The #1 Enemy of the Church is Me!

By Joel Hess

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Recently I have been stewing, brewing and all sorts of -ewing over the future of Christianity. I pity those just entering His ministry. There are so many obstacles to overcome. There are so many enemies harassing the work of the Church to bring hope and peace into this world. They seem to be growing stronger every day. To the West I see the suffocating narcissism that has elevated the fleeting certainty of feelings over observation, let alone revelation when it comes to determining truth. To the East I see the encroaching armies of Islam, attracting a disgruntled generation who react to the nihilism being sold by the West with violence and order. Both worldviews will not tolerate Jesus nor his people any longer. Ironically, one hates repentance, the other hates forgiveness!

Books upon books offer instruction about the enemies of the Church or the obstacles to Christianity, to evangelism, to God.

Enemies are everywhere. This nation is no longer safe. It is a minefield. A wasteland.

Yet while I look outside the church and warn my people of all her enemies, there is no worse enemy to God’s people…

than me.

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Why am I surprised that those outside of the church are enemies of God’s love in Christ? Since when was the world conducive to obeying God, trusting in His promises, believing the Gospel! Every single baby born this year is an enemy of God whether it’s a child unfortunately adopted by Ellen Degeneres, the infant son of a member of ISIS, or a child born to the nicest Christian people you ever did meet. Each one will begin as enemies of peace and hope, enemies of the Church, Christianity, and even God.

That’s who I was. And part of me still desires to be. I am the number one enemy of Christianity.

I am the Church’s enemy when I misuse the freedom of the gospel as an excuse to not care how I speak or act in public or when no one is looking. I am the obstacle to evangelism as I sit and grow angry over the actions of my enemies instead of praying for them, serving them, and loving them. I am the antagonist in God’s story as I fail to give up the world and carry my cross.

I am the enemy when I don’t point out sin because I don’t want to offend someone. I am the enemy when I don’t give forgiveness because I don’t think someone is sorry enough. I am the enemy when I don’t treat my enemies as people God loves and for whom His Son died.

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I am the number one enemy when I teach falsely. I am the number one enemy when I want people to like me instead of love Christ.

I am more of an obstacle to the work of the Lord than every enemy out there.

I am the enemy of Christianity when I practice fear mongering as if Jesus has never seen nihilism, narcissism, hate, sin, death!

I am the number one enemy of the Church.

Forgive me.

Lord have mercy.

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