If someone is saved, they have suddenly entered a new life with Jesus, and they now use this newfound understanding to tell their neighbor they are going to hell if they too don’t come to the same understanding, is that good news?
If someone is saved, and they feel the love of God fill them with every breath, and they use that love to tell a sinner that God HATES their life, is that good news?
If at every turn, the world is seeing Christians as people with fingers pointed, and with condemnation in every message, and in turn the world HATES God for what they are perceiving, is that good news?
Is is good news when more people are rejecting God than accepting Him, and it is because of Christian extremists who are doing anything BUT showing the love and compassion of Jesus through their HATE?
“Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as `Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'” Matthew 7:21-23
Is it good news if it imprisons rather than saves?
The Good News cannot be force fed. If it is force fed, the receiver will end up despising it. My way of offering the good news is not through strong words, fire and brimstone, condemnation, pointing out the wrong in beliefs, insistence on changing ways, finding sin in every action of this world. My way of offering the good news is by making sure that my faith is strong, my ways filled with love and gentleness, my light shining bright. I have gotten into more talks about faith, not because I brought it up, but because God was shining through.
I was at odds in my faith for a long time, and certain things did not sit well with me. And it wasn’t what was in the bible, it was how the bible was being read. The bible can be perceived many different ways. The bible was written in such a way, with so many metaphors, so that we may study it and apply it to our lives to the best of our understanding. I believe that the bible does not say things plainly. This is so that debate and study are neverending, so that the word is a river rather than a pond. It is easy to find just what you are looking for to make a point. It can be done with good intent, and it can be done as a weapon. And there are many points that have been diluted down and ignored, just like there are many points that have been overemphasized. Is not sin, sin? Dear reader, how many sins have you committed today? Did you kill anyone today? Did you engage in homosexual sex? How about, have you ever cut your hair, tattooed your body, pierced your ears? Have you refrained from cheating on your spouse, but found yourself lusting after another? Have you had any impure thoughts at all? Have you lied? Have you felt hatred towards your boss? Have you judged another, pointed your finger at another and their wrongs like YOU are God in Heaven?
If sin is sin, and Jesus paid the price for those sins so that we may be forgiven and our slates are wiped clean, how about we focus on the love of God? Without a relationship with God, how is forgiveness ever going to be sought? If someone is being told that God HATES the sinner (which is entirely NOT true), why would that person ever come to God on their own? Do we lead people to God through fear, or through love? Would you come running to your own father if you thought he would beat you? Or would it be because you expected to be embraced? Should someone believe in Jesus because they fear hell, or should they come to Jesus because they admire His life and want their life to be like His? Which one do you think God is going to accept? The one who came because they were afraid of what would happen if they didn’t, or the one who came because they wanted to?
I have now come to terms with my faith, I am strong in how I believe, and I find that this has brought me closer to God, closer than ever before. I believe everyone’s faith is different. Even a Christian can have a completely different walk than the Christian in the seat next to him. Our faith is between us and God. I have belief in Christ. But I see wisdom in every religion. It would be naive to think that Christianity is the only religion that has any bit of wisdom to it. All religions hold a common bond. The underlying message is one of love, of loving God and of loving our neighbor. And even in our religion, we speak of men being gods (Psalm 82:6, Matthew 10:34-38), and of reincarnation (Matthew 17:11-13). And in Matthew 10:34-38, if we are “gods”, then doesn’t the Father also reside in us and us in Him, and therefore, can’t we see the god in everyone? The main point is, religion, all religion, can be linked in some way or another, linking all of us together. And all religion is important for the good of mankind, to keep the world from turning even more on itself. This war of who’s right and who’s wrong is hurting more than it is helping.
I do not condemn how others perceive their Christianity. I do not condemn the personal relationship between someone and God. That is not for me to get in between. It would be like me entering someone’s marriage and telling them HOW to love their spouse. It is not my place. And with all due respect, I do not feel my faith in God is in the danger zone and needs tuning. I am comfortable in my relationship with God, and because of that, I am now eager to keep striving for more in my relationship with God. I am a truth seeker, and my faith is that I am on the right path.
And I also do not claim that sharing of God and Jesus is wrong. There are people out there who are in need of hope, and hope needs to be given to them. It is when some Christian leaders do so with a shove rather than a nudge, that’s what I have a problem with. It is when hate and condemnation is the main way of leading people to the Lord. It is when someone does not need, when they make that clear, and they are being told insistently that they DO need. It is when it is not enough to believe, but to believe in the exact same way as another Christian. It is when it is apparent that the only reason we are “loving” is to get someone to God on our terms, and if they don’t listen, we throw our hands up and want nothing more to do with them. It is when the need to believe becomes more about man and their ego than it does about God. It’s that kind of agenda that promotes distrust, that adds fire to the convictions of those who DON’T believe. I don’t think that is the agenda that Jesus had in mind.
I cannot offer a strong fight against those who disagree with me. Faith is a personal thing, and really does not need defending. One who defends their faith to try and get other’s to see that they are right, is one who’s faith is shaken and needs support that they are “right”. My faith is not shaken, and I feel no desire to make others see my way. I couldn’t anyways, and I do not pretend to be able to. I share my faith because I am saying something about ME. That is the purpose for this blog. If someone reads this and finds hope in it, I am glad. But I am not sharing my faith with the sole intent to change another’s view. In the end, it is only my path that I am responsible for. And that is where my duty lies.