I’m really having a hard time getting my thoughts out today…so I’ll do my best…but let me start by saying that I’m deeply concerned for the Body of Christ, which is to say the collective of Christianity. I’m concerned because I’ve noticed a terrible trend…a trend that is far from the vision that Jesus gave for His church…a trend that is counterproductive to the very cause for which we have been called…
This is more noticeable on social media than anywhere else. Many, who say they are believers, say the most terrible and hateful things about people that are different than they are. By saying “different,” let me clarify my meaning. The biggest difference between a Christian a non-Christian is just that: one is a believer and the other one is not. By being a believer, generally speaking, there are certain central truths upon which we agree. By being a non-believer, obviously someone may or may not agree to the same truths. The difference in the truths we agree or disagree on between believers and non-believers is what we are getting so upset about. What I mean is that as a Christian I hold a certain worldview. I would not expect someone who doesn’t hold the same worldview to view the world the same way as I view it…right? Common sense 101. The irony is that those of our number that are very angry with those on the outside are angry over these very issues. They are angry because the non-Christian, who doesn’t believe in what we believe in, may say things like abortion is a woman’s right, or that premarital sex is not wrong, or that homosexual marriage is an issue of equality…and the list goes on and on. They are angry over the issues and not concerned over the person’s heart and soul.
So what do they do with this anger? Depending on their level of notoriety, they will either blast people on social media or they will do so on the news networks…and their goal is this: to get the non-believers to adhere to a worldview to which the non-believer doesn’t subscribe. Does this seem somewhat ridiculous to anyone? If we are successful in accomplishing this, then aren’t we advocating that people become absolute hypocrites? So what is the solution? The solution is simple, yet we’ll never accomplish it as long as we are derogatory or insulting to the non-Christians of the world. The solution is that we treat all people with respect, sharing the truth in love with anyone who will listen. Not all will listen, and some will outright reject it, and that’s okay. We go through the open doors, and for the sake of the Gospel, can we PLEASE STOP BEING SO ANGRY…and better yet…so UN-Christian.
I believe in the truth of the Bible. I believe in the truth of Jesus Christ…in His virgin birth, His perfect life, His substitutionary death, and most of all, His supernatural resurrection. I believe that anyone who wants to have eternal life must also believe in Him, just as the Bible says. What I don’t believe is that we should be hateful towards others, believers and non-believers alike, in His name. Christians, let me say this, if you think someone is wrong, that’s okay. If you think they are far from God, then that’s okay, too. What’s not okay is when we turn those concerns into malicious anger towards those about whom we’re concerned. It’s like being angry at a blind man for stumbling in an unfamiliar room.
What’s strange is that the anger that is manifested is not always directed at things pertaining to a Christian worldview, but more at what is perceived to be the “American way of life.” If we were really that concerned about the root of the problem, then we would spend more time trying to build relationships in order to speak in to people’s lives than we do fighting with them over saying the pledge of allegiance (which is definitely NOT in the Bible), or the Ten Commandments displayed in our courthouses, or praying at a high school football game.
What would happen if we were to redirect that anger…transforming it into passion for sharing the truth…and doing so in a way that shows how much we really do care about people? I have found that many times, people don’t reject the truth about Jesus…but instead reject the messenger because of his or her method. We have the greatest story in the world, yet if we tell it with sarcasm, visceral anger, and even sometimes hatred in our hearts and voices, then we rob the power of it to change lives.
Gandhi said that He liked Christ, but not Christians, and he said this after observing that Christians act so little like Christ. What a tragedy…what a seriously disturbing story. I don’t know what Gandhi believed in the end of his life. There are things he said that seem to indicate that he really liked the character and teachings of Jesus. As far as I know, he never professed to be a born-again believer in Jesus, and quite possibly the largest impediment to this was his experience with Christians.
I don’t want to come off as angry, but I will say that I’m a bit frustrated. My frustration with the Christian Body in the U.S. is that it seems to be blind to the fact that we are called to make disciples of all nations (all people groups)…as well as being blind to the reality that we are being used on a political level by politicians who care much less for our concerns as they do for their careers.
The church was not founded in order to become the mobilizing unit for ANY politician’s agenda. It was founded for one reason (that has two parts): To preach and teach the Gospel and make disciples that do the same thing.
Let’s stop being angry with people that are different from us. Let’s stop being the harsh, severe, name-calling, loveless firebrands in our society. Let’s also realize that non-believers will have different worldviews than we will. They will believe strongly in things that are troublesome to us…but also remember…we had different views at one time, too…and He changed us. I know, I know…sometimes the whole “they started it” discussion comes up. Sometimes, we are mistreated first. But, does the Bible tell us that we should respond in kind? NO. It says to treat others as you want to be treated…not as you are treated.
Let us be Christians. This doesn’t mean to be wimps. But it does mean to be meek. It does mean to be like Jesus…concerned over what is important…and not focused on the secondary issues.
*Image used from http://survivingmexico.com/2014/04/