15 Apr

Let me see if I got this right. I mean, I’ve been a Christian since I was eight years old. Except for a few hiccups, I’ve tried to follow Jesus as much as my limited selfish condition will allow.  But lately, I have had people explain to me the true definition (at least in their terms) of a Christian and Christianity. And since I consider myself a Christian, they are basically explaining who I am. 

So let me see if I got this right:

We are mean spirited. We spew hatred. We are intolerant. We are hypocrites. We ignore Jesus and don’t have a clue as to who He really is (or, at the very least, we ignore his teachings on love and compassion) and instead use antiquated ideas of sin to judge others unfairly simply because they don’t think like us.  We are racist, chauvinistic, and hate the homosexual with a passion. 

And occasionally, we enjoy kicking puppies and drowning kittens.

Let’s be honest. I know some hypocrites who actively attend church. I know some mean spirited people who are or have been in church leadership.  People are, by nature, sinful.  And many times, whether we bear the title of Christian or not, our mean spiritedness comes out as part of our sin nature. After all, some of the meanest, most hateful emails and Facebook comments I have received have been from those who claim to be against Christianity. They have jumped on me for things I have posted and yet post similar hate filled rhetoric from the other side. I don’t sit around and wonder “who’s the real hypocrite?” They are sinners. I’m a sinner. That nature is going to come out.

And by the way, those who stereotype the Christian faith as being judgmental, intolerant, and mean-spirited would be 100% correct if they were right in their understandings of the teachings of Jesus.

But they only get it partly right.  Jesus DID talk about love and compassion. But that was not all he talked about.

Consider Matthew 18:15:

 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone….If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you….If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

These are the words of Jesus Himself and they teach us some things about Him.

1.) Sin is a real thing and not just a matter of someone’s perspective. And Jesus called it what it was. Like it or not, there are black and white issues of right and wrong.

2.) We are commanded by Jesus to confront sin. And when we confront sin, it’s usually not meant with a pleasant response. That is also true when Christians confront other Christians. We cannot give sin a pass. Now, I firmly believe that when it comes to the non-Christian, the only thing they should be confronted on is the sin of rejecting the Lordship of Christ in their lives. But in the same manner, I cannot confront someone on this if I sit idly back and allow it to become an acceptable lifestyle. That would most definitely make me a hypocrite.

Look closely at Matthew 18:15. If Jesus was willing to confront sin and even encouraged the church to withdraw from people who would not agree with the very nature of in, couldn’t he easily labeled as a mean-spirited, intolerant, hypocrite?. But we all know that’s not true. However, he did believe that sin was real and should be confronted.

Why did He teach these things? Because He was, in fact, loving and compassionate.

There is nothing more loving and compassionate than to try and stop someone from ruining his life. \We have to be pretty cold hearted to watch people carry on in a destructive lifestyle and dismiss it with a casual, “Who am I to judge? If that’s what they feel is right, then it’s right for them.”

Jesus has so much love and compassion for every single person, He simply will not stand by idly and watch a person cause pain and heartache to others, fall far short of his or her potential, and worst of all, spend eternity in Hell.

That’s why Jesus came to earth in the first place, to save the human racefrom the pain of sin. And that’s why we are commanded to confront sin and help people change their destructive ways. But our motivation also must be love and compassion. If we lose sight of that, then our efforts eventually will become mean-spirited, intolerant, and judgmental.

And we don’t want to fall into the old stereotype, and give liberals credibility, do we? 

Then they might believe we actually enjoy kicking puppies and drowning kittens! (which for the record I don’t.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: