Lately, I’ve been nursing some bitterness against Christians as a Christian myself.
What is going on, Church? What have we become?
To be fair, I entered into Christianity on a sour note. Southern Baptist Sunday School with a sister minority component called Grace Chinese Church smackdab in northwest Arkansas. We were always divided by gender for Sunday School, and people always wondered, “Where are you from, really?” Mars, apparently.
It’s really nothing new, discrimination in the South. However, at Grace Chinese Church, things were different. The community wasn’t nicer or more well-respected. We didn’t have more or less of anything than anyone else. In fact, some people were downright vicious. Never underestimate the tightiness of an Asian American community in the deep South. Don’t underestimate the amount of gossip either. No, it wasn’t the community. It was the way God moved, the way he transformed jealousy and lust into something almost divine. How gentleness challenged the most calloused person into reflecting on change.
People are horrible. I’m horrible. It was the overwhelming majority that nailed Jesus to a cross. They called him a blasphemer. They called him crazy. His closest friends deserted him, one of them even cursing his name. Time after tried time, we betray, lie and cower.
This is my beef. If we are all so detestable and crazy, who among us can judge? Who among us can say to another human being they are so much more sinful or disgusting than the rest of us? We can’t. We shouldn’t. Yet, so many of us do and call it Christianity, we condemn others and say it in the name of God. We convince ourselves all our actions are justified, somehow sweeter.
Wars have been launched in God’s name. Crusades. Genocide and hate crimes. What are we doing to the name of God? Christians are desecrating it for selfish purposes. Why, because one person feels a bit uncomfortable? Because one person looks a little bit different or thinks a bit differently, we think we can persecute them?
Christians aren’t better people. Just forgiven.
Today, I’m going to share God the only way I know how. To give love and respect. Not necessarily to shout at people or tell them all the ways they are wrong, but find ways to live out light. In the 33 years of Jesus’ life, he spent 30 years preparing and 3 years on missions. So much of faith is personal, hidden in the quiet and discovered through prayer. People are only willing to listen when you first take the chance to listen to them. In God’s eyes, we are all made in the image of Him.
The next time you talk down to someone, demean them or sneer at them, remember that if you’re a Christian, you believe that each person is God’s workmanship and masterpiece. When you deface them, you are dishonoring God.