I am feeling compelled to write this post, because I have been witness to these things over and over again… and it breaks my heart. And I believe it breaks God’s too. May you read these words with an open heart, willing to grow and make whatever changes you deem necessary for your life, your behavior, your choices, your voice- for the sake of His Call. I am merely sharing my opinion, through my own experience. Please know, I completely support the fellowship of faithful followers to come together to pray and disciple one another and am not speaking to this. I pray this moves you, to carry His Light in honor of what that really means.
Dear Christians, can I be frank with you?
I don’t understand how some of us think we have the right to separate ourselves from the world, but many of us do. I get that maybe you don’t want the worldly things to infiltrate your existence, but the truth is – they WILL. We are in this world for a reason and a purpose, and we have a mighty work to do in sharing His Light on all corners of the globe. And your kids? They live in this world. As hard as it is to accept this, they need to learn how to navigate through it and ultimately claim Christ’s Sovereignty and practice discernment, not discrimination.
I am trying to teach my kids about God’s grace and sharing that with others, whilst training them up to make good decisions that are aligned with God’s will. It’s not easy. No one said it would be. But I refuse to set a standard for our family that confines us to the ‘safety’ of ignorance. We need to open our hearts and our minds to understanding people who do not walk our walk… we need to take risks, dig in, open our eyes and scour the vast fields of aching hearts, bitter words, angry eyes, and distorted views, with our hands held open and our arms ready to embrace each child of God, who is deserving of love.
Creating hard-lined impenetrable boundaries and distinct barriers to protect your hearts is exactly the opposite of what God calls us to do. He calls us to have our halos in our outstretched hands for the taking. Our Halos are not ours to protect and certainly not ours to hold high above the crowds. We have not earned them, we have been given them. They are a free gift, and we are called to spread the news of the gospel to EVERYONE. God clearly mentions in the bible more than once, that we are to walk AMONG the unbelievers and witness to them His very goodness and light.
May I contribute to the dialogue about what is acceptable and NOT acceptable for all Christians? I don’t understand the boundaries… because I love a Savior who has none. Where in Christ’s walk, was He setting Himself apart from the ‘other side’ of His Kingdom? He HAD no boundaries. He was IN the wretched world turning water into wine, and hangin’ with the hookers. Do you remember those stories? Did they speak to you at all?
Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners Mark 2:13-17
13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
When we are saved, it does not mean we are free to judge. God has a lot to say about our judgment, doesn’t He? I suppose I’ll sum up over 100 verses that speak to this, with one.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.
I hear, I see, I read, and I cringe with utter defeat, when I learn of yet another soul who hates ‘those Christians’ and has chosen to deny themselves any further investigation into this faith that has only shown them persecution and isolation and rejection. This hurts my heart more than anything, because I believe in a God who loves them just as much as He loves me.
Even I feel unworthy of your love.
How on earth would anyone who is NOT saved by His grace feel worthy of God’s love, if they feel condemned by you? How can God use you, if you are constantly criticizing the very people you need to be reaching with His Message?
How do you think God will reach the very ones who need Him most, if you roll your pious eyes and shake your religious head and walk away… ? How do YOU represent our Loving and Merciful Creator?
Please think about it.
Every Christian needs to truly re-assess how they are walkin’ the walk… and talkin’ the talk. You, in fact are a sinful creature… yes? You are no better than the rest of God’s Creation. You are simply saved by His Grace. This does not make you superior, it only brings you eternity. And I wonder what your agenda truly is, when you turn and raise your brow at those who make choices that are less than honorable to God. Does doing that make you feel more competent in His Grace? Does it somehow elevate you to a different level of living?
How does that provide purpose to God’s precious plan? Did you learn how Jesus handled it? Are you truly emulating that? How did we become a people that scoffs and shames those who struggle? More importantly, how are you able to testify to your actions and your words in the name of Christ?
Clearly, we have it all wrong. There is no life untouched by sin. Have you checked yours lately? I believe the truth that all sin is equal. Your sin is no less sinful, than anyone else’s. The bible says that, yes?
I share this with the utmost passion to further God’s purpose for us all to BE his hands and feet in this world. Do His hands and feet look like yours? Compare them to Jesus. Are they stretching forward with open arms and walking toward the ones who need to be loved and accepted for who they are, exactly how they are? I came to know the grace of God when I was a hot mess of a teen, through an outstretched gracious Christian’s hand taking mine, right in the thick of my mess. No judgment or condemnation- just pure unconditional love and a message of hope for my torn and shattered heart- that Jesus loved me.
If your voice doesn’t profess His limitless love and abundant grace, then what are hurting people hearing?
Your clutter of biblical jargon and pushy conditional expectations eliminates the chance for every precious soul to hold a hope for Heaven.
It is with God’s pure love that conversion is set ablaze, and God’s almighty breath of grace that inspires transformation. Not your love. Nor your grace.
Please think about it.
Do you scratch your head wondering why the unchurched don’t come knocking at the church’s door? It’s because they so very deeply don’t feel worthy, or worse, their experience with believers is that they will never ever be accepted. Why do you think they feel that? They feel that way, because some Christian somewhere did or said something that led them to believe that our ‘type’ doesn’t accept people like their ‘type’.
Who is not worthy of Christ’s love? Who? WE are representatives of CHRIST. That is a mighty calling. And I am chilled to the bone, in reverence and conviction of such a thing. The impact we have is eternal. This is not about right or wrong. Please stop making it seem like we are right and they are wrong.
Please, I beg you.
I have countless friends who are not believers and I love and care for them JUST as much as my fellow Christians. Many are walking a fine tight rope on the edge of this world’s darkness. I reach out my hand, and let go of the Halo. Because my Halo, comes from God, not me. Good Lord, I don’t deserve a Halo. So I make sure it is always in my hands and not on my head. It’s really not mine to hold on to. It’s mine to share.
I leave you with Jesus on the cross… the people of the world have not only made poor decisions, but they have beaten and hung him to die. They beat Him! They ridiculed Him! They tore at His Flesh and gambled for His clothes.
Have you experienced that? Can you even imagine?
What did Christ say? How did He respond?
How did our Savior respond?
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Take in those very words, each and every time you step away, turn your back, moan or groan or sigh with exasperation over someone else’s sin. Take in those very words, when you talk to others who may not live the way you do. Take in those very words, when you begin to walk away, set standards for your friendships, your children, and your engagement in this world. Take in those very words, when you feel compelled to condemn or criticize others. If Jesus can offer up his Murderers for God’s forgiveness, while dying on the cross…
I think we can find it in our hearts to take a tiny little itty bitty piece of that love and grace~ and pour it out to those who “know not what they do.”
My sisters and brothers in Christ, I beg of you-
Take off your halo, and reach out your hand.
Christ is our Lighthouse, we are carriers of His Light.
Let’s honor that, shall we?
*For those who would like to read biblical truths regarding these issues, may I suggest you read this post. I am not clean of guilt in this message, I am simply addressing what I believe is God’s greatest limit on His Limitless Love. We can do better. I can do better. This post does not speak to the countless Christians who ARE in the world, stretching out their hands and opening up their hearts. If you feel anger or defensiveness after reading this post, please pray about your response. These words were written not to provoke rage or division, but rather to convict and call us to build His Kingdom, the way Jesus asked us to do.*
I was driving when this popped up so I just tweeted it out so I could reply. (I was sitting at a stop light, not actually driving!) Anyway. This has been on my heart SO VERY MUCH for a long time. I come from a family of a variety of Christians. From hard core Catholics to my almost evangelical sister to Methodists to Presbyterian and Southern Baptist. And it never ceases to amaze me how “us against them” all of us Christians are – even to other Christians. I remember not long ago I posted something about the high numbers of children dying due to gun deaths. One of my family replied that bad people were going to do what they were going to do and that we should be focusing our efforts on the murderers who abort their babies every day. First of all, I was FLOORED that she would completely miss the point and somehow bring it back to abortion. Secondly, I thought – how about instead of jumping to accuse some person that you know NOTHING about of murder, you try putting your efforts into trying to help the person through whatever it is that made them feel they had to make that decision in the first place. Help on the prevention and healing – not the name calling and charging people with murder. Oh I’m still so upset that other Christians behave this way.
PERFECTION CHRIS. May it be heard.
Alexa, I remember feeling just so sick about that comment when I read it before- and reading it again still makes me sick.
I don’t understand how people think accusation, threats, rejection, condemnation ever EVER brings people to Christ.
I’m SO glad you caught the tweet and came by to read this one, Alexa! Oh, how I wish we could change things…
Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says
Amen. <3 I love you. (Praying it went well Saturday!!! Thought about you, and prayed for you- and have been wondering ALL weekend!!)
Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says
Nothing to report yet. Waiting…
Okay- well keep me posted!! Praying you feel really good about how you did honey!! XOXO
Janine Huldie says
Definitely agree so very much, especially about not judging others good, bad or indifferent. You honestly said this perfectly and quite beautifully. So, I thank you so much my friend and trust me I am Christian, but definitely not without sin or one to make my fair share of mistakes, but always try my best to atone for those sins and also forgive others who may have their own shortcomings, as well. Thank you again for the reminder today.
Janine, you wear your love RIGHT OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE to take in. Oh, how I love that about you!! Keep shining God’s light, my friend!! It’s beautiful. <3
Crystal R. Cook says
Touched right in the heart of my soul . . . I’ve been saying these very things for years, and you summed them all up with beauty and truth and grace.
I am often reminded of that verse in Luke and try so very hard to remember that in the midst of our saviors sacrifice he whispered those words, it always humbles me and stills he burning in my heart when faced with the judgments, misconceptions, and presumptions of those who lump us all in that category of *Those Christians*.
God has blessed you with a gift; your words, your heart and you honor him in the way you choose to share those gifts with the world, openly and without hesitation and it makes my heart smile . . .
Crystal, do you know how happy I am that we have met? Oh, how it blesses me!! And your words of encouragement here are PRECIOUS to ME.
Thank you, friend. SO much.
I burned a batch of cookies I got so enthralled with this piece. And you know how I am about cookies. Enough said. Beautifully done sister. Preach it! Good for you for speaking your heart.
I am still laughing at your comment, sister! BWAHAHAHA!! This is the BEST compliment of all. Thank you. SO much.
*Make another batch* *Obviously* *When do I get to come eat them?*
Amen! I completely agree. We as Christians & The Church are called to love as Christ loved. He spent time with tax collectors, gentiles, prostitutes. He hated the sin not the sinner, & we are ALL sinners. Thank you so much for this. Beautifully done.
Megan, thanks so much for coming by to read this one! I am so grateful you get this, and I love that you do!
Bonnie Lyn Smith says
Wow! I had a feeling this would resonate with me, and it did! My heartbeat is exactly the same! Am I guilty of this? Sure, sometimes. I left a church a few years ago when I realized God the Father was being presented to me as a Harsh Judge only. He is a Judge, absolutely, but He sent Jesus to pour out grace. My husband and I realized we absolutely had to help change or leave that place when we realized we could never bring our non-believing friends there. There was a lot of good there, but there was also incredible condemnation. They didn’t want grace. They had to hang onto what they knew, so we left. I am still gulping in the grace of our new church, still understanding God’s judgment is real, but it’s, well—God’s. It’s certainly not mine. So, I am shedding these wrongful attitudes myself in healthy doses. I wrote about this in my book, but I also am about to blog about the harm other Christians do by judging each other on the nonessentials. Incredible harm. Grace can’t pour out of us or our churches until we stop bashing each other on a regular basis. The enemy of our soul loves that. He soaks it up like a sponge and spits it back to us. This is a fantastic post! Well done! My heart beats with yours on this! Blessings!
Oh Bonnie, I just LOVE that you came by to read this one! I’m sorry you had to leave your church because of such a thing, and yet I think there are many Christians who live in that similar style. I’m SO glad you are now gulping down that grace, girl! I want to read your book… 🙂
I always say, Christians are Satan’s greatest weapon to use against God. It’s sad, but oh how I have seen it in action too many times.
ah, the Bubble Christians, as I call them. *sigh*
they don’t watch the news, they don’t want to be within 10 feet of any Harry Potter books, or Marvel movies, and certainly not *gasp* 50 Shades of anything else! (although, good call on that one I think – ha!). They don’t want to talk about anything that goes on in the world, outside of the protective netting they have cast about themselves.
Um… one question.
How do you pray for this world then? I mean, Specifically? Nah – I wanna be out in the thick of it. You’ll never teach anyone anything while looking down your nose at them.
Dearest Rorybore: I feel what you are saying. As a young girl, growing up, I was forced to go to church. I was taught, more about hell “than Christ’s love
8 got away from God and Jesus, most of my life. My life was sinful and destructive. I drank for 20 years and became addicted to pain medication after my sons passing. I have been a an exotic dancer and also a pros to tire. I have suffered severe material losses over a lifetime. I have recently lost my husband. My search to get back right with the Lord Jesus Christ and God, through prayer and scripture broke my bubble to see myself as I really was. And see the world, upon watching the news also. The truth and understanding that I have now I as broken me from bondage. I could not see before. Now I see and feel. Not only haveI seen truth, I understand in my heart, how bunch God loves me. Hon, I have no wordss to even come close to what I feel. I have been the worst of worst. I am ” free “. My prayer for the world is ” love ” and “Christ”, and ” truth “. I love so much, and would die for you. Keep looking, but you won’t have to look too far. Look beside you. God Bless sweetie
Right? Here’s my question: How do you share your relationship with Jesus with them? How do you show them God’s LOVE and GRACE lived? How do you develop trusting relationships with the lost if you won’t LOOK at them? Hmm…
I believe that is what we are CALLED to do, yes? Hmm…
Attagirl, Kitty. You did beautifully. I hope it reaches the people it needs to reach.
Real GRACE here, in spite of the sanction.
REAL grace. YES!! And I believe it looks like building relationships, loving others, giving hope, forgiveness practiced, sharing truths, personal testimonies, and ultimately trust. None of which can happen through judgment, rejection, isolation. I’m stickin’ to this!! (Mwuah!)
Kathleen O'Donnell says
I know you are a woman of great faith, so this post must not have been easy to write. I commend you. You’re such a good person, you really are. I think we all have at least one story of a “good” Christian passing cruel judgment, unfortunately. I think you’re such a wonderful example for everyone, not just Christians.
Kathleen, your words are just so beautiful and encouraging. THANK YOU for your response to this difficult post. Your support means so much to me!
Chris, many of the things you talk about here – the judgements and the holier than attitude were what made me question the religion I grew up in several decades ago. To me, taught that I was basically bad and that God was watching to catch me out, it just hurt too much. Then about 10 years ago I became friendly with a female minister and her experience also growing up in a Christian family, had been very different to mine. She was taught that no matter what, Jesus loved her. And her aim was simply to spread that love and understanding.
It was healing for me to have that friend. (She moved away and we’ve since lost touch.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is: I can understand your pain, and I also think that for some people, the only way they can ever feel good enough is to put others down. The saddest thing about that is that it doesn’t work for any length of time. If someone puts others down to feel better about themselves, they have to keep doing it or their own flaws will feel unbearable. (I’ve been there too, done that, and it hurts.) Your quote: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” applies to those who also condemn others. They don’t realise what they are doing.
I love how determined you are, how you keep trying to go beyond judgement into genuine love.
There’s another aspect to all the condemnation you write about that you might find interesting. I while ago I read a book whose author went back to Aramaic, (the original language of the Bible) and translated direct to English from that – because most texts have been translated into other languages first and mis-translations occurred. I found this book really helpful in healing the old hurts I carried from childhood – and a large part of that is because from it I learned that ‘sin’ did not mean what we commonly think it does, it simply meant a mistake.
Although I do not consider myself religious, I find Jesus’s teachings to be incredibly powerful and really he says what you are saying here, that everyone is worthy of love.
Yvonne, I absolutely love you for sharing so much of your story here and for shedding light on more of what I believe to be God’s truth. I know SO many people that were hurt in some way, but other Christians who have been threatening, judgmental, and truly condemning of others and you are another example of the pain it caused you, and the harm it brought to your faith. I’m so glad you met that minister, and she showed you more about God’s LOVE and GRACE that was omitted in your upbringing. Sin is all about mistakes. I’ve always thought it was just that- and yes oh yes, there are some people that need to feel superior, that need to put people down and harshly criticize others- to feel better about themselves. None of that comes from God, but from them. The horrible consequence is that people perceive it to be from God, under the guise of Christianity- because some Christians ‘proclaim’ their attacks with His Name attached to them. Oh, that breaks my heart more than anything. I simply want to defend God’s name- people are a messed up people- I get that. I just hate when they use Christ in their assault. Sigh…
My Inner Chick says
Jesus in heaven is dancing.
The birds are singing poems.
The angels are pirouetting like Pavlova.
Kay is smiling….resting her head upon a purring lion….
because you ‘walk the walk’ thru pure LOVE.
because you judge not.
because you spread hope–NOT hatred.
because you eat with the sinners.
because you are a role-model to all of us.
because you have wings on earth.
xxxx With deep affection.
You lift my heart to new heights.
Thank you, love. <3
Sue Theimer says
Wow, Chrissy, beautifully written and you hit the bullseye with this piece!
Thanks so much for your support in this one, mom! It means so much to me! <3
I already loved you but now I love you even more!!! (not in a creepy way:)
I think I have mentioned over here before that I have a lot of issues and we don’t actually go to church right now. The worst treatment I have ever received was one Sunday in a church and I tried to get past it but really can’t.
My mom & stepdad believe that the only people going to heaven are the ones who go to the exact same type of church that they go to -they have told me that I will not be going to heaven. Since I know differently I can handle it but when they started trying to tell my boys (years ago) that asking Jesus into your heart isn’t enough and that they aren’t going to heaven I came unglued. I asked her not to say things like that to the boys because they were young and it just confused them. She refused – now we don’t speak.
Sorry for the long rant – reading your incredible words got me going.
Kim, oh how I love you for sharing such a hard and painful story here. My heart breaks reading it! I’m appalled at how your mother twisted the true Gospel into something that isn’t true, and even worse- something that not only rejects people (ESPECIALLY YOUR BOYS!) but scorns them for not going to a specific church! This makes my blood boil. I’m guessing it makes God’s blood that he shed on that cross boil too. The very blood he shed for ALL who come to His door with an open heart to accept Him in. THIS is exactly what I am passionate about changing. I’m so so sorry it dissolved your relationship with your mom. Shame on her. What a loss- and for what? I am praying that God has stepped in, and provided you with not only a mother-like person to connect with- but also more believers that truly shine God’s unconditional love for you and your boys to see.
“How did we become a people that scoffs and shames those who struggle?” Oh, how I love this!
Amen and amen!
Oh Robin! I love that you came by to read this one, and support it with your big beautiful heart! <3
To respond with this love and these open arms confirms what a grand soul you are.
Oh Sarah, thank you SO much for your precious love and support in this! And always, my friend. I adore you. <3
Ashley N. says
I’ve been convicted recently about pride as the sin that Christians carry around with them. We become prideful when we feel that we somehow deserve all that Christ has given us because we have earned it. “Taking our halo off” really resonates with me… Thanks.
It’s a convicting thought, isn’t it Ashley? I know we all need reminders about this very thing! I’m so glad you came by to read this! I wish more Christians really truly understood how much of a gift it is to be saved- and treated it as such.
These words are why I love you, Chris, and why I love reading your blog even though our faiths are different. Maybe because our faiths are different, but our Faith is the same. Does that make sense? Too many times I have felt the silent judgment of a Christian friend or acquaintance, and I don’t like the anger it provokes. Your words always soothe me, and remind me that I do not need to judge as others may judge.
This was a perfect response to the ugly comments, and proof that taking the high road is the way to go.
Dana, as always you speak my heart and your words lift me up. Do you know how much that encouragement means to me? THE. WORLD. I get it. I love that we both do. <3
Love.you. You have such beauty and love for others, and are doing God’s work. Beautifully written!
Oh Jennifer! Your beautiful encouragement means the WORLD to me, my friend! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3
I do not know what prompted this post….but WOW. Simply wow you are so insightful and truthful. SO many of us judge first and then offer salvation (Hey, I’m a Catholic we are ALL about the guilt).
I never told you, but my brother is a born-again Christian minister (Church of Christ). He posted something a few months ago that was so incredible, I wish more would think the way he does. It was about abortion. His point was that instead of protesting in front of clinics with pictures of dead babies and telling women they were going to hell that instead a better idea might be showing them a picture of your beautiful home. One that would be willing to adopt and love this child. He is about not condemning but showing alternatives.
We disagree on some of his stances, but it’s always a loving disagreement if you know what I mean.
Oh Kerri- how I just LOVE how your brother approaches that! THIS is exactly what I’m talking about!! In order for anyone to share their faith, relationships must be developed! How can we speak into lives and minister to hearts by walking away, marching picket lines and throwing threats? How on earth does that open doors to Heaven? Faith is a heart decision. It’s with hearts we must handle with the loving grace our God gives US.
(Btw- loved your Catholic line! LOLOL)
John C Harris says
I am more spiritual than christian, so let me start by saying that. I refer to myself as a “recovering catholic” because after so many years the hypocrisy of what was written and what is practiced got to the point that I felt I could no long associate myself with the church. This was a great post, but the unfortunate thing is that people who think like you are very rare. Where mistake, in my opinion, are made is the separation of church and state. Some hide behind the constitution as far as guns are concerned, yet forget the freedom from religious prosecution part when they attack others just because of how they choose to worship, which is their right as an American as much as it is their right to own 50 handguns. Hopefully those who think and write as you do will eventually win out, but I have my doubts.
John, I really appreciate your response here. You have some really interesting points, and I’m glad you shared them here to add to the dialogue on this topic. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and share your response. I’m so glad you did! And thank you, for your encouragement- lets keep hoping things will turn okay? We can always hope. <3
I am not a Christian and yet I get what you’re saying, Christine, because, believe it or not, there are people in my religion (and probably every religion) who feel the same misguided sense of superiority and the need to isolate themselves from ‘outside contaminating’ influences.
It’s sad that all great religions teach about humanity and compassion and giving, but people are so mired in the petty details that they themselves have concocted that they forget the bigger picture!
A very timely and heartfelt article!! Amen to more people reaching out to one another!! 🙂
I love love love that you get this, Roshni!! It’s so interesting to see your perspective with your faith as well. Thank you for opening up this discussion to additional faiths- I never even thought about that! I just love your insight.
Kristi Campbell says
You’re amazing my gorgeous friend. Your heart. Your words. I love this so so much and completely agree that nobody should judge – ever. It’s just wrong and until we’ve walked in somebody’s shoes, we cannot know what is going on with them but judging them is not the way of love and light. xoxo
Nope, it isn’t. And I think there is nothing more crushing than being judged outright by other people that condemn you, isolates and rejects you in any way for any reason. I may not be ‘theologically accurate’ and perhaps there are hidden details regarding ‘hanging with sinners’- but all I know is that because of hanging with sinners, they have come to know Christ. How can you hang with them, if you step AWAY from them and shake your head in condemnation? Ultimately, how on this EARTH will people know the love of Christ if we don’t show it? Hmm…
another jennifer says
Written from the heart. Love this, Chris. Amen!
Yeah… quite the heart indeed, eh? 😉 I got a bit fired up. For good reason. (Whew!)
I cannot tell you how much I love this post. I sometimes feel that we (Christians) are our own worst enemy. Instead of focusing on the work of Christ we focus on who is doing what wrong. *sigh* Let’s just do our work of loving each other here on earth and let God do the work of heaven.
I LOVE that Stephanie!!! You need to write something based on that POWERFUL statement! “Let’s just do our work of loving each other here on earth and let God do the work of heaven.” And…. GO! 😉
Hi Chris! This post must have been born out of some experiences you have had of intolerance?
I agree that halos we put on our heads are really not halos at all. They are jewelry we use ourselves to make us feel better, superior even. We shouldn’t be worried about how we look, only that we reflect the love and care of Our Lord. As you said, he didn’t make anyone feel less than…only told the truth with LOVE. And he was love. Can I say I do the same?
Ceil, I see it all the time actually. Not one particular instance, just living in the mainstream here on line (especially but everywhere really) I have been appalled at some of the things I hear/see/read… and the experience of so many people that are treated ‘less than’ because they are not Christian. I am just SO passionate about representing a LOVING God… and when I see people I know and care about treated poorly or judged by their decisions in a way that reflects more rejection than grace, it bothers me. Deeply. This one has been brewing inside of me for some time… (Hope you are enjoying your break, my friend! Miss you!)
This is so good Chris! We need to shake this “us against them” mentality and truly just love our neighbor, regardless of religion. We need to be inviting and loving to all.
AMEN Leah!! That’s the best summary I’ve seen yet! I’m so glad you came by to catch this one. I knew you would understand the message. <3
Marie Kléber says
This is the first article I read and I am glad I stoppped by cause your words are talking to me. No judgement. I think this is the key to all relationships. When I catch myself judging others, I try to remember I am not there t say what’s right or wrong, but to open my arms and welcome others. Take care. Looking forward reading you and going back in time to read your previous articles. Thanks to Kim who made me cross your road.
Hi Marie! I’m so glad you came by, and you caught quite the first article here! 😉 I love that you received it with such a heart that ‘gets it’ in regards to judging others, and that being the key to all relationships. AMEN girl. AMEN. <3
Keep reading! This post was a bit more fired up, than how I usually write. SO glad Kim sent you this way!
Christine, I applaud much of your article and your call to Christians to get our hands dirty and get in the game. However, I do take issue with your interpretation of being “of” the world. Jesus didn’t see it that way, and we should be careful to look through His lens and understanding, and not our own, including how we choose our words to inspire others to action. Take the time to read this article from John Piper, because there are some things Jesus is calling us to, and in fact are our identity in Christ, when it comes to this important topic. But, I’m with you in the call to action and to be “in” the world as salt, light, and making a difference.
Hello Aaron! I really appreciate your insight in this, and I read the article you referred to in your comment. Thank you for giving me more to chew on, with this and sharing more truth that I didn’t quite understand. Because you took the time, and so respectfully and clearly pointed me toward learning more specifically about this detail, I was able to grow my own understanding of this particular “of versus in the world” focus. I will need to look deeper into this to truly get the difference between ‘of’ and ‘in’… but I am trying!
a wanderer says
Greetings and good health,
I have reached out many times and not only my hands, but my feet too have been devoured. There I follow those whom the world the worthy of, in the Bible. After much thoughtful consideration a good Biblical hermit is my aim. What is often missed is that the so-called sinners Christ ate with were in fact repent sinners, a certain and sound requirement for fellowship. To not judge is to be understood as not condemning, it goes without saying that we should hope and pray for everyone to repent of evil before it is too late. But there is the mandate to be fruit inspectors, and also the red letter bibles show us in bright words to in fact have proper judgment. If we carefully put in an honest balance such ideas we shall find the weightier is certainly on resisting evil, its modern expressions being beyond imagination. It is clear what kind of people we should be and how totally far gone the world is. Then there is what passes for churches out there, so unfathomably insane. As far as lighthouses go, they are pagan and good Christians are known to put them down. The good Christians I know offer the good teachings example that opinions are the mother of suffering. Instead of rights (which are easily lost) we should be interested in doing our duty and responsibilities, which we can count upon being worthwhile, where as that is not the case with false notions such as rights. Whatever people want to believe is life-giving, peaceful and consistent with goodness is their choice to be sure, but the truth is self-evident and speaks for itself along these lines. The word love is passed around way too often, counterfeited constantly and is disappearing. If anyone were to be serious about going to heaven they will be there. Reality is that the road down to hell is broad, few go upwards. Many will be told they never knew Him. Get ready now, the end is nearer than ever. Thankfully Christ conquered the cross for anyone willing to follow Him. By all means, let us give ourselves to this world, a few will come to their senses. Let us precisely recognize what that is. I make every effort to respond half-way sensible emails.
forgive me your brother any offenses
A wanderer, I truly appreciate your thoughtful comment. Your experience, and your faith are evident in all your share here. I’m saddened that you have the aim to become a ‘biblical hermit’ and that your hands and feet have been devoured when you tried to reach out to others. I don’t know what you endured, but I am sorry you have had such a horrible experience in this area. I wish you peace, but also wish you to reach out to people with your heart and connect with others not to push the gospel, but to love them solely because God wants us to love others. In doing so, I’ve found they will see God in you- and grow to have the desire to know Him because of your love.
This simple request: “Take off your halo, and reach out your hand.” Awesome, Chris! I’m thankful for the long, sin-filled life I lived before I became a Christian :). I can truly relate to anyone no matter where they have been and what they have done. I also am well aware that I’m still a sinner and always will be. Thank you for this heartfelt request for us all to remember who we are and who we should be emulating.
I love love love your response to this post, Candice! I’m so thankful for Christians like you that have such a beautiful, genuine heart of giving and grace! I am also so grateful that I too, can use my past pain and struggles to relate to anyone in many ways… our mission begins with relationships, yes? I want so badly, for all Christians to be aware of that. And more…
My Dear Sister:You are truly a blessing! I started writing a book six years ago. I am not a writer.An autobiography, based mostly o alcoholism and recovery. I stopped writing, due to an accident with my son. Twenty one at the time, poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire. He survived, but did pass away, due to complications later. One month before he had accepted Christ. As a Christian, my faith declined. Shortly after, my husband passed away. I lost my home, my car. Relocating and having complete isolation something urged my to start writing again. Barely having enough to eat, let alone funds to edit, did it myself. Which mean I had to review it myself. My primary goal was to teach love, acceptance, truth and my love for God and Jesus. I have always been a light through adversity. But what I have gained latThereely has no words. There is not enough time to explain my past. But it was terrible. Even as a Christian. My Father in heaven and Christ and the Holy Spirit have shown me how to love again. Real love to were I almost can’t breathe. O have been looking for Truth in the scriptures, I have been persecuted by other Christians that say I have no right to yalk to unbelievers.. I am not a preacher, bit I am looking for truth. All I feel is the most unconditional love, that I have been searching for almost 40 years. Iam 52. I feel no mor anget. I do feel pain without loss of love. If we can not reach those who are in pain without hope or love who do we share HIS glory with? I never thought I could feel again. I never thoughtGod would come back. But it was Him who was with me along. It was his Grace that brought me back. Never has before. Love is the key to truth. I am grateful and blessed to have found you here. You are special and I love you. When Isee hate, I give love. It stops people in their tracts. You can feel it. I pray for this among amything. God bless us all. May God work in our lives through llove and truth. For the first time iny life I CTY tears of jpy!
Cheryl, I’m honored that you came by to share such a powerful and heartbreakingly beautiful testimony! You have a heart, treasured by God. Your passion is contagious and your love for the Lord is mighty! May He continue to bless you with His deep love and healing light, my friend. Carry on, soldier. I’m proud to call you sister and friend. Keeping your passionate fire: “When I see hate, I give love.” We need more people like YOU in this world. <3
I apologize for the typos. I was crying so hard when I was writing. You really touched my heart and spirit. I found what I was praying for. Thank you for your kindness. I have been led to do some things, now I know I have to. God bless you
Oh Cheryl!! No apologies necessary, my love! Your words were beautiful and so raw and real and inspiring! I am so so grateful you came by to share your heart with me, and I am thanking God for scooping you up straight into His arms!! Be BLESSED, my friend. You blessed ME with your testimony! <3
I read your daughters angel encounter on HP and checked out your site again. I love this post and must say I no longer consider myself “Christian” because, here in America the word is associated with hateful words and worse deeds.
I believe in God and Jesus, and try to treat others with the respect. It pains me to say my sister, who recently passed away became “one of those” Christians who judged even us. Just makes me sad. I appreciate the courage and open spirit it took to write this post!
Michelle, it is SO lovely to meet you!! Did you tweet me too? If so, I couldn’t reply to your tweet because you don’t follow me on twitter apparently! 🙁
I’m so glad to find another soul who gets this. <3 I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. It saddens me so much, when people shadow Christ's Light and Love and GRACE.
Thank you SO much for coming by 'my place' and here's to sharing God's Love to all!!
I really thought I WAS following you on Twitter. It has been rectified. My bad 🙁 Thank you for your gracious response. You seem to be an amazing and gentle spirit. Thanks again!
As do YOU, my friend. As do YOU! So glad to connect on TWITTER now. 🙂