Jerry’s Corner

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air. But did evangelical and fundamentalist churches get the memo?

They claim that they did, but is it really that true? They sing about love and offer a few empty messages that breezily touch on the topic. But, their love is more like “sweet nothings” with empty calories, because it is conditional and comes with cruel strings attached. If you want their affection, you must follow their strict man made rules and repent of what they arbitrarily consider sin.

If you merely disagree or end up their wrong side, they are quite intolerant and ready to damn you to Hell. I was talking with a minister that I went to college with, who is now a youth pastor at a large Baptist church. He told me he would never visit a Baptist church pastor for counsel, because he has seen the devastating results. Instead of understanding and compassion, people seeking help are often judged, brought before church councils and ultimately kicked out of the church because they have been condemned for “sinful acts.” In other words, these church leaders have no concept of the forgiveness taught by Jesus, and are eager to cast the first, second and third stones. Where is the love?

Thankfully, I am attending a wonderful house of worship called Heart Way Church in Davie Florida. It accepts people no matter who they are. Now, that’s the unconditional love Jesus talked about and modeled in his ministry. It’s the spirit Jesus shared when he proclaimed that God’s Love is the greatest for which the law is built upon.

I was speaking with a lovely woman at our church who has been coming for a while and she said before finding Heart Way she had no need for those churches saying they love, but in reality are judging and speaking hate. There are so many people like this who would come to church, but they have been turned off by plastic pastors with phony smiles who are all too eager to preach division and disunity.

Evangelical Christian churches have too often become court rooms whereby they are the judge and jury. How sad that love is in the air, but not in most churches who claim the love of Christ to the world. They will look at the spec in their brother or sister’s eye and ignore the log in their own eyes. Those words came from Christ to those who seek to judge instead of forgive.

No wonder people are leaving churches in droves. All of the sanctimony in the sanctuary and outright hypocrisy is too much to endure. The Disciples asked Jesus how will people know we are your Disciples? Jesus said by the love you have for one another. I pray that with Valentines coming around the corner that some of the Evangelical Christian churches will open their hearts and eyes to love. Faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is Love (I Cor. 13).

Happy Valentine’s Day. Hope to hear from you.