Again – this is just my opinion.
But in my opinion, people don’t want to follow Christ because the people preaching about following Christ come off as more judgmental and unaccepting than unbelievers. I mean come on – would you really want to follow a group that immediately bashes and condemns you for the way you live or follow the other group (the world) that let’s you live freely?
Now by no means am I promoting athiesm or any other religion besides Christianity. I consider myself to be a Christian.
But what I’ve seen both in and out of churches since I was a child is depressing. It is truly discouraging!
It for sure wouldn’t want to make me follow Christ.
People saying to go follow God at one point then going home to yell at their wife later that same day. Or people reciting scriptures at homosexuals walking down the street showing them that God doesn’t approve of the way they are living, but not caring to have a conversation with the homosexuals and see just in fact who they are.
I can go on and on about this. But in short – I am disappointed.
I am very disappointed in the church because some pastors and leaders don’t want to step down from their role as a leader and understand that to reach unbelievers you have to think like an unbeliever. We all on earth die and meet God one day, so no person on earth is better than the next.
God, ultimately, has the key to each and every one of our lives. He decides when we die and where we spend eternity.
But in order to get on God’s good side so that we can spend eternity with Him, we have to get in relationship with Him. Just like we get on the good side of the unbelievers and believers as well – to get in relationship with them.
To show them that we care about them, regardless of their life choices, background, socioeconomic status, whatever!
We care about the person God created.
Instead of throwing up a sign showing scriptures where God condemns the homosexual, throwing down the sign and asking the homosexuals how they are doing. Or if there is anything you could help them with. By no means accept or glorify there way of living, but accept them as God’s creations. Show them that you care.
This may shock a homosexual to see a Christian walk right out of church and just say to them, “How are you doing today?” or “Have a good day!” They may be like “Where’s the bashing and throwing of Bible verses against the way I’m living?”
They may know certain Bible verses better than you do because they’ve heard them screamed at them and/or on signs pointed against them multiple times.
No Jesus talk or scripture versus – just a conversation.
If they allow it or have the time, share your story. Maybe let them know where you grew up, what you do for work, how many kids you have and hear about them. Or the other way around; they could speak first.
You see, I believe a relationship first starts with getting to know the person. Sharing your story and hearing theirs. To understand who they are, they’re interests, passions, desires, etc. If you like them you stick around and if you don’t – well you move on. But unfortunately for us Christians we can’t just move on. We are required to love any and everybody; regardless if they like what you like or not. Regardless to if they follow God or not.
Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners
Mark 2:13-17 (New International Version)
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.”
Jesus did it. So we should too.
So, as Christians, as we begin to build relationships with unbelievers and believers too who may not share the same interests then we do, we connect. I believe everyone can find some common ground if they try. Maybe places you’ve lived or traveled to, foods you enjoy, or music you like. Once you find that common ground then BAM!
The relationship begins and you truly connect. Not as unbeliever and believer, but as creation to creation. Two beings God loved and created with love sharing fellowship and love with one another.
Thus trust builds and you may begin to open up more. Sharing the heavy, deep and personal stuff. The stuff they would only trust sharing to a close friend or loved one. Just like you would after you enter into a serious relationship with a friend at school or work or a family member.
We have to remember that we all sin and no sin is greater than the other. Yes, you may have stopped drinking or looking at pornography, but that doesn’t make you better than someone who is an alcoholic or looks at pornoprahy everyday. That just makes you more capable to help them and bring them to the Father. You now have a duty to fulfill. But it all starts in first building a relationship with them and then trusting that other person with the personal details of your life.
So when you want to glorify your son for getting his first piece of action before marriage, but yell at the homosexual walking down the street, remember that both persons are committing sin. You as well by yelling at the homosexual.
Sorry for bringing up homosexual so much. I just read a blog about this Christian mom blogger who married a woman and was reading some comments from others. Comments that really engraged me!
People believing that they have the right to judge her based off of her decision. Christians I might add. What did Jesus say again in John 8:7 (English Standard Version):
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Yes, the way she is living may be wrong in the eyes of God. But what right do you have to bash this woman for her actions? Why don’t you pray for her or reach out to her. Build a relationship with her as a friend if she will allow it.
Then after you’ve taken time to build that friendship and relationship let her know how she is living is wrong in the eyes of God. She may listen more then because she knows you care about her as a person and values your relationship. She knows that you will still love her even if she doesn’t change her ways and that your urging is out of love and not hate. But through the whole relationship never stop praying for her.
Through being in a relationship with her you may better understand why she made that decision in her life. In turn, through much time spent in relationship and much time spent in prayer and God’s Word, she just may turn back to God and leave this woman. But it doesn’t start by you hating; it starts by you loving. Just as God has continued to love you though you’ve sinned against Him more times than you can count in your life.
I urge everyone to be careful and tread lightly before they judge someone else. I may tell my younger brother or sister something they are doing I don’t like or isn’t Biblical, but I first entered into a relationship with them. So they know my disapproval is out of love and not hate.
That, I believe, is what Christians need to do more of today. I wholeheartedly believe more people would come to the faith if people allowed whatever suffering God wanted to enter their lives, to enter it. Because not only does God speak highly of suffering in Romans 5:3-5, He knows that it molds us humans into the character God sees fit, honorable and desirable.
Though we don’t see empathy in the Bible, sympathy is in the Bible and I believe God views it the same.
If you allow God to let you suffer; by finally allowing those hurts from your childhood to surface and not pushing them back down with bad relationships, premarital sex, drugs, alchohol or whatever. But rather embrace Him through His Word daily your life will be transformed.
Trust me. I believe it!
That hate and judgment you may have had towards those homosexuals may turn into love and understanding as God reveals to you that you once had homosexual thoughts as a child. Thus making you more understanding and caring for that other persons situation. Not only that, but they will have more of a desire to be in relationship with you and listen to you.
I think Rick Warren had a great quote that said:
“People don’t care to listen until they know that you care.”
I believe that to be very true indeed!
So, we as a Church have to do better. We have to do better at allowing God to allow the necessary suffering in our lives to mold us into who God wants us to be. So that no force the enemy throws at us can take hold over us like it used to because as we see in Mark 7:21 the sinful desires we have externally, come from within. And the Devil knows that and He knows exactly what triggers to throw at you to make you fall back into his trap.
But if we, as a world – both Christians and unbelievers – get into God’s Word daily; just a chapter a day, we can take down the devil!
The enemy can no longer throw certain women at you like he used to because you stayed in God’s Word daily and God brought out your desire to find love since your parents divorced when you were just a child. Which is why you keep chasing women. The enemy can no longer make you crave alcohol and abuse your wife like you used to because God brought out your anger towards your alcoholic father for beating you and your mom when you were younger. Thus making you abuse your wife and turn to alcohol as you thought you’d grow up to be no better than him.
God wants to bring all of that mess out and heal you!
Like I said before, God wants to turn your mess into a message.
– Rick Warren
As we get in His Word daily and cast out everything we are feeling on God and build that relationship with Him, He will take us through many seasons of suffering I believe, but He will carry us through each one. No doubt in my mind.
Suffering with a purpose.
Seasons of suffering in your life that will allow you to grow in areas you may have never imagined. Suffering that will give you more sympathy and understanding for others and their situations. Suffering that will give you wisdom and understanding, which God cares more about than the money in your bank account or the mansion you live in. We can see that in Proverbs 16:16 (New International Version)
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!”
It’s time people – I feel it!
Let’s all put down the weed, put down the alcohol and put away the bad relationships. The temporary fixes that have suppressed pain in your life for many years and get us nowhere. The temporary fixes that always have us craving for more, but in turn never getting us anywhere, but craving the next “fix.”
It’s time to finally move past them for good!
Let’s pick up our Bible’s and begin a relationship with The Lord. Just a chapter a day; that’s all I ask.
It will get tough – trust me. But it will be well worth it in the end.
One day all our lights will shine for Jesus (Matthew 5:16). People who’ve been abandoned by a loved one, but picked up their Bible a chapter a day will be able to understand how to help bring others to the faith who have been abandoned by a loved one. People who felt homosexual as a child will be able to bring other persons with homosexual desires to the faith as they pick up their Bible daily. People who were in a gang, addicted to alcohol, abused, raped, etc will all be brought to the faith. But it starts with you and me just reading one chapter a day.
Because my story can only reach so many people. I’ve never been in a gang before, but maybe you have. I’ve never been shot before, but maybe you have. I’ve haven’t lost both patents, but maybe you have. I’ll never be a woman, so I won’t understand any of what they go through.
I’m saying this to say people who are in a gang or been in one before or people who have been shot before or lost both parents need to hear your story. Women and men both!
They need to hear your testimony of how you made it out or through that tough time in your life. So that they can connect with what you say and for you to encourage and motivate them to turn their lives around.
Allowing God to transform our hurts and pains into our story. Our testimony that others will be able to connect with. Then in turn want to know how we beat it. How we got over abandonment, abuse, neglect, rape, etc. Which in turn you will have no choice but to tell them…Jesus.
And staying in His Word a chapter a day. Building a relationship with Him.
I live in San Francisco and the Big team out here is the Golden State Warriors. Well I believe it’s time to build a new Warrior powerhouse.
Warriors for Jesus! (That may have sounded corney to you, but hey – it sounded good to me).
Jesus needs warriors like you and me to help Him. To help build The Kingdom. To take down the enemy and his evil traps and bring souls back to Christ.
To help bring people to Him by laying down our lives.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
– Matthew 16:25 (New International Version)
So let’s all lose our life for Christ, so that we may find it in Him. It not only has a benefit here on earth, but in eternity as well!
Heaven will rejoice greatly if we let our lights shine for Christ!
Luke 15:7 (New International Version)
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
God will be very proud and we will have fulfilled His Greatest Commandment.
“God, thank you for putting this on my heart and mind to share. Please let others see the value in turning to you Father. Help other Christians not make you look bad Father as we all our representing you Lord. For some, we may be the only Christian another person may ever come into contact with in their lives. So please help us glorify and represent you in a way you’d be proud. Help us love your creations better. Help us lay down our lives for your sake Lord. Help us endure whatever suffering you see fit to get closer to you and become stronger for you Lord. We love you and we thank you Father for your Son Jesus Christ and sending Him to die on the cross for our sins. In Jesus name, Amen.”