When did bold Christianity become bully Christianity?

When did bold Christianity become bully Christianity?

I think it’s so interesting how our wonderful religious freedom has developed an unintended long-term consequence. Now, I love this freedom! It is truly what defines us as a people and culture. The consequence is some Christians now believe our beliefs should also be a legal requirement for others as well, and their method to attain control is harsh and condemning.

Ok, now that every Christian on the planet is mad at me, let me move to a different social context to explain this idea.

Imagine a missionary, only this one looks like Rambo. He sports a machine gun, massive muscles, and fights like a ninja. Oh yeah, and he is a Christian too. Pretend this guy goes from city to city with his brute force and makes everyone act like him. He then creates laws that force people to worship just like he does.

Is this evangelism? Well, actually no, he may have forced people into a behavior, but he doesn’t have their hearts. Sound familiar? It should, there are religions all around the world that do this. Christians can even fall into this when confidence in Christ’s ability to change someone’s heart turns to fear that they will lose social control. Here is the catch. God doesn’t want just social order, which is important; he wants the hearts of the people. Remember Christ came as a baby boy, not a spiritual Rambo forcing all to obey. There are many Christians who don’t understand that they are unintentionally acting just like the Pharisees they speak against. So why does this happen? These people value what they believe works for the state, or organization, over its individuals.  You are probably thinking, “What does that have to do with anything?”  Pay close attention to this next quote.

C.S. Lewis says it like this: “If individuals live only seventy years, a state, or a nation, or a civilization, which may last for a thousand years, is more important than the individual. But if Christianity is true, then the individual is not only more important but incomparably more important, for he is everlasting and the life of a state or a civilization, compared with his, is only a moment.”

So here is the bottom line. If we as Christians fought for the hearts of people as much as we fight for Biblical control, we would look more like Christ intended us to. Standing for truth is important, but we must never forget our method of doing so is important as well. We fight for that which lasts forever. People.  Actually Jesus says it best: “…You have neglected the more important matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23 NIV)  Do you notice how these are personal and powerful LAWS given from God that show love for the individual? The amazing thing is when we win the hearts of people… we also get the order.

Let that sink in for a moment…

8 thoughts on “When did bold Christianity become bully Christianity?

  1. Thanks for the post Pastor Mike, especially the quote by C.S. Lewis. It raises the debate to a higher standard. As Christians we should not target the perfect society now but rather souls that hearts may be devoted to Jesus. It is strange… if the heart is devoted to Jesus then there may not be need to change the law to make people do what God is already leading them to do.

  2. I developed a tagline for myself after coming through a season of hurt that goes something like this: “God calls me not to a specific task, but rather to a task that allows me to show Christ more fully and personally to the people around me through my obedience to Him! God’s purpose is not the program; it’s the the people He wants to reach and how through my obedience, they will see the divine hand of God in their own lives.” People not Programs.

  3. Okay first of all TOTALLY did not know you had a WordPress blog! Great post. I’ve been thinking the same thing: When did the word “Christian” become “judgmental, hypocritical, anti-everything, all-around horrible person”? Because according to my Twitter feed and every online forum ever, that is the definition! I can’t pinpoint when this happened but it hit me the other day exactly what you said above about the Pharisees. It seems the media only covers the crazy ones who sound like a redneck version of them:) Yikes. It’s so difficult to “Love thy neighbor” when all your neighbors scream and mock everything you believe because their information comes from the nutjobs they see on TV. Sigh. Oh, and also: Is that Noah in the picture?? Or Nate? Because that little face sure looks familiar:-) Love the blog, Mike! I hope we come to visit soon!!!

  4. Thanks Jessie, yeah it’s fun. I haven’t been doing it very long but I do enjoy it!

    As to the picture:
    It’s Nate! They grow up too fast.

    As to balance of Truth and Grace:
    It’s as simple as this: Humanity wants freedom to do whatever seems right at that moment. This honestly almost leads to existential nihilism. The only answer is an ethical guide that supersedes perspective. Humanity hates exactly what it needs. The truth of a divine guide is hard to swallow and at the same time great news!

  5. It is fascinating how current this is. Debra and I had a discussion with a Wesleyan Church leader who thinks that because God calls Christians to charity and hospitality that the federal government should pass LAWS making that a mandatory requirement on all people. He argues we should all be forced to provide hospitality and benevelonce through the police state. It shows how grace and truth can become bullying on massive scale in a blink of an eye.

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