Monthly Archives: April 2013
I get this feeling all of the time.
And from the Facebook posts I read on a daily basis, a lot of you folk feel the same way.
Now, most of my online friends are Christians of one branch or another. I’ve got a lot of non-denoms and Baptists in there as that is what I was brought up in and currently follow. But I have a healthy sampling of folks from other denominations such as Catholic, Church of Christ and the lot. So while we may not get ourselves wet or eat the Lord’s Supper in exactly the same way, we all believe that Jesus is the only Son of God and that His sacrifice on the cross is the only redemption for our sin.
We believe that, and it appears fairly universally, that everyone is out to get us right now.
Surprise people! We should have all seen this coming.
I’m sure as Christians we have all read this. But I’m also relatively sure that we glossed it over much like the seemingly endless family ancestries in the Old Testament because it isn’t very fun to read and doesn’t let you close your Bible with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
But the truth of the matter is that when we speak truth, we aren’t going to be real popular. Especially not in a world that is laser focused on fun, money and sensuality at any cost. Telling them they have to be accountable to someone else and maybe give up some of the things they love so much doesn’t exactly make them want to run inside the first church they can find, much less listen to you.
Even if they did want to hear about Christ – and deep down their soul is crying out for Him – They would likely blow us off because a lot of the time Christians come off as though we’re better than everyone else, especially the lost. We act as though our sin is not only gone, but that we don’t do anything wrong anymore. We act like they should know better and that God is an easy choice, even though we were likely more lost than they’ll ever be.
We’re lying to ourselves.
Now a few of you reading this might be thinking, “Well, I was raised by God-fearing Christian parents who never let me stray that far away from Him. So while I needed his gift of salvation, I didn’t all that much.
We’re lying to ourselves.
And there may be a few of the readers who came from the other end of the spectrum, having lived lives to in rebellion to God that they just can’t understand how people who lived a seemingly normal life can’t readily see what God did for them and just accept it.
Things are not always what they seem.
During Christ’s ministry on earth, he made faith in Him as simple as it has ever been. He boiled it down to a pair of commandments and one commission.
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37b-38).
- “Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 39b-40
- “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20a
Pouring yourself a bowl of Captain Crunch is harder than this, so why do we keep screwing it up?
The main reason is we’re human. And as humans, we think we can always make things a little better. That the person who gave us the task isn’t quite aware of everything that can be done or should be done, and so we’re going to fix it.
If you ever want to see this principle in action, just watch an episode of The Apprentice. The Celebrity Apprentice doesn’t count, because those people all have one goal in mind at some point during the season – kill Gary Busy. No, you have to watch some of the older episodes when the people were really trying to get a job with Donald Trump. The teams that lost on a given task almost always deviated from the guidelines that Trump gave them.
NOTE – I am not attempting to paint Donald Trump some godly figure or man of faith. He fits the bill for the example, nothing more. One email or post about my worshiping The Don and I swear I’ll slap someone.
Christians, we just don’t think, act or speak nearly enough in love. We don’t do it when we tell people about what Christ has done for us and can do for them. We don’t show it when we hang out with the world in our places of work, recreation or worship. And we don’t do it when we think of ourselves first and others second.
So when you wonder why the world hates us. Why at seemingly every turn we seem to be in the world’s cross hairs, it’s because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did the exact same thing 2,000 years ago and was crucified for it. It’s because He saw into the future and knowing the intent of our heart was pure and that are actions would not be quite so much, He saw that the world would still hate Him and us just because we call ourselves Christians.
What do we do then? How do we handle a constant flow of mistrust, disdain and general contempt from people who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?
For starters, we have to work on the one thing that Jesus told us to – Love. We have to love people no matter what their circumstance in life. Regardless if they are gay, lesbian, racist, abortionists or from a religion that proclaims some other god to be in charge. We MUST love them.
We do not get to condemn them. That’s what got us here in the first place. Jesus never said we were supposed to condemn people when they make bad choices. He said we were to love them. That old saying of “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is exactly what we ought to be doing. But even so, walking around pointing our fingers at people going “That’s sin! That’s sin!” isn’t going to help our cause, because that is not done in love. You can paint that pig with as much lipstick as you want, but there is not love in that.
But we love people to the point of exhaustion, they will eventually ask what it is that drives us, that makes us do what we do the way we do it. And that is when we get athe chance to share what Christ is really all about.
So the next time you see some Facebook post or news story about how the world hates Christianity, don’t lose hope. Just take a look at why those Christians are under fire, figure out what they did wrong and learn from it.