Different cultures have different barriers to becoming and thriving as a Christian. The following are some of the barriers that are claimed to be experienced from the outside and even within churches themselves. Jesus was crucified and resurrected. He never asked you to sacrifice yourself in any way, particularly to die for Him. A martyr cannot share His message. Moreover, given we are actually spiritual beings housed in a body, giving up some carnal habits (weaknesses of the body) should not be considered sacrifices.
But, troublesome, conflicting messages (among churches, and between the church and the Word), as well as difficult environments and people are challenging for both existing and prospective Christians. Here are some of the barriers, or stumbling blocks people face. There is overlap. Legal issues aside, follow us at the end of the article for more discussion.
*Legal – In some countries, it is illegal to be Christian, or Christians are so culturally disdained that being Christian places your life at risk. Pick your environments. Choose your battles wisely.
*Self-righteousness – Only God can make you righteous, thereby all fail to keep the Commandments, and need Jesus’ Salvation. Are you self-righteous?
*Church Abuse – Whether internally or externally directed, this is the polar opposite of the objective of a church. How do you treat people inside and outside the church?
*Hypocrisy or being Judgmental – Without justification by, or the righteousness of Jesus, the Christian is a dismal sinner. S/he thereby has no right to maintain a hypocritical, judgmental nature. Jesus taught, healed and came to save the willing. There were and are plenty deserving judgment, but that was not the purpose of the use of His valuable time. How are you using your time, to save or castigate and judge?
*The non-Pacifist Christian – Some wrongly believe that Christians should be bowing, scraping, and turning their other cheeks to every villain and bully who threatens them as if such is consistent with Christian dogma. They both hold Christians to such as a behavioral standard for a nice Christian and concurrently hold it against Christians as representing weakness with which they would not wish to affiliate. Are you a Pacifist Christian?
*Suffering – Some see Christians apparently suffering like everyone else and question "Why bother?"
*Prosperity - Some see Christians appearing to not prosper as they believe should be the case question "Why not?" Others question the ever money-seeking manner of some ministers and ministries and question "Why?"
*Outdated Church – The church is composed of and serves the community. Is your church assuring that its members and community current are thriving?
*The Message – You would not smear a vegetarian restaurant for being exclusive, not serving meat. It is intended to serve vegetarian meals. Christian churches are intended to serve God’s Word. God was, is, and will be "I Am". His message has not and will not change. Is your church changing His Word in a contemporary attempt to be politically correct and inclusive?
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