the people they see cannot accept them, how can they feel justified by God who they cannot see?
I really appreciate everyone's contribution. Thanks and have a blessed week.