I often wonder what types of things that I would think about and do if I wasn’t a Christian. In particular, I wonder about those situations that occur in my life that I didn’t create. In other words, would I handle certain situations different as a person who doesn’t care about what God thinks? I think the obvious answer is yes.
On the other hand, I wonder if there are some things that I would like to do differently as a wiser Christian. What I mean is maybe there are some situations and issues that I found myself in as a young Christian that I would like to do over. My guess is that anyone who thinks there isn’t anything they would like to do over is full of self and likely thinks, “I am right.” “Everyone else is wrong.”
Since I’ve been a Christian I have seen an evolution take place in my life; maybe I should say a type of transformation in my life. When I came to Christ I joined the “fight.” All I knew was that I wanted to “do” for Jesus. I remember yelling at family members who did not want to get saved. Some of them I talked to them daily about getting saved. Needless to say, they avoided me after a while, and looking back I don’t blame them.
Some of the “fight” was to “re-take” America. I remember boycotting Walt Disney, shopping malls because they allowed certain “bad” stores to do business in them, ABC, and the list goes on. I assure you that my motives were not bad. I just wanted people to live for Christ. Politics and preaching were important to me if “we” were going to take back America.
What happened to me was that I realized that we Christians who want to take America back actually created an “us” and “them” scenario. There was a wall built between “us” and “them” that created a disconnect from God and His children. The children being those who He created in His Image. This includes both “us” and “them.” We Christians were in one camp, and many still are, while those who did not believe the exact way we did were in another camp.
In our camp, we knew that the other camp was going to get theirs one day for all of the bad they have done to America. But, the funny thing is that we in our camp never realized that we might what we deserve for all of the bad we have done to the Kingdom of God. After all, we are the “enlightened ones” who know the will of God and understand His mission. We should realize that there will be accountability for us too.
Consider that there are two camps, at least according to our thinking and behavior. This means that those who follow Jesus are not living among them like Jesus did; and still does through the Holy Spirit. Our message to the world has been, “Think and act like we do or we are leaving your behind to suffer.” We haven’t communicated that God loves them and wants good for them and us. He wants to be the Father that many of us haven’t had and wants to care for us while teaching us to care about others.
As a result of this misguided motivation, we have caused those in the other camp who try to venture to ours, to think that they have to get themselves together. In other words, they need to clean up their lifestyles and then come to church. At least that is what they’ve heard from us, whether or not we meant to communicate that. Wow, Jesus is still cleaning me up because I can’t do and would never be able to do it; that is why we needed saved by the Savior. In fact, they don’t see this because we have avoided contact with those who do not believe the way we do.
Thankfully, God began to remake me and to work on my focus. I learned some time ago that those political fights lead us no where. In fact, seeking a political solution to certain issues instead of a spiritual solution has created disdain from Christians toward those who practice different lifestyles. Further, it has created disdain from those who are secular toward Christians too. After all, before I was a Christian I didn’t care what Christians thought of me. What is more, I didn’t care what the Bible said, and only a little about what God thought. In fact, I’m not sure that I was afraid to go to hell. I heard you gasp. Listen, I felt that my life had always been hell. I was used to it.
Now we come to the fight that The Church should’ve been more vocal about rather than political issues. We Christians must learn to put coercion aside and focus persuasiveness when it comes to sharing Christ with those who are not living for Him. Notice I didn’t use the term “Those who do not know Him.” Newsflash! There are many who are aware of who Jesus is, or at least a version of Jesus, but sadly, we established the wrong fights and communicated that some shouldn’t even try to be saved.
I propose that The American Church get up in arms over all the hurting people who have felt pain all of their lives. What I mean, instead of fighting to get prayer back in school, we should fight to get it back into homes. In fact, we should be teaching “Christians” how to love like Jesus does. This eliminates disdain, since we can’t possibly lead anyone to Christ through disdain. What if Christians started caring for the community that they find themselves in instead of fighting against it all of the time. Can you imagine telling someone who has not known the love of a father and mother that Jesus loves them? How about telling someone that God never meant for them to suffer like they have? Of course, this would have to replace the famous, “Well, God has a reason.”
What if we focused on developing healthy relationships with those who have none? I think sometimes we Christians have become so used to our camp that we have forgotten to set those in the other camp free by persuading them to receive Christ’s love and ours. To do this, at least in my mind, we can’t just settle for a food drive event, or a clothing drive, and etc. Instead we have to be willing to develop a lifestyle, everyday way of living, that includes living among those who are not following Jesus.
This proposal eliminates the camps structure and leads to win others through love and compassion. Plus it takes the hope out of politics and places it back on Jesus Christ with a demonstration of the peaceful life, that if trouble comes, has hope for this life now through Jesus our Lord. This demonstration is not the type where we can put our Christian masks on for and event, but we have to be transformed because we are living among those who are learing about Christ and His love through watching us and trusting us enough to learn from Him through us.