My heart is saddened a bit this morning. Several weeks ago I contacted an online Christian women’s magazine about placing an ad directing believers to my website to get free daily Christian meditations. After a week with no response, I sent a follow up email and this is the reply I received.
Thank you for your letter. I held on to it to check with a few others and so it took me a while longer than usual. Personally I think the site looks great, but because we have such a legalistic section of an audience I feel that I should avoid websites that may spark controversy among some of the readers, who may misinterpretit as new age. For this reason we have decided that we have to decline. Live Well!”
I have underlined several passages of this letter that I would like to address. First, it is still beyond me why so many Christians are “legalistic.” If anyone should be tolerant and compassionate it should be us! I don’t mean tolerant of sin, but tolerant of our brothers and sisters as well as the unbeliever. Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself. That doesn’t imply to love him only if he thinks like you, acts like you, looks like you, or is a Christian like you. Your neighbor may be the gay couple with 6 adopted kids! I know that will make some Christian’s cringe. Maybe if we stop being so judgmental we can actually love some people into a relationship with Christ by being a reflection of God’s love.
When I think of legalism I think of the Pharisees and their ritualistic rhetoric that kept people from truly knowing God and instead put them in bondage. Isn’t that what we want to get away from? Do we keep the truth from the masses in order not to offend a few? Now, I’m not at all trying to exalt myself or my ministry, but maybe, just maybe there are followers of Jesus that would find dwelling in God presence a breathe of fresh air, who want peace of mind, or could stand a little more joy.
And controversy, what’s wrong with a little controversy. In fact, isn’t that what Jesus was all about, taking the covers off hypocrisy and insisting that we stand for what is true. Jesus said that living out the kingdom of God would offend some people; I guess those are the legalistic ones. It reminds me of being in churches where the spirit of God wants to move and do something new, but the elders or the board couldn’t get past old traditions and methods, thus the church remained stagnate. God tells us to not grieve the Holy Spirit, but we do that anytime we put limits on God.
It’s sad when a few in authority dictate what’s best for us all. That is why whether you attend church or not, you MUST SEEK and KNOW God for yourself. There is no substitute for spending time with God alone and learning to hear his voice and discern his spirit. Sermons and reading the experiences of others are helpful, but first and foremost, build a relationship with God built on abiding with Him and reading God’s Word for yourself.
The only reason that someone would misinterpret my ministry and website as promoting new age is that they’ve embraced the lie that meditation or meditating on God is something evil. Hmmm I wonder where that came from? But how can that be, when to meditate means to ponder, think about, contemplate, and to put your attention to. We all meditate all day long, the problem is that most people meditate on the wrong things; things that are not uplifting or positive. Things that have nothing to do with God. That’s why so many Christians suffer from worry, fear, unbelief, and host of other toxic emotions. Oh, and that’s probably why they tend to be so legalistic.
Well I guess the letter did end on a positive note, to “Live Well.” Yes, that is what I am trying to do and to help others do the same. The question sometimes remains, “How do I do that?” How do I live well when I have all these problems? How do I live well when I am filled with fear, depression, and negative thoughts and I’ve been a Christian for 20 years? I get letters like this everyday. But regardless of whether it appears new age, my ministry always turns people back to Jesus, back to the Secret Place of dwelling with Him. It’s the only place of true comfort.
I know I may sound a little angry and maybe just a little. 🙂 But even more so, I’m disappointed. But Praise God for His Secret Place, that place we can go to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. That’s what I did, I went to God and abided with Him in that place and I shared with Him my disappointment and He just loved me back to peace.
Today during my quiet time with God and reading out of the book of Hosea 7:14 it said, “They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds.” If we are going to cry, God wants us to cry to Him because He is our comfort as well as our answer!
When you feel like I did today, disappointed, angry, or even sad, don’t just whine, cry, complain, yell at your kids, kick the dog, or eat a dozen donuts, (for me chocolate cake) go to the Secret Place in God and tell Him how you feel and let him comfort you. Let him take your burdens away.
Your comments are welcomed. Please reply under comments at top of post.
P.S.- Christian Meditation of the Month Club!
On June 15 I will be launching the Christian Meditation
of the Month Club. For a very very low monthly fee you can enjoy my
Christian meditations month after month. So please check the website
on June 15 or watch your email.<–>