Just Thinking...I suppose it should be clear at this point that the days of burying our heads and "standing" for a version of Christianity that will keep everyone happy are gone. JESUS HIMSELF SAID that following him means that you will risk losing your reputation, your career, your good name and even much more. If you're a Christian, are you ready for that? That time is coming. Some might say it's already here.
Too often the only thing people, even in the church, can remember Jesus saying is, "judge not lest you be judged." We have been happy to sit by and let others who have a complete lack of understanding of that verse, use it beat us into a corner where, in all reality, we have to ask permission to follow Christ. Is that the Christianity that has been passed down to us from Jesus and His disciples? I don't think so!
The Christianity of scripture is such that we are to live our lives to the best of our abilities to love God, love people and speak the truth about both. Our desire is NEVER to offend, but it will happen. The Gospel is offensive! Jesus is THE ONLY way to Heaven. What His Words says is true and cannot be changed. Sin will not go unpunished, but there is a way out through Jesus alone! There is no way that message will not offend. The church must come to grips with that or we can no longer call ourselves the church. Social club? Maybe. Church? NO!
At times you may be surprised that the ones who are standing against you are the very ones who claim to be your brothers and sisters. You will be lied about, misrepresented and painted as judgmental, hateful, intolerant and those are the nice words. When it comes down to it, we must make a choice between trying to be the all around good guy or girl who everyone likes, but who makes no real difference in the world or be someone who is willing to lovingly and firmly speak the truth without consideration of the consequence. Jesus NEVER called us to work hard to get people to like us. He called us to love everyone enough to tell the truth. He called us to be a faithful voice for Him as it is revealed in scripture. He has called us to be willing to risk it all for HIM and Him alone. Paul said, "If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." That's the Christianity of the Bible.
Casual Christianity is over. It's been over for awhile but we have, at times, had our heads so buried in our own little world's we haven't noticed. Or maybe we haven't cared. It has been so long since the church in America has truly been persecuted to the point of loss, that we feel like something is wrong if everyone doesn't love us. This feels heavy on my heart to say that but I truly believe it is reality. It could be, however, that a little shot of persecution is what the church actually needs to cause us to stand up for something, or should I say someone, instead of constantly being pushed backwards by those who will hate God no matter what we do. Somewhere between the faithful remnant of God and those who hate God is a world that desperately needs to know the truth of the Gospel! Will we give it to them? Or will we just continue to post happy quotes, and say happy things that don't offend but most certainly will not help anyone to find salvation through the Gospel of Jesus?
Anyway, I was just thinking...