So.. a few days ago I was up late, for no reason besides just thinking and jotting down notes - I have those days where I'm just lost in quiet thought. That day, it came to me to start this series. Between the things that I remember that made me run far from "die hard" Christians before I came to Christ, and things which I talk to Christian and non-Christian friends alike about, there seems to be a few "pet peeves" which I've heard over again. There's a few perceptions of all, or some of us which keep people from becoming Christians, cause people to be cautious of Christians, or make people avoid the topic of Christianity altogether - and I thought it would be interesting to delve into them! So far, I've come up with a list of 5, and will blog about them one at a time. I ABSOLUTELY welcome comments and feedback, whether you agree with my stance on it or not, or if you just want to share that you relate to the topic. Its all encouraging and I think would make for great conversation - and hopefully more understanding for everyone who reads the post. That said, let's get into peeve #1 - "The Christian with A Vendetta Against Everyone Else."
If we all think about it, most of us know at least one person like this. The person who seems to talk more about what everyone else shouldn't be doing, than about the core of our faith - we can be redeemed because of His loving sacrifice for us. Or maybe you took the subway or a walk and were greeted a pamphlet with a picture of fire, which told you that you were going to hell. Maybe you turned on the news and heard about all of the pastors calling President Obama the antichrist and all kinds of hateful things because his views and trying to scare people into electing Romney. [And on that note, granted - you don't have to agree with him or even have been on team Obama, but I do think its fair to say that calling him the antichrist was a bit overboard]. While it is important to be able to discern, and the Bible does make it pretty plain what we ought to and ought not be doing, is there a certain point where we're doing more harm than good in the way that we disagree with or correct people?
I'll go a bit into my opinion below:
What's our instruction to head out and do in the world? I think Mark 16 says it all - the final instructions that Jesus gave before he ascended - spread the GOOD NEWS! What is the good news?
John 3:16 just about sums up the good news to me. Anyone who believes in Jesus shall have eternal life! Whether they were goodie-two-shoes or even a murderer, a cheat, or a thief - there is still hope for them to have eternal life. Our works don't justify us, our faith does - period. This is the good news that we're supposed to spread, so that people can embrace God's love, repent, and walk in what He's called them to do. And to take it a step further, I think we're supposed to make Christianity attractive - not lie, but not make them feel that Christians hate them either. We have to show them all there is to gain by following Christ. I think that we really do non-believers a disservice when we present ourselves as angry, rule-book-carrying people, looking for the next person or scenario to look down on. We need to let people know that God loves them, and that we love them too. I definitely don't want to ignore the fact that many people who may fall into this category do have the best intentions. It's not all about appearing to be better than everyone, many people just eagerly want everyone to repent so that they make heaven. I get that. I just think that we have to make Jesus the model here. Jesus didn't turn up his nose and tell the woman caught in the act of adultery that she was going to hell. He showed her grace, love, and told her to repent. I think many of us need to soften our approach a bit, and focus on showing love - not strictly focusing on everyone else's sin - but then that's just my thought.
Feel free to share yours too! Looking forward to add #2 from this series in a day or two - stay tuned!