Well, after a week, the attacks on my character continue on this crazy blog thread. I’ve learned my lesson that it’s not just news stories that have ignorant asinine comments. Even the “Christian ones” do. But this started when I made the mistake of challenging a “brother’s” comments in regards to specific dealings with outsiders. I was shocked at his condemning and self-righteous tone. That unleashed a war of words that I wasn’t expecting.
But again my concern is:
- How we represent Christ to the world
- How we raise a standard that we often fail to abide by ourselves
- How we can manipulate the Word to guilt or scare people into following Christ
- How we can expect the average “outsider” to understand our King James rants from an ancient book that they don’t subscribe to
It would be the equivalent to a Hindu chastising me because I ate a Whopper Jr. with cheese yesterday, or a Muslim getting aggravated over me eating bacon, especially during Ramadan. They have no “authority” to claim over me because neither represents my faith in Jesus Christ. This does not mean I believe that all religions are all equal. I’m talking about perspective. Here are some of the retorts:
“Well the Word of God is meant to cut and divide”
Yes, I see the metaphor of the sword in Ephesians 6 as describing our spiritual battles whether offense or defense. But I don’t see Bible being used as weapons against people, as much as against practices and ideologies that directly oppose Scripture.
While we do follow Christ and try to abide by His Word, that in no way makes us superior or gives us one up on the world. We act as if though we deserve what we have and that we had a part to play in the redemption of mankind.
The Gospel is not a chainsaw meant to destroy, hurt, and maim. It’s is God’s love letter to all people. In it is explained our lostness without Christ and the way to get back to the Father. The Bible explains God’s character and nature, and how we are to conduct our lives. His gentle, precise work in us would probably be better represented by a scalpel in the hands of a healing Surgeon.
You dismiss the truth simply because of the way it’s presented?
Yes, I took exception to his brazen and belligerent tone. He told me regardless, that his method doesn’t diminish or water down the Word like I do.
Ok, first of all…his insensitivity and indignation is enough to turn me off as a fellow believer. How much more an outsider? Is it possible that we can present the truth but yet taint and distort it’s message through our attitude, tone of voice, and body language? I was told that we’re not called to “win people over, gain their respect, or become their friends.” I’m pretty sure that not only did Christ establish his credibility through healing, casting out demons, raising the dead, and feeding the masses, he also connected with people through respect, kindness, mercy, and demonstrations of God’s unconditional love; otherwise known as a relationship. He was also willing to let people go so that they could think about it, and hopefully follow Him.
I “water down the word?” Can anyone please tell me what a parable is? Possibly a simpler version or explanation of deeper godly truth so that everyday outsiders can understand it? I asked an oncologist friend of mine if a child’s dosage of chemotherapy was the same as an adult’s. He said absolutely not and that it was scaled down. The result could be devastating and actually fry a child’s internal organs, resulting in death. How do we expect people who aren’t even spiritual infants yet to comprehend the sacredness of God’s Word?.
You compromisers are so busy being trying to be politically correct and make the Gospel more attractive.
There is a vast difference between being politically correct and culturally sensitive. I don’t kowtow to ideological agendas but I do respect differences between people groups and I want to convey that, yes, I am trying to build a bridge and understand where they’re coming from…not embracing their dogmas.
God doesn’t need our public relations help. In fact, there are probably times He shakes His head and wishes we wouldn’t drop His name, not in association with our foolishness anyways. God can speak for Himself as well as His Word and is plenty appealing on His own. The delivery is another story. I may have a great experience at a furniture store with their pleasant associates but want to kick the delivery guy in the butt for being dour and nicking my walls. I believe that people can totally disregard or miss the Message because of the way we present it; are we reflecting Christ or presenting our own punitive version of Him? The Gospel doesn’t need to be more attractive…we do.
Let’s not wave the Truth around based on our own insecure standing with God. That may simply be a cover up for our own arrogance, displeasure with people and discomfort with their behavior. We need to be careful because just as we point our swords at other people, it’s pointing back at us “discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Are we ready to be put under the microscope as well?
If the gospel or the cross are supposed to be offensive, then let them be offensive…not us. God knows what He’s doing. Let’s follow the instruction manual. “He treated the outsiders exactly as he treated us, beginning at the very center of who they were and working from that center outward, cleaning up their lives as they trusted and believed him” (Acts 15:9).