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Which Gospel Are You Preaching?


“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”[1]


Like many Christians, I belong to several Facebook groups that discuss the Christian faith. Some are directed towards a specific denomination such as Catholicism or Pentecostalism while others have a more specific target group such as a woman’s support group, a group dedicated towards non-Catholics deciding to become Catholic, Bible groups, etc. The number of Facebook groups dedicated to the faith is staggering, but after having an unsolicited interaction with a member in a group that will remain anonymous, it got me thinking- which gospel are we truly preaching?


In a time when church attendance is dropping rapidly, it is becoming vital to understand why these rates are dropping and figure out what can be done to bring people back into the pews. One problem is that according to Jack Jedwab, president and CEO of ACS, said “younger people are less likely to believe in God because they are still forming their own ideas about religion…Because they spend more time online, they may not encounter religion as much in their day or consider it as important as older generations do.”[2] When we consider how much time they are looking online for answers, as Christians we need to look online and see what are we doing to attract the younger generation as well as those who have left the church.


Social media and other online platforms are a great way to connect Christians together as well as teach others about the Christian faith. Instead of showing Christian unity, social media, other online platforms or online groups shows a picture that should be a disgrace for all Christians regardless of their denominational association. Instead of showing Christian love, there is a lot of hatred shown. All one has to do is look at the Catholic and Protestant Facebook groups where the discussions between some members could easily be rated PG 18 because of the negative way people are treated. I have no problems with friendly and constructive dialogue. I do have problems with disrespectful, condescending remarks that prohibit constructive interactions. I understand all too well the challenges and difficulties that arise when two churches are discussed in the same thread. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is  quite prevalent in some groups. Although there are groups where the administration does a fantastic job in making sure they are a safe place for members to ask questions about their faith, not all groups have that luxury. This is why we need to ask ourselves, when looking at these groups, if we were an outsider, “Is this something we would want to be part of?” As a devoted Christian, there some groups I simply avoid or there are some subject matters I just don’t reply to because I know members will and do get quite nasty.


Moreover, there is a spirit of “I have to be right” or the belief one church is better than another. This spirit is something that can easily be a turnoff for anyone wanting to explore the Christian faith. Although there are times when a person’s response to a question can be untheological and unbiblical. There are kinder ways to correct the person than showing a nasty side that has no place inside the Christian world. As Christians we are called to correct each other with love, grace and compassion.  No biblical precept calls us to be a jerk about it, which is what I see so often in these Christian Facebook groups.


When it comes to the idea of “one church is better than the other,” as Christians we need to stop having that mentality. Selecting a church that best fits one’s spiritual needs is so individual. Whether it is Catholic, Pentecostal, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Evangelical, non-denominational etc., as long as the church teaches the word of Christ, follows the Nicene and Apostles creeds (blueprint for the Christian faith), has a solid accountability structure and teaches the Bible they should have the freedom to attend whatever church denomination that best suits them. (If one would like to learn more about how to find a good church, please click on HERE to read my article about it).


No one should attack another Christian for attending a church or not attending a church.  Fr. Dimitri Sala in his book “The Stained Glass Curtain- Crossing the Evangelical-Catholic Divide to Find Our Common Heritage” explains:


“We got very busy in the pursuit of proving each other sinfully wrong. Because of this, I believe, we still have a hard time seeing each other outside good guy or bad guy categories.”[3]


Centuries of internal feuding have caused the church to become what it is- a divided family that will take the biggest miracle in history to unite everyone together under the same roof. If this behaviour is happening inside these Facebook groups, what message this is sharing to those who are new to the faith or simply exploring it? Disrespectful, nasty behaviour is a major turn off for some people. I am used to getting yelled at, but at work I am paid to deal with it. On my down time, my tolerance is zero. Christian based social media has no place for disrespectful behaviour. Bullying, disrespectful behaviour is common to see inside some other non-faith groups such as doll collecting or trucking. Christian social media groups are designed for individual spiritual enrichment, to connect with people and learn more about the faith. That’s it! That’s all! As Christians we are supposed to know better. We should show Christian love and not hate towards everyone we meet.


The conflict we see inside Facebook also transcends into YouTube and inside actual church buildings too.


YouTube has all sorts of videos about the Christian faith. Many are full of heresy, errors, bad theology, and the list goes on. As Christians we need to use discernment when watching some of these videos because there are a lot of good actors who are doing a great job at providing bad theology or incorrect information. The risk of providing bad, unbiblical theology is that it can lead the viewer astray. When these videos are found, it is important to speak up and put a warning comment which hopefully alerts the innocent viewer to the potential danger the speaker or actor is teaching. These bad videos can and probably do contribute to the internal feuding we are exhibiting inside the church.


We also have radio stations, blogs, websites or other social media platforms that can do, and do, the same thing. These days it is so easy to write anything in a convincing manner and some innocent people could call it truth when in fact it is pure heresy. That is the scary part of anything online because anyone can write something and it’s not necessarily vetted or screened before being posted. This is why it is so important to check the authenticity of the site or organization that publishes the piece. Checking the author’s credentials is also a very smart move because some are more cracker box than others. HERE is a link of false apostles, prophets and teachers to avoid since many are quite convincing but one also does not want to be led astray by people teaching false doctrine and incorrect theology. 


We are also experiencing an internal war inside our churches. They include:

  • Church leadership:
    • Misbehaving pastors or church leadership causes divides within individual churches.
    • Misuse of church funding is a huge factor.
    • Member conflicts not being properly handled.
    • Lack of respect on part of the congregation or members overstepping their boundaries.
    • Church leaders playing favorites.
    • Church leadership allowing their power to go to their heads.
    • Inadequate accountability structures.
    • Church leaders refusing to allow their congregations to attend inter church events when other churches are represented.
  • Individual treatment that members have towards each other.
  • Having the “I am always right” attitude.
  • Congregations being stuck in the old way of doing things.
  • Abuse by church members, leaders or a combination of both also doesn’t help. No church denomination is immune to it.
  • Congregations being taught false theology or information about the church denominations around them.


This list is far from being complete, but church members also need to keep an eye on what is happening within their churches and ask themselves, “Is this a place I would want to bring a new friend?”  or “If I was a visitor, would I want to return?” Tough questions to ask. Unhealthy group dynamics is a major turn off for anyone exploring a new church. How they treat visitors is another factor to consider. Group dynamics matters a great deal as well as being taught good and solid theology. The two work together.


According to Timothy Radcliffe OP in his book “What is the point of being a Christian?” He states:

Modern people are searching, travelling, not quite sure what is at the end of the journey but, at least intermittently, on the way. We must be with them, helping people to discover the freedom of the road and glimpse the goal of all our journeying. The church must offer a pedagogy of freedom which is about more than making the right choices. It is becoming a moral agent whose life is discovered to have shape and meaning. We will only be able to do this if we are with people where they are, not telling them where they ought to be.”[4]


How can we as Christians walk with them if there is so much internal conflict within our own churches? Whether it is online platforms or within individual churches, we have a problem that we need to address. In a time when more and more people are identifying with themselves as having no religion, this is the time when we need to ask ourselves, what should we be doing to bring people back into the churches?


According to Timothy Radcliffe

“Cardinal Suhard, Archbishop of Paris in the 1940s, wrote: ‘To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would make no sense if God did not exist.’ There should be something about Christians that puzzles people and makes them wonder what is at the heart of our lives.”[5]


The question arises: what are we doing or not doing that is preventing this from happening? People need to see Christ through us, through our interactions with each other both inside and outside the churches. They need to see something special and ask themselves what is it? For believers it is having Christ the centre of our lives. We are not called to judge another person because they attend a slightly different church. Mother Teresa states: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”[6] We are called to love each other, embrace our differences and learn how to become a community. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:


“Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this. Whether it [can] be a brief, single community is more or less than this. We belong to one another through and in Christ.[7]


We need to remember that we are a community of believers. It is not our place to decide who is a real Christian. Only God can decide because HE knows everyone’s heart and soul. All judgment needs to stop so that we can learn how to become a community that embraces our differences as well as commonalities.


Diversity in how we conduct worship needs to be embraced instead of judged or looked down upon. As explained in my Master’s Project research paper:

““Different people are attracted to different forms of worship and leadership. As a result, we need to be diverse.” Another participant added, “Not everyone wants to be Catholic or part of a church that is not their own.””[8]


We need to recognize that the different denominations are here to stay but members of these denominations can come together in areas they have in common; for example, moral issues, social justice, and other shared theology.[9]Unfortunately our access to basic rights are being infringed upon and it is getting to the point where as Christians we need to come together and fight to not only maintain the freedoms we have enjoyed all this time but also fight policy makers and governments who are suddenly deciding it is permissible and their right to remove the established rights of its people. For example, in Quebec, Canada, lawmakers are making it illegal and okay for health providers to provide medical care only in French. This is unjust because until Bill 96 was passed, all English and French people were entitled to equal access to medical services in both languages. What’s happening up North in this province is mind boggling and frankly disturbing.  We need a united front on this subject as well as countless others on both sides of the border because once our rights are taken away, it is going to take miracle to get them back. Another way is to get together for simple worship and hymn nights where the money raised can go to a common cause such as the local food bank. These events respect our commonalities and differences. As we gather, we must acknowledge that these divisions within the Christian church exist for a reason. Wars and Reformations have already been fought and it’s important to embrace both the differences and the commonalities that the churches share.[10] According to this same report:


“Diversity enables individuals from different groups to pray and join in fellowship together. They are letting go of preconceived notions and opening themselves up towards learning, understanding, and growing in their knowledge of each other, while recognizing there will be differences that individuals may never agree upon. They can also respect and love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.”[11]


Sadly, the divides that exist within the church still cause conflict. It is 2023 and we should know better. Differences should be discussed and respected. There are some that no one will ever agree upon, which is okay. We need to come to an agreement where we will agree to disagree, tolerate the differences and try to at least have a ceasefire where they are concerned. It is my hope we can learn to find solutions to the internal conflicts we see in social media and in person. This becomes vital because in the same report, one participant said:


“Our divisions and the perceived divisions in the community that people think exist between us, have been a detriment to the faith in general.”[12]


This participant believes it prevents churches from reaching others. Furthermore, participant explained:


“If non-Christians & non-believers see that Christians cannot agree on what they believe, they conclude that the message of God must be untrue.” [13]


As believers we know the Gospel is true but to outsiders since we are so divided, it is easy for people to call us bluff about the authenticity of Jesus Christ. Instead they see the brokenness inside the faith and decide to adopt other beliefs from another religion or decide to remain where they are. Christianity is no longer the preeminent religion for people to select from. We have a long list that thanks to the invention of social media and the internet it is super easy to learn about other religions and get connected to other non-Christian communities.


As we move forward, we need to work on how outsiders or explorers of the Christian faith perceive our faith.  We also need to be watchful in how so-called “missionaries” who do street ministry present Christianity. Someone once approached me and tried to discuss the Christian faith. The person was judgmental when I told them I was already a Christian, they became more judgemental when they found out that I was Catholic[14] and then tried to coerce me into saying the Sinner’s Prayer. This prayer should only be said when the individual is spiritually ready to accept Christ into their hearts, something I had already done years ago. Only God knows how much damage this person has done in the community and how many others have turned away from Christ because of them. Other street missionaries are pushy, aggressive and they can scare the potential interest or knowledge of Christ out of someone’s mind.


Everyone, especially missionaries, need to be careful in the approach and how they use their language to present the faith. People need it presented in clear, simple to understand language by someone who is willing to be a spiritual guide if the individual requests it. Soap box preaching of fire and brimstone sermons at major intersections is counterproductive. Christians avoid them because they don’t represent the Christ that we love and serve. Nonbelievers see them as the clowns they are. On the other hand, a ministry that isn’t aggressive has the potential to reach countless people. For example, we need local missionaries that meet the people where they are such as at bus depots, subway terminuses, outside large malls and more. People will become curious if the people working as a missionary are not pushy but are friendly, caring, quirky people, who are ready and willing to meet the people where they are at. Having some training in counselling is probably beneficial because it enables people to speak to them, ask questions and know these missionaries are willing to be a spiritual guide if needed. Often if they sell thought-provoking t-shirts such as “Jesus Take the Wheel” or “Catch Up With Jesus” (the picture on the t-shirt is a ketchup bottle) and plaques, has rosaries (if Catholic based), crosses and has literature on the Christian faith can also help attract new people and bring back the old. Mathew 11:28 explains. “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”[15]


In conclusion, Francis of Assisi is quoted in saying: “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Today many people have left the churches, rejected the faith, or never grew up inside the faith so there are plenty opportunities to bring people into it. People are searching for something which many believers will admit is Jesus. Nonbelievers not so. They will decide to follow other paths instead.  Due to the internet and past mistakes the church has done, people are more cautious than ever when it comes to even considering organized religion because of what has happened in the past. There are churches in Canada being burned down because of their connection to residential schools and their dark places in history they represent.


Matthew 11:29 states: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”[16] The world needs Jesus, that is something all Christians will agree upon. We need to be careful in how we share the Gospel and the other theology such as the God of final judgement and condemnation. The mentality we must “save the sinners and the heathen” also needs to change because although this theology is important to teach, the old-fashioned ways of teaching it as seen with creation the residential schools, and the colonialization mentality requires modification to reflect the shifting of times. The world has changed and with it we need to alter our methods. For example, 2+2 will always equal 4 but how we teach this simple mathematical equation must reflect the times we live in. Jesus said:

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For the judgment you give will be the judgment you get, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.[17]


Romans 10:17 also adds: “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”[18] People need to learn the Gospel but how we teach them cannot come by force. Those days are long gone. People need to be given the information and allow them to digest it when they are ready. You cannot force your beliefs onto anyone!


If you are going to judge the person the moment they enter the door, or the moment we see them then that person will not ever return. We need to present the God of forgiveness, grace, mercy, and compassion/ healing as Jesus taught. The judgement will come from the Holy Spirit and inner conviction as the individuals explores the faith and change certain things in their lives when its time. There also needs to be a solid accountability system on all levels to protect everyone involved. Remember, there is not a saint without a past nor a sinner without a future. Matthew 6: 1 states:

Beware of practicing your righteousness before others in order to be seen by them, for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.[19]


People need to be embraced for who they are, where they came from and where they could be going if they are simply embraced and loved. If we don’t, people will never return, and they could also tell their friends. Never underestimate the power of gossip or community talk especially in this era of social media. Often in community Facebook groups, someone will ask for recommendations for a great local church. The good ones are named. The omissions are as significant as the recommendations. We need to find new ways to do church and reach others that respects the denomination’s past, that honours God/Gospel which also embraces the needs of the people. Let’s face it, there are a lot of broken people in our midst who are needing God.


John 17:21 states: “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.[20] Reaching the people becomes difficult when people are not seeing Christ in us.  Today people can see a phoney, a heretic, and a poser a mile away. We need authentic Christians as leaders, as those simply following the word of God within our churches and working in the world in the calling God called them to be. It’s nothing more awkward than seeing a preacher tell the congregation to give until it hurts because the church needs money, while the preacher is wearing a Rolex and driving a BMW. It becomes even more unsettling when they are living in a huge house in a rich area of town meanwhile, members of the congregation struggle to put food on the table and pay their rent. Churches are supposed to serve their communities and not make the preachers or other leadership rich. Remember Jesus lived with his people and so should clergy too.


Moreover, church congregations need to care about who used to attend their congregations in the past. So many people leave or disappear, and no one calls to see if they are okay. This is so wrong, especially if the church has their contact information. Online church through video conferencing or in person is useful, but people need contact from a caring individual from the church. If they do, the person is more apt to return at some point either to the church they left, or to another one God calls them to attend. Most church offices have records of past members, visitors etc. It takes two minutes to send a quick email or make a telephone call to see how the person is doing. If it has been years since they have disappeared, be prepared to hear some annoyance or anger. They have every right to be ticked off if it has been years since someone checked up on them. Remember some people leave their churches because of church conflict so be prepared to be used to call a ceasefire or be used as a vehicle to heal the pain or find resolution to the conflict. I know someone who was absent from church for six months and members of the congregation made an unscheduled visit to the person’s house. Instead of asking if the person was alright, the couple asked for six months of tithing the person owed them. This is the wrong way to do it. When contact is made, some individuals might be touched and may decide to at least visit. Others will never return but at least the effort was made. That said, I also know that some people will use the church to obtain the help they needed and then drop it when the church’s resources are no longer required. Sadly, some people use the church to obtain a free ride. Therefore, on the church’s side, discernment is always needed when contacting old visitors or church members. Never underestimate the power of a two-minute phone call or a friendly email.


Lastly, communities and churches keep on saying we need a revival, in their area. Revelation 3:20 states:

Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you with me.[21]


Perhaps the reason why it hasn’t happened yet is because some local church leaders have ignored, turned away, or turned off new potential members because they were afraid of getting out of their comfort zones? God is trying to stir and light some fires in so many congregations in a good way. It is not becoming a beacon light but rather remains a smouldering mess because church communities are refusing to work together or allow the people with the holy fire starter allow God to move in magnificent ways not yet seen. Mother Teresa is quoted in saying:


“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”[22]

“Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.”[23]

Let’s follow her advice. Let’s become the beacons of God’s light to everyone we meet.







[1] Mother Teresa-,with%20great%20love.%E2%80%9D%20%E2%80%9CPeace%20begins%20with%20a%20smile..%E2%80%9D

[2] Mundie, Jessica “While church attendance among Canadians plunges, belief in God stays nearly the same: poll.” National Post Dec 24, 2021,pandemic%20to%2067%20per%20cent.

[3] Sala Fr. Dimitri. “The Stained Glass Curtain- Crossing the Evangelical-Catholic Divid to Find Our Common Heritage” (5)

[4] Radcliffe, Timothy OP. “What is the point of being a Christian?” (42)

[5] Radcliffe, Timothy OP. “What is the point of being a Christian?” (2)


[7] Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together The Classic Exploration of Christian Community (New York: Harperone,1978), 22.

[8] Snair, Karen Anne. “Rediscovering the Commonalities Understanding the differences Embracing One shared Diversity In Roman Catholic And Classical Pentecostal Dialogue. THEO 692: Applied Project in Theology August 10, 2015

[9]   Snair, Karen Anne. “Rediscovering the Commonalities Understanding the differences Embracing One shared Diversity In Roman Catholic And Classical Pentecostal Dialogue. THEO 692: Applied Project in Theology August 10, 2015

[10] Snair, Karen Anne. “Rediscovering the Commonalities Understanding the differences Embracing One shared Diversity In Roman Catholic And Classical Pentecostal Dialogue. THEO 692: Applied Project in Theology August 10, 2015

[11]   Snair, Karen Anne. “Rediscovering the Commonalities Understanding the differences Embracing One shared Diversity In Roman Catholic And Classical Pentecostal Dialogue. THEO 692: Applied Project in Theology August 10, 2015

[12] Snair, Karen Anne. “Rediscovering the Commonalities Understanding the differences Embracing One shared Diversity In Roman Catholic And Classical Pentecostal Dialogue. THEO 692: Applied Project in Theology August 10, 2015

[13] Snair, Karen Anne. “Rediscovering the Commonalities Understanding the differences Embracing One shared Diversity In Roman Catholic And Classical Pentecostal Dialogue. THEO 692: Applied Project in Theology August 10, 2015

[14] I belonged to the Catholic church for a few years but later returned to the Protestant church because there were some beliefs I respected but I could no way adopt.

[15] Matthew 11:28

[16] Matthew 11:29

[17] Matthew 7:1-2

[18] Romans 10 :17

[19] Matthew 6:1

[20] “John 17:21.” New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Accessed: November 22, 2014.

[21] Revelation 3:20





*** – “Our editorial team and authors of our blogs, Live Stream Podcasts, videos, Feature Article’s of the Month, and any other media produced by It Ain’t Over Ministries operates independently, and the overall total content of this article may not represent the official stance and Statement of Faith of It Ain’t Over Ministries. We maintain editorial independence to explore various opinions and viewpoints on different topics, so long as they do not directly contradict Scripture rightly divided in context.” – ***



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