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Are You A Christian? Are You Really Showing Christ's Love?

With the way things are going I've decided that it's time to update this one. I spent a lot of time working on it. As you can see, I'm still working on it. I’m not trying to cause fights, I’m really not, but I feel that this needs to be said, and since I haven’t seen many people saying it, I’m going to say it. You can even say I feel lead to say it.

 I’ve always been a very shy person, afraid to give my opinion, but I've quickly overcome that. I have last year's election and Trump’s subsequent win to thank for that. I guess I found one good thing to come from that fiasco?

I am a Christian. I have been my entire life. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God. In elementary school I was an acolyte at the Methodist church my neighbor used to take me to every Sunday. In middle school I would hide in my room to avoid my mother’s verbal and emotional abuse. I would spend hours just reading and studying my Bible. My dad was a pastor and when my mom finally let us spend weekends with him we would spend countless amounts of time discussing theology and what it means to be a good Christian, in high school I taught the Sunday school class at my dad’s church, and as an adult I led the praise and worship service there. I am a Christian. I am a Christian that doesn’t understand how someone that claims to be a Christian and to follow Jesus can seem to be so against His teachings.

I honestly don't know if it's always been this way or if I'm finally opening my eyes to it, but I feel like the world is in a very bad place right now.

 I’m not just saying that. Open the news and what do you see? There are articles after article of someone killing someone else, of parents mistreating and abusing their children, of people abusing and killing pets and other animals...and story after story the violence and cruelty is overwhelming. Where did all this disregard for life come from? When did we become a world of such hate and self-centeredness? Have we always been that way? Is there something wrong with me that I don’t feel or act that way? I know that there are good people out there, I do, but sometimes it feels like they’re in hiding.

 And while the current events are so very disheartening, I’ve also discovered something else that is equally disheartening (at least to me). I spend a lot of time on sites other than Facebook reading through the comments sections on various news articles and even Facebook posts; it really lets you see how people truly think and feel. "It's all about ME and MY FAMILY and nobody else matters!" That seemed to be the main theme I saw in February and it's still the main theme of today. "Build a Wall!" and "Keep them out!" were (and still are) the cries of so many people that call themselves Christians...and now they're supporting possible nuclear war? Saying God has given Trump the right to do it. I'm serious! I saw several posts on Twitter saying just that!

 I can’t tell you how many times I've found myself calling out other “Christians” for their behavior and statements over this past year; even my own father, a man I love with all my heart, the man that taught me Jesus’s love and forgiveness. These people claim to know and love God but also believe Trump is doing good things. They believe he’s “doing God’s work”. But he's not! What he IS doing is taking advantage of them.

 A vast amount of Christians are against the LGBTQ community and Trump knows that. He uses that to his advantage by making policies against them. These so called Christians love that. He appointed an extremely conservative man to the Supreme Court, a move that is going to hurt our country, and Christians were happy about that. Why? Because they're conservative, which basically means (from what I can tell) they don't like change. It doesn't seem to matter to these Christians what kind of a man he is. They point out Paul and David and others from the Bible claiming God uses anyone He wants to do His work. They don't care what Trump does or says, as long as he's “doing God's work” which really just means that he’s currently giving them what they want.

 They don't want to help those in need; I've actually been told by professed Christians that they don't want to help those that don't help themselves…but how do they really know those in need aren't trying? They don't! They're sitting in judgment! This is so completely against what Jesus taught, but they refuse to listen when you tell them this. I’ve had many the heated debate with my own family members on these topics. It’s frustrating!

 Christians are so afraid of Muslims coming into the country and changing things. They want freedom of religion but only if it's THEIR religion. Again, Trump knows this and uses it to his advantage by putting a ban on immigrants from mostly Muslim countries. Doesn't matter what he calls it, it's targeted against Muslims.

As a Christian myself I can’t help but ask: How is that Christ like?  How is this showing Christ's love?

 It makes me ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian! I don’t think it means the same thing to me as it means to others, and that saddens me. And before anyone says anything; I know Christians aren’t perfect they’re forgiven, I know we make mistakes, BUT I try to show Christ in my comings and goings. Is that not what we were commanded to do? Were we not commanded to show Christ’s love and to be a light unto the world?

1 Corinthians 13 1-13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Matthew 5:43-48
43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 6:14-15
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 7:1-5
1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

 Matthew 7:12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

1 John 3:16, 17
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

I saw many people giving their opinions in support of keeping Muslims out of the country and building a wall and I want to address that. I want to share some Bible verses with you on that topic.

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Zechariah 7:9,10
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying, execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother: 10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

 Deuteronomy 27:19 ‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Malachi 3:5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

There are many, many more. This link lists a bunch: 
https://www.openbible.info/topics/immigration And let’s not forget the parable of the good Samaritan…

I  saw (and still see) many people justify their support of the wall and the ban by saying they want their families safe and that it’s okay if children that are refuges are kept out because it’s worth it to keep out the ones trying to kill us…is it really worth it?

Mark 9:36,37
36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Luke 12:4-7
4 And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

I am a Christian. I don’t say that lightly because I don’t think it means the same to me as it does to most people anymore. And, to me, that’s sad. I feel that today’s Christians are more concerned with themselves than they are with spreading the gospel, spreading Christ’s message of love. Being a Christian isn’t about going to Church on Sundays. It isn’t about just KNOWING what the Bible says.

 Being a Christian means showing Christ’s love to the world THROUGH YOU. 

 How can you say you’re a Christian and then turn a blind eye to so many people in need? More so, not just turning a blind eye, turning your back on them?! “I want to keep my family safe” you say. Do you think I don’t care about MY family? That I don’t want to keep my family safe? I DO. But I also don’t put my family’s safety above your family’s and you shouldn't put yours above mine. Doing so isn’t Christian.

Being a Christian is to be Christlike. To me, that means to show compassion, love, understanding, and forgiveness. It means not to judge others, even if I disagree, and to be kind always…somewhere along the line, we’ve lost this message. And yes, I know there are many Christians that believe the same way I do. I’m not talking to them right now, I’m talking to those of you who profess to being a Christian but choose to put your life and that of your families before anyone else’s. I’m talking to those of you who profess to be Christians but support the idea of nuclear war. Those of you whose actions and words don’t reflect what Christ taught…to be honest, it puts me in mind of Jesus’s parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Luke 18:9-14
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

It’s no wonder Christians have such a bad name anymore. It’s no wonder so many people look down on Christians and why it’s so hard to share God’s message with them…Christ taught love, compassion, and forgiveness. He was here for the sinners, the poor, the weak, the homeless, the brokenhearted. Can you honestly, in your heart of hearts, say that Christ, the man that gave His life for us, would support turning away millions? That he would be OK with millions, most likely billions, of lives being lost due to a nuclear war? If you truly believe that, I suggest you find a quiet place, shut out all distractions, and pray. Don't think about the doctrine, don't think about what you've been told. Pray. And listen.

*Originally posted on 2/12/17


Comments

Unknown said…
First, let me say I used to be a hard core christian. I have found a different path that encompasses more than just Christianity however while I do not follow the Christian path, I carry many of the same values that you just expresses. Those verses...YES! Thank you for saying this. Thank you for being careful about how you said it. I can say that I walked away from the church because I was confronted with people who professed to be Christians bUT we're about as unchristlike as I've ever seen. I found that Christians like you were in the lower percentages. So.. yes, I thank you for what you wrote and just realize that there are people like me out there standing with you for the same values. I know you know that but I still wanted it said. Thank you, sister, for being brave and speaking out.
Shawnakat said…
Janessa Kelsey, I know just want you mean, I used to consider myself a "conservative" Christian, but I don't anymore. Sadly, I've noticed that's a trend when dealing with people claiming to be Christians today.

Thank you for reading and for your kind comment! It helps to know that I'm not alone...

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