I am a Christian, at least based on my understanding of what a Christian is; a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings. (Definition pulled from Google instant answer. For a more biblical answer to what being a Christian is, I found an amazing blog post) But, because most people’s understanding “definition” is so generic, it is allowing people to build a foundation around a word or phrase, rather than a specific belief system and way of life(or The Word)! As I say “belief system” I am talking about the belief that we are saved by the sacrifice of Jesus.
I feel the term “Christian” is being over-used by people who aren’t willing to live their life by the guidelines left for us.
I am not an expert on the Bible, I get it! BUT, I’m pretty confident in saying there’s a 99.9% chance no one on earth was around when it was written. I say that because it is words on paper, like paint on a canvas, everyone’s perception of the Bible is a little different in one way or another.
I saw an image online a few weeks ago that explained it. “Being a Christian means doing the right thing for the right reason, celebrating life and loving everyone.” To me this is simple. They left out getting saved/baptized, but think about it. If everyone on earth lived with this mindset would we not be collectively happier?
Unfortunately, we are stuck in a very different world. Between being uneducated and being closed minded we fight over things we shouldn’t even be talking about.
What should we be talking about or living like?
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, because his is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap for the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I shared that passage because it is (in my opinion) the breakdown of the life we should live as true Christians.
I know we can open “The Book” and pick out different verses to argue ANY point in life. To be honest, some of us “Christians” do that 7 days a week. I’ve used a verse or two in the past to make a point but the Bible is not what I wanted to talk about.
Another reason I shared the passage above is because I wanted to make a point. The Bible does not tell you to hate those who sin. Unfortunately we have used a few bible verses to fight their point of view. I wanted to write this post to spotlight something that I feel we, as Christians, don’t realize.
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
The thing I feel we, as Christians, should understand is this:
When we post Bible verses such as Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” or Leviticus 18:22 “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable”, we are doing so saying those who commit these sins are “destined” for hell and some are using these to “hate” those who do.
When we use Bible verses to back our personal beliefs and not 100% those of God’s Word, we are using the Lords Name in vain. If you live the life where you do not sin and want to make others aware of their sins to help guide them to God, fine. But, I’m pretty sure you, along with me and every other human, don’t live a sin free life.
The bible clearly states “for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
“And so I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy. But blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven”
If you want to come down on people for “sinning”, talk to everyone because “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
I could be wrong, but if we ALL (yes, even those who do not believe and have yet to feel the power of God work in their life) live our lives as God tells us to in Luke 6:27-38 (listed above) I believe we will see a change in the world.
Hatred for something you do not understand is sin. When you refuse to love, it is that in which God sees the black in our hearts.
I am not saying that it doesn’t say in the Bible that “homosexuality” isn’t a sin but the next time you say “God made Adam and Eve and NOT Adam and Steve” remember … God made Steve too! I also want to state that “WE” are not the gate-keeper. Until the time we make it to the gates of Heaven, no one knows who is in “The Book of Life”.
If you feel as if you have sinned and want to ask God to come into your life and want to accept Jesus as your savior please look into this prayer. If you have questions or just want to talk please shoot me a message on twitter (@cjhallock)
Even if people sin, regardless of the sin, we should love them. Jesus didn’t walk away from sinners, he wanted to be around them and love them. Shouldn’t we do the same?
I leave you with a quote from a good friend of mine. This is something he said as we had an impromptu Bible Study as I was prepping for this post.
“As a Christian community we are failing because we are not showing the love of Christ” – Richard Keen
Thank You for taking the time to read this. If you liked it please feel free to share with anyone who might need to hear/read this.
Also, if you find that I have missed a point or misquoted a verse please let me know. I have used “Today’s New International Version” for verses listed above.