It appears to be popular these days to take the worst examples of “Christians” and talk as if all of us are that way.
That’s absolutely ridiculous.
I was reading the news the other day and something extremely obvious hit me. I am actually a little embarrassed to admit I haven’t really thought about it before. The news exists to let us know what is abnormal. The latest headline isn’t “Oxygen is still present on earth!” or “Expect to see a human tomorrow!” No, they usually maximize what isn’t normal or what isn’t commonly known. This can be good, but there are times media obsesses over something for such a long time we begin to think the rare or abnormal is the norm!
I was reading an article condemning people of faith. As the article was describing these people who I am sure do exist I thought to myself, in all my years of attending church I have never, ever met anyone like that, and I’ve encountered thousands of Christians. I can’t recall ever personally meeting someone as nasty as this article described “people of faith.” I have only READ about them. Again, I am sure they do exist! The news can’t stop talking about them.
Clearly, one wouldn’t want to define the worth of medicine by the five hundred craziest doctors. There are some insane stories throughout history of “advanced” medicine doing some atrocious things! I would never define the worth of medicine by the crazy few who abused and twisted the healthy intent of medicine.
Maybe instead of defining faith by the worst examples in history of religious expression we should look at THE example – Jesus. Don’t define faith by the weirdos. Define it by looking at the life and words of Jesus. That’s the gold standard, not the straw-man weirdo you read about in the news!
So, according to Jesus, the gold standard, and his teachings what should TRUE religion look like?
We are to take care of the poor and the orphans and hold ourselves to a Christ like moral code. (James 1:27) The way we are to do this is with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) If people don’t like us (and they won’t) we are to love them and pray for them. (Matthew 5:44) Jesus also wants us to live forever with him which is gained by trusting in his work. (Romans 6:23)
It’s easy to hate any group when you put a magnifying glass on their worst examples, but it’s the normal, loving, gracious Christians I see serving the poor in the city and donating incredible amounts of money to help those who have so little. It’s the normal Christians who help fund humanitarian work or go themselves to help. It’s the normal Christians who teach English to immigrants and help them acclimate in a way that is beneficial for all. It’s the normal Christians who work to obey Christ and trust in him with a right spirit and attitude.
But, alas, you won’t read about them in the news. Why? Because they are the normal ones.
I can’t tell you how much I wish we could put a magnifying glass on all the great Christians. The ones who truly do work to live like Christ! I wish people would share stories about the great things that Jesus has done in so many lives!
So here is a place to start.
How about an amazing story of adoption?
What about people who had their lives devastated by tragedy?
Or someone loving a veteran?
This is why I love normal Christians!
Take a moment and share something positive! The world needs it.
Please consider helping us push a positive message! The world needs Jesus.