Friday, March 27, 2015

oh no you di'n't

Some things have been showing up on my Facebook news feed lately that are super critical of the wrong-doings of a well-known Christian.  Yes, Christians do & say things that may be offensive to others.  Yes, Christians cross lines that shouldn't be crossed.  Being a Christian isn't slapping a label on our forehead that says, "I'm a Christian, so I'm perfect and I will never do wrong again."  To expect perfection from anyone, be whatever religious family they belong to, is setting them up for failure and you for disappointment.  Why?  Because no one is good, no not one (Rom. 3:12).  Therefore, don't be surprised if you are hurt or offended by a Christian.  Christians are still broken people despite what we believe.  Being a Christian is acknowledging our sin, believing that Christ died to save us from what we deserve because of our sin (an eternity in hell), and confessing that belief to the Creator.  Yes, it is a life-changing decision.  No, it does not make us perfect.

This does not offend me because I understand that as humans, we (myself included) expect people to live by certain standards.  But by whose standards are we living and expecting others to live?  Society's?  Our own?  We are critical and quick to judge and condemn those that fall below the line of of our definition of "acceptable."  Based on what I believe as a Christian, the standards are set for us in Exodus chapter 20.  Do I live by those standards every day?  I certainly try to.  Do I succeed?  Hardly.  My flesh and my heart are contradictory in that my flesh chases after worldly things while my heart longs for heavenly things.  And God knows this.  By His grace I am still saved through faith, even though I continue to fall short of His commands.

But there's something that DOES offend me.  Deeply.  I've wondered for the past few days why I was so upset after reading certain comments.  Here's why:

The focus in the posts soon shifted from "the Christian who did something wrong" to God and his Son.  To bash my Creator, to say that He doesn't exist, that He is a hoax, and that He has never loved or done anything for anyone is just plain offensive.  I'm not offended because your beliefs are different than mine.  I respect people for in whatever it is they choose to believe.  I'm offended in a sense that you are speaking ill of my Father.  I compare it to the "you can talk about me, but don't you dare talk about my sister" kind of thing... but bigger.  God isn't just someone in whom I believe.  He's someone with whom I have an intimate and personal relationship.  He does exist.  He isn't a hoax.  He loves everyone.  Always has, always will.  And He's done way more for me than I will ever deserve in that while I am still a sinner, He sent His Son to die for me (Rom. 5:8).  This is the kind of relationship that I wish for you so that you may know just how cool God really is.

It's one thing to talk badly about imperfect people.  But to talk badly about a perfect God is another thing.  I'm sad for the person who doesn't know Him, and I'm hurt to see God so blatantly denied.

In conclusion, I guess I'm ultimately writing this post to stand up for my God to the people I don't even know that deny Him.  Yes, you have the right to believe in whatever you choose.  But don't talk about my God like that.  He has done nothing wrong... literally.  I hope with the deepest part of my heart that you come to know Him one day.  I hope that one day you will be my brother or sister in Christ.  If you just TRIED to know Him, you would love Him.  I promise.  He's seeking you.  He wants you to love Him.  And He already loves you.

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." - John 15:18