Christians have had a bad rep. I will tell you why.
There are several definitions of religion out there, but the one I’m referring to is the kind that JUDGES if you do not follow a certain set of “rules.”
When we have to classify ourselves to the IRS, we have to classify ourselves as a “religious organization.”
I despise that word…religion. In fact, I hate it.
This is what religion does:
- It tears apart the relationship you could have with God
- It tears apart the relationship you could have with other people
- It does not produce a spirit of love
There is a whole chapter in the Bible where Jesus criticizes RELIGIOUS leaders. In fact, in most of Matthew 23, Jesus says when there is religion, SORROW awaits.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:27-28
Did you read that? He calls religious people HYPOCRITES. And says they are filled with IMPURITY.
Recently, a high profile, wealthy, Christian pastor was ridiculed for decisions he made after the hurricane events and it’s got me a little riled. The criticism comes from all angles, INCLUDING Christians.
It’s got me riled because they claim we need to live in “love,” but surely do not act out in love by making these huge judgments against other Christians whom they do not know. I once made the same judgment and boy – did the Holy Spirit correct me of this religious thought.
Some may ask me, well if you’re not religious, then what are you?
What am I? Truth is, I’m really NOTHING without JESUS.
As someone who was atheist and now Christian, I’d like to set the record straight regarding a few pre-conceived ideas about Christians you may not have been aware.
Not All Christians are Hypocrites
Not all of us are religious. Which means not all of us are hypocrites. Some of us are full of the Spirit and will hear from the Spirit and be lead by love in the Spirit the best way we know how. Sometimes we are prone to mistakes, and will humbly take fault where we are wrong. Purity does not mean perfection. Purity comes from a heart of desiring to know God in all aspects of our lives.
Some Christians are Wealthy…like Extremely Wealthy (not all are middle class or poor)
In terms of wealth, there is this faulty belief Christians should live a “humble” life. It’s true Jesus desires humility, however the humbleness he longs for us to carry comes the heart, not from human possessions. There are over 2000 scripture verses on finances and if someone should steward their finances well by living out the Word of God, then it should come as no surprise God will bless them so well they won’t even know how to store their blessings (Malachi 3:10). Jesus came on earth to bear our sins, so that we may prosper. Why is it hard to believe that we can prosper in ALL areas of our lives, including wealth?
We are all led by the Holy Spirit in different ways
Some Christians drink alcohol, some don’t. Some believe in assisted suicide, and others do not. The Bible is not super clear on some of these issues. Whether a person chooses to drink or not, it’s not up to us to control them with unsolicited advice on how they should lead their lives. People were given free will since Adam and Eve, and God will not take away someone’s free will. Our number one priority when living for Jesus is to live out in love. Correction based on love can come from a biblical perspective, but must be led by the Spirit. I have been in situations where the Spirit has led me to use strong biblical foundations to correct Christian believers whom I’ve already built a loving & trusting relationship with.
God knows we all have different struggles, and I’m grateful He meets us exactly where we are. You don’t have to be on a “fast track” to know Him. He will meet you right where you are, broken, maybe even using drugs (ask me for my testimony).
Thank Jesus for that.