Today I direct your attention to a post by John Pavlovitz which is particularly timely these days. It is increasingly hard to be, or to want to be, a Christian when one sees that name being ever-increasingly associated with hatred and bigotry directed towards those whom Jesus has clearly commanded us to love; when one sees that in this day and age so much that clearly runs contrary to Christian character is now accepted and even celebrated.
For far too many people, being a Christian no longer means you need to be humble or forgiving. It no longer means you need a heart to serve or bring healing. It no longer requires compassion or mercy or benevolence. It no longer requires you to turn the other cheek or to love your enemies or to take the lowest place or to love your neighbor as yourself.
It no longer requires Jesus.
And so the choices are to abandon the idea of claiming Christ altogether to avoid being deemed hateful by association in the eyes of so much of the watching world—or to reclaim the name Christian so that it once again replicates the love of Jesus in the world.
I am trying to do the latter.
Yes, I am a Christian, but there is a Christian I refuse to be.
I refuse to be a Christian who lives in fear of people who look or speak or worship differently than I do.
I refuse to be a Christian who believes that God blesses America more than God so loves the world.
I refuse to be a Christian who uses the Bible to perpetuate individual or systemic bigotry, racism, or sexism.
I refuse to be a Christian who treasures allegiance to a flag or a country or a political party, above emulating Jesus.