Friday, February 10, 2012

Christian Right. Christian Left. And Whatever happened to just following Jesus?

Once again Christianity makes its way into the news in the form of politics and social agendas and misses the mark as far as sharing the Salvation story and lifting up the name of Jesus.

The past week has seen the Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle (find your own link, there are plenty of them), the controversial birth control mandate for employers (the ruling is more than a decade old) that includes religious groups that oppose some/many/all forms of medical contraception, and the continuing Presidential primary race that says we have to place a religiously endorsed (as long as it's the right religion) leader in the White House.

While each of these stories provides enough material to fill many days of blog posting, I'm still wondering why there seems to be so little concern among Christian leaders that our people (Christ followers) are obviously living self centered lives and are failing in our calling to "go and make disciples." The agendas that we are apparently most concerned with have more to do with trying to force people that aren't Christians to live like Jesus expects us to live rather than following the command of Jesus to go and make disciples. We're not even doing a very good job of the "They'll know you are my disciples by the way that you love one another" thing that Jesus was trying to get across to us.

Since our government is not a theocracy (and I happen to be okay with that), it's foolish for us to expect that all of the laws of our country will reflect our particular faith's beliefs. If we really expect people to stop -- what's the word for offending God? ...oh yeah -- sinning against our God, maybe we should try to teach them about His great love and let God worry about the judging/converting/changing hearts and lives stuff.

If you are a follower of Jesus that thinks that we need to change the Constitution to make abortion illegal (or same sex marriages or what ever your sin of choice happens to be today), I agree that it would, well ... it would make abortion (or whatever) illegal. But it does absolutely nothing to bring even one lost person to a relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior.

...And isn't that really our business?
What if we just did the WWJD thing and took care of the poor, the sick, the fatherless, the widows--you know the social things that Jesus commanded us to do?
What if we became disciples (and by that I mean we literally became students of His life and teachings) and helped others to become disciples, as well?
What would happen if people started to love God?
What would happen if people started to live like the Holy Spirit was living in them and guiding their life?

What would our world look like?
Would there be fewer abortions; even though abortion might still be legal?
Would there be less promiscuity; leading to fewer unwanted pregnancies?
Would we be less greedy and begin to see ways that we can better help those that are in need?
What would happen if we were as interested in what our neighbor/coworker/classmate believed in as we seem to be with what political candidates believe in?

Would people ever get to the point that they recognized us as Jesus followers by the way that we love one another rather than by the signs that we carry or the issues that we protest?

Often times I am just as offended by the Christian Left as I am by the Christian Right. I fear that sometimes I may offend my fellow Christians, but I am even more fearful of offending those that do not know my Lord, Jesus. My fear is that they will wrongly judge Jesus by the mistakes that I make or by the imperfect life that I live; by the mistakes that we make, the imperfect lives that we live.

It's still early in the election year politics and already I'm thoroughly disgusted by it. Disgusted by the obscene amount of money being spent. Disgusted by the outright lies being told. Disgusted by the hate and fear that is being spread. And disgusted by the parading of religion that says, "My religion's candidate will make a better president than your religion's candidate!" or "God doesn't like your candidate because he isn't the right kind of American."

So fellow follower of Jesus, what will you do today to let somebody know that there is a God that has created them with a purpose? Will you share the Good News today? Will somebody be blessed by the love of God showing through your words; your actions--today?

And if you are not (yet) a follower of Jesus, I have a bit of news for you. God loves you. And Jesus died for you!

John <><


Mike said...

Good post. I think we just heard from the Christian center.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, John! This is a great reminder of why we are here and what our purpose is. If we truly put Jesus first place in our lives, the rest really would take care of itself.