Have you ever had a shirt that didn’t have a tag in it?  That has happened to me a few times, and it was especially troubling when the shirt was a solid color with no design.  You see, I have never taken the time to look at seam designs or collar styles.  If there is no tag or no picture on the front, I have no idea which way I should put the shirt on.  The only way I can tell is that, after a while, it starts to feel weird.  That’s how I know it is on backward.

And you know what?  I’m starting to get that same weird feeling about the way Christians in our country conduct themselves.  Any time I turn on the news, I see stories about Christians confronting the sinful behavior of non-believers in our country.  They are calling out groups that support causes the Bible speaks out against.  They are rallying against anything they believe God would not approve of.

So what’s wrong with that?  Aren’t we supposed to confront sinful behavior?  Isn’t that what Jesus did?  Yes, that is exactly what Jesus did.  However, He confronted the sins of God’s people.  He spoke out against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the greed and anger of the Jewish people.  He sought out to hold those committed to God to a higher standard.

We, on the other hand, try to force non-believers to a live to a Christian standard.  It’s like we expect them to imitate Christ when they do not even believe that He is God’s Son.  How much sense does that make?  I don’t recall a single example in the New Testament of Jesus condemning the gentiles.

My interpretation of the gospels is that Jesus came to save the sinners.  He spent time with them, loved on them, became an important part of their lives, and through His love they chose to repent and follow Him.  He loved them in such a way that they wanted to be with Him and be like Him.  That sounds like the exact opposite of how we treat non-believers in this country.

Yet, Jesus did call some people out.  He confronted the behaviors and teachings of the religious leaders.  He turned over tables and called the Pharisees “a brood of vipers.”  But these are the people that we support no matter what and give the most grace to.  We are much more likely to give our pastors, elders, and deacons the benefit of the doubt than we are anybody else.  But according to Jesus, they should be held to the highest standard of Christian living.

Jesus loved on the non-believers and challenged the religious leaders.  We often pledge full support to our leaders and we condemn non-Christians for not acting like Christ.  We have this whole thing completely backward.  It is time that we all dig into the Bible, seek guidance from the Holy Spirit, and get back to the foundation of Christianity…imitating Christ.  I have a feeling that wouldn’t feel so weird.

9/17/2012 01:22:28 am

I agree whole heartily. We are called to love them where they are and gently bring them to where Christ wants them to be. This can only be done through the Holy Spirit.

3/26/2013 10:38:33 pm

I totally agree. This is awesome.

Jared Manes
3/27/2013 12:19:32 am

Well said my friend.

3/27/2013 12:39:27 am

from a non believer...thank you for telling it like it is...

3/27/2013 04:08:10 am

I agree! I will share this.

Phill Williams
3/27/2013 10:02:32 am

Great insight Jamie. I think you are absolutely right.


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