According to the latest ABC News poll, 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. That is an astounding figure. But how can so many people who proclaim to be Christian sit idly by and say nothing to the things of this world that is a direct contradiction to their faith? How can we, as Christians, be happy about the US Supreme Court’s redefining of marriage? How can we, as Christians, promote the love of Jesus by saying, “Jesus loves everyone” and say nothing when His teachings are ignored? Why have we allowed this? Why have you allowed this?
Hey, man, just come as you are. Jesus Christ loves everybody. Though this is a fact, it’s also a cliché. You will not find “come as you are” in any scripture reference. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Where do you find acceptance in this scripture? Jesus tells us to find rest in Him. Where does He say that it’s okay to be a contradiction, just as long as you’re a good person? Again, Jesus says to find rest in Him. He says to learn from Him. How can we learn if we continue to bow down to the more popular views of this world? Better yet, how can we learn if we keep our Bibles closed?
You can’t judge me! Only God can judge me! Well, yes, that is correct and judge He will. But, unfortunately, this is also a cliché. If you claim to be a Christian, you better believe I’ll be wearing my robe while holding my gavel. Oh, you want to throw in Matthew 7? Matthew 7:1 is probably the most misused, misunderstood, misapplied and misinterpreted scripture in the history of misuses and misinterpretations! It is a phrase that has been used countless times during contentious conversations or in defensive moments when someone is confronted about their behavior. It is used and abused by both Christians and non-Christians alike! I often wonder if Jesus was looking right at the Pharisees when he said this. The Pharisees were notorious for condemning the shortcomings of others when all the while they were the ones who stood condemned because they were doing the very same things. Jesus said that judgment reciprocates. In other words, the measuring stick they used to measure the lives of others will be the same measuring stick held up against their lives by God Himself. Notice that Jesus says the hypocrite will be the one with the bigger problem. Their sin was not merely comparable to a speck of dust; it was more like a wooden plank and they refused to take it out. What this means is that the greater judgment is reserved for the one who has purposefully overlooked his own mammoth sin while pointing out the smaller sins of others. Jesus emphatically says this must change, so He gives two commands: Stop judging others in a hypocritical fashion, and get the sin out of your own life. But let’s be clear. Jesus is not suggesting that we have no right to make moral judgments about human behavior, and He is certainly not suggesting we have no right to hold others accountable. He doesn’t condemn mutual accountability and moral responsibility and the need to address sin in the church – He addresses hypocrisy.
So what? Jesus drank, too. Yes indeed He did. Jesus turned water into wine and he also drank of the fruit from the vine. But, again, just another cliché. It is not a sin to drink. I cast no judgment or ill will towards anyone who drinks wine. However, God’s inerrant Word discusses those who drink to get drunk. Contrary to popular belief, wine doesn’t help with cataracts. Keep in mind, Jesus drank unfermented wine. It was literally the fruit from the vine. I am reminded of a point someone tried making recently. This person quoted Matthew 11:19. This was her shield to continue drinking when she wanted and how much she wanted. Unfortunately, when she Googled this scripture reference, she failed to look at verse 18. If she, or you, believe Jesus was drunk at any point in His earthly life, then you also must believe John the Baptist was possessed by demons. These two verses were stated by those trying to discredit the ministry of John and Jesus.
Jesus loves. Yes! Absolutely Jesus loves! Unfortunately, another cliché. Jesus loved the Pharisees and Sadducees enough to tell them the truth. When did it become okay to reform to the popularity of the world?! I am up to my eyeballs in hearing “Jesus loves.” I say this because it is misused! Tell people the truth, but in a loving way. Homosexuality is a hot topic. Jesus loves everybody, including homosexuals. I agree. However, those that deny the Son, will also be denied by the Father. What’s that mean? One way ticket to Hell. Do not pass Go and do not collect $200. Speaking of homosexuality, did you know that God uses the word abomination for this type of lifestyle? Think about it. Of all the sins you can think of – murder, rape, adultery, blasphemy, stealing – God says that for a (wo)man to lay with another (wo)man is an abomination! By definition, abomination means to cause disgust or hatred. God is disgusted by homosexuality. If God feels this strongly about homosexuality, then why are Christians dancing in the streets and changing their Facebook profile pictures to rainbow flags while high-fiving their gay friends? It’s an abomination.
Don’t judge. Stop being so harsh towards people who don’t believe the way you do. This has cliché written all over it. There is a way to approach people. I can’t begin to tell you how often I have had to learn this lesson. One time in particular stands out above the rest. When I was a recruiter, I approached a young man at a fast food restaurant while he was on break from flipping burgers. I was wearing my uniform and he already knew why I was approaching him. “Man, your job must be horrible,” I said. “Have you thought of bettering your life in the Army?” He knew his job was a dead-end. He knew that I knew his job was a dead-end. But the way I approached him made him defensive. My words were attacking him and not his job. He interpreted my words as, “Wow! This is the best you can do? You must not be smart enough to land a real job.” He was right. My words were harsh. Needless to say, he chose to continue his day job as I pulled my foot out of my mouth. When you approach someone about Christ’s redeeming love, the first words out of your mouth should not be “Sinner! You’re going straight to Hell if you don’t change your ways!” It is human nature to become defensive when feeling attacked, regardless the sins that are being committed. A few months later, I visited another fast food restaurant and changed my approach. The kid decided to hear me out and enlisted in the Army a few weeks later. Instead of attacking him and his job, I asked about his job and his future goals. I changed my approach. However, once I tell someone about the sins that they are committing, the walls go up and now I’m being judgmental. Welcome to the mission field. Did this stop Paul from spreading the Good News? Did this stop any prophet from relaying God’s Word? What about the disciples? You have to stand up. Jesus never said the road traveled would be easy. Instead, He said, “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’” – John 15:18-25. You will be persecuted for your convictions. Stop being afraid of what people might think of you and stand strong on the Word of God.
Recently, a local parent took to social media, which then gained national attention concerning an assignment her child had while attending the public middle school. The assignment was to write out the 5 pillars of Islam. One of which is reciting that allah is the only god. I’m sorry, but for a Christian, this is blasphemy. This parent then received horrible comments from every walk of life, including clichés, I mean Christians! One Pastor took to Facebook and stated his opinion about the story. Hypocrite is what he wrote. My reply to this is the following, which I also posted on Facebook:
Allow me to commence this statement by saying that I do not have a child in public school. We are a homeschool family. Nor am I involved in the middle school in any capacity. Having said that, I do not see a problem with any religion being taught in schools from a HISTORICAL standpoint. However, during my years in the public school, no religion was taught because of the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which side of the fence you’re standing on, times have changed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, once again the fence metaphor, not all religious history is being taught. Here in Spring Hill, one parent took a stand on her views, her beliefs, her religious beliefs, and now she is being called everything from a hypocrite to intolerant to a poor parent. During my studies of Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity, none of my studies have swayed my opinion nor my beliefs. However, I’m an adult. I do not have the mind of a child who can be convinced easily. It is my responsibility as a parent to train and teach my child in the ways they should go, not the school system, public or private. I understand not all parents are capable of homeschooling, considering time, effort or any other plethora of reasons. Having said that, my children are taught the history of each religion. How can they defend their faith if they are naive of the other faiths? As I said, the responsibility falls upon me to raise my children to be upstanding, law-abiding citizens, grounded in their faith.
What disturbs me is the name calling. The name calling not from non-believers of the Christian faith, but those who proclaim to be followers themselves. I get sick and tired of the constant “Jesus loves you.” Get the facts straight people. Does Jesus love you? Yes! Of course He does. However, if you (generally speaking) deny Him, He will deny you before the Father. Hmmm….doesn’t sound a lot like love, does it? To break it down in simpler terms, if you deny your dad, he will deny you when you need him the most. Is that love? I guess it depends on your definition of love. Don’t forget, Jesus also said He didn’t come to bring peace.
I’ve heard the questions like, “What are we saying to people that are watching our faith by the way we react to things like this?” “What kind of hypocritical Christian are you to be so intolerant?” Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re a Christian or not, once you draw the line in the sand and remain steadfast in your convictions, the haters will hate. The name-calling will commence and the harsh words will be spewed like fire.
What kind of Christian would I be if I chose not to live by the teachings and example of Jesus Christ? What message would I convey to all who are watching me if I become more tolerant? Will that draw people nearer to Jesus? Will that push people away? It’s not my job to save the lost. It’s my job to plant the seed and watch as God works.
Once you bend in your convictions, don’t expect people to take you seriously. [bctt tweet=”Once you bend in your convictions, don’t expect people to take you seriously.”]That goes for any convictions. Give people an inch, they want a foot. Give them a foot, they want a mile.
Once again, I am not opposed to teaching the history of any religion in school. I am opposed to the assignment these students had. Do the assignment or take an F. Who cares what your parents taught you. This, my friends, is called indoctrination.
For the lady who brought attention to this assignment, you have nothing to be regretful of. You held strong on your convictions and continue fighting the good fight.
**Update to the story** Apparently, there was a board meeting at the local middle school. Many Muslims took to Social Media and encouraged each other to attend. Threats – serious threats – have been made to the school as well as the family of the parent who stood up and stood out on her convictions. Many of the parents who have children who attend this school are now blaming the parent for these threats. She did what she thought was right. She did not break the law. In fact, she had spoken to the school before any of this was shared with the public. Blaming this parent for an Isis threat is like blaming the pencil for spelling errors. Personally, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of Isis, being called intolerant and insensitive, called a hypocrite, and whatever else is out there.
I wonder what the outcome would be if these students were to write out the sinner’s prayer and proclaim Jesus is God’s Son who was sent to the world not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved. I wonder how much hatred would be spewed upon the school if a Muslim parent looked at their child’s assignment and read John 3:16. Yet, I’m called the hypocrite. I’m sick and tired of watching people lay down and give in. I’m tired of hearing people say, “It’s not my problem.” I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. We can not, as Christians, allow these things to continue! When are we going to stand like Daniel in the lion’s den? When are we going to stand like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? When are we going to stand like Paul?!
Why do we call those around us hypocrites for standing on their convictions? Why do we find it acceptable for boys who are “confused” about their gender to use the girl’s bathroom? Why do we applaud a man who is “confused” about his gender after he becomes a she, but is still a he; then take to social media and talk about how courageous she is, I mean he is? Why do we look the other way when others around us use the Lord’s name in vain? Why do we slap a bumper sticker on our car that advertises our local church or says, “Jesus Saves,” but then careen down the highway at 80 mph? Why do we call others hypocrites, insensitive and intolerant while they stand on God’s Word? When are you going to stop being a cliche?!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Somewhere along the way Christians have blurred the lines of grace & love with that of a doormat.” quote=”Somewhere along the way Christians have blurred the lines of grace & love with that of a doormat.” theme=”style2″]