Christianity is a monster that wrecks lives. It infiltrates the body and tears families to pieces. On the flip side, Christianity also creates a sort of camaraderie between those who have been affected.
Wait… that’s exactly what I said about cancer in my last post. Yet, depending upon where you are standing, it is entirely accurate. Because, like with cancer, it effects people in different ways.
Before I lose you, let’s look at so-called Christian groups in the world today. If we’re talking ugly, the first thing that comes to mind is Westboro Baptist Church. Those guys are an easy target. They carry large, inflammatory signs, and they carry them at inappropriate places. But we’ll leave them alone for now, since they get blasted all the time. And remember, Jesus loves them.
How about the rest of the Baptists? You’ve got Faith Baptist, Southern Baptist, First Baptist, Second Baptist, maybe Baptist Holiness, and even Barbecue Baptist, and that’s not even mentioning the Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, and every other sect of Christianity that is convinced that they are doing it right. (For the record, Pentecostals are the best.)
What about those “well-meaning” people who blow up abortion clinics in Jesus’ name? They claim to be Christians, though the fruit leads me to believe otherwise.
Jesus didn’t die so that we could blow up abortion clinics, hate gays and soldiers, and buy our own kingdom in Houston. Tweet this!
On the flipside, what do you do with guys like Joel Osteen, who preach a gospel of excess and personal gain? That’s not the Jesus I know and love. He’s an easy target, too. He’s so smooth and fancy, and he’s very public. He’s also better suited for the self-improvement circuit than any true Bible-believing church I’ve seen, but he says he loves Jesus and is a Christian, though sometimes the fruit he bears and sells make me have questions.
It’s not just me. A lot of people have issue with these prosperity gospel types, and rightfully so. Obviously, the internet isn’t as full of Bible scholars as the angry Googlers would like to think, but people outside the church have a pretty good grasp on at least some parts of Jesus’ life.
He helped people, especially the poor. He loathed organized religion, and railed on Pharisees regularly. Also, he died on a cross.
But for what? So we could blow up abortion clinics, hate soldiers and gays, and buy up a veritable kingdom in Houston? No wonder people think Christians suck.
That’s the problem with the broad brush. While we all fall under the umbrella of Christianity, we certainly don’t believe or behave in the same ways. A finer brush is required to paint us all as individuals. We can’t all be lumped because we read the same book on Sundays.
But what am I, an adherent to Christianity, supposed to do? I’m not those guys. Not even close. But I’m not responsible for Joel Osteen. When I make my answer to God someday, it’s going to be about me, and specifically what I did with Jesus.
We will are responsible for our own sins. Osteen will not suffer for my sin, nor will I suffer for his. Neither of us are required to suffer at all if we accept that Jesus already took our beating.
We talk much of the blood of Jesus covering our sins, and that we are under the blood of Christ. In this instance, take the biggest brush you can find and slather that all over me. There is nothing good in me. I want only Him to be visible.
It is my hope that we the people use the narrow, detail brush, but my prayer that God hits me with the broad one.