Well that was a new experience. It’s been just over 12 hours since I posted my “The Problem with Christianity Today” post and I was challenged on all sides about what I said. My faith was challenged. My words were misunderstood. Listen, words are hard. I spoke from the heart about something that has been weighing on me for a while now.
Before I get to that, I want to clear something up from yesterday’s post. I am in no way saying that I believe Christians should just let people do whatever they want and ONLY love them like Christ loves us. I’m not saying I believe the LGBT movement is right or okay and has a place in God’s Church. What I was saying is that we, as Christians, don’t have a right to publicly judge or shame those who don’t share our beliefs. Our job is to spread the Good News of God’s Kingdom, His Son Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us by dying on the cross and let those who will hear the news come learn more. We are to sow the seeds of Faith and allow God to work in their lives. Our job is not to shove our faith down everyone’s throats to the point where they resent us and God because of our actions. If we do that, God will hold us accountable for losing those people.
A few months ago, during a series at church, the words of 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 came alive for me in ways they have never done so before. See, that’s the thing about studying God’s Word: no matter how many times you read it, your heart has to be in the right place for it to actually have meaning to you. Verses that seems so benign earlier in your life can somehow become so clear and life-changing that you wonder how you never understood that before. The above mentioned verses teach the church that we are to judge those within the the Body of Christ (the church), and not those outside. Those outside the church will be judged by God, and God alone. That is what I was trying to say yesterday. Our job is to love our neighbour as ourselves, just as Christ loved us. I am simply tired of seeing people like Westboro Baptist Church spouting hatred in the name of God and giving those of us who actually follow Christ’s example, a bad name.
Yes, Jesus taught about the result of sin and not turning to God, but he did so to those who would listen. It was spoken to those who showed up to hear him speak. He did not get up on a soap box and publicly declare that everyone was going to Hell if they didn’t repent right now! He spoke personally to people. He taught them. He did not condemn them. He loved them. He did not hate them because they were sinners.
We are meant to speak into people’s lives about the good news of what God has done for us. You can’t speak into people’s lives if you don’t know them. This requires a personal relationship with both Jesus and the person you are trying to bring into the Kingdom of God. Yesterday, my faith was brought into question simply because I never posted anything about my faith on social media. No, I don’t. Why? Because Social Media is a public forum. That’s not the place for me to try to strong-arm people into believing. If I did that, I’d turn more people away from God than I would bring them in. Public social media isn’t a personal relationship. It’s a soap box. That’s not where I’m going to share God’s Word with people.
Simply put: God is Love. Plain and simple and that what I want people to see. Through my words and my actions. Publicly shaming or harassing people who don’t believe is not love. It’s abuse and hatred and will not bring people to God. Holding a personal relationship with people, offline, is the only way you’re going to be able to speak into people’s lives and have any hope of sharing the Gospel with them.
Thanks for listening.