Beware of the danger of religious separatism. That feeling you get when you hear of a “supposed Christian” brother or sister involved in sin or you come across a bunch of folks obviously doing the wrong things and not caring about God.
That slightly contemptuous look, that slight lifting up of your shoulders, that “thank-God-I’m-not-like-them” feeling, is what I call religious separatism.
Lately, I’ve been studying Nehemiah and in chapter 1, when he was told the walls of Jerusalem was broken down and the gate burned by fire, his reaction was astounding. He broke down, wept and mourned and went into a prayer of intercession.
The very idea that Nehemiah was concerned enough to break down before God got my attention. Why? Because he was a cup bearer. A waiter in the palace. Compared to the other captives, he had a relatively good life. He could have heard the bad news from Jerusalem and thank God for his good fortune and moved on. Instead, he broke down, mourned and cried before God for the people.
Nehemiah 1: 3-4
3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
How do you react to the news of a fallen brother/sister? Do you turn up your nose and call them “fake Christians”? do you join in criticism and condemnation? Or do you break down in your private place of prayer and intercede on their behalf?
Do you like Nehemiah, take on the project of rebuilding broken lives and restoring fallen souls to God or do you separate yourself because you are so much better?
Think about this and do the needful.
Have a great week!