Ready for the list? Here it is:
Impurity and debauchery
Fits of rage
Sadly, too much of that sounds like church.
Even if you remove the sexual sins (which, tragically, are often present too), the list sounds like a job description for self-righteous Christians. But, actually, it’s Satan’s job description.
Contrast that with what the Holy Spirit generates in peoples’ lives. When the Holy Spirit gets hold of a person, a culture and a church, he produces:
The contrast could hardly be sharper.
But wait, you say, what if my conviction is from God? Come on, Carey, this doesn’t mean we just all lie down and hold hands and sing songs, does it?
Sure, occasionally we need a Martin Luther to nail 95 theses to the door. But most of us are not Martin Luther. And most of the time it isn’t 1517.
And even if you need to ‘take a stand,’ it’s probably not a stand for Jesus if it ultimately produces more division and bitterness than it does unity and love.
Sometimes love is tough, but love never ends tough. It ends sweet. It ends in reconciliation. And it ends in justice and hope. If your love doesn’t end with hope, it’s not love.
Regardless, if your definition of Christianity is characterized by hate and division, it’s not Christianity.