Why am I calling some Christians? The easy answer, because it needs to be done. Who am I? I'm not a pastor or a theologian, just another soul hungry for the truth and grace along this journey.
Earlier this summer, I attended an art festival. One of the performing groups was a gay man chorus. 10 minutes before, during, and 10 minutes after their performance, there was a man standing about 15 feet away from the stage wearing a 'Fear God' vest and holding a sign letting the choir know that they are going to Hell. I approach this gentleman and asked, "Do you believe this is the best way to your message across?" His response, without even looking at me, "Yep." Can't leave now, so I asked, "Do you think this is the best way to show Jesus' love?" Once again, not looking at me, he replied, "Yep."
This past weekend in Ohio, there was a topless protest between a strip club and a church.
Back story on this protest, a few years ago, the church protested the club. Carried signs and yelled at the workers and patrons of the club. Through a third party, the two entities did come to a truce. It lasted a few weeks. The church went back to attacking the women. During the truce, some of the women came to know Jesus, but because they didn't have another job to rely on or go to, they continued stripping. As one dancer said, "My heart belongs to Jesus, but my body belongs to the Foxhole."
In the news clip, you'll notice a blonde church member confront a woman from the crowd. She told her "You don't know love. You only know lust." She judged the lady without knowing a thing about her. The black haired lady runs a ministry that helps women get out of the sex industry. The way she does it is by developing friendships, finding them housing, and helping the women get an education so they can get another job. Obviously, she knows nothing about love. Or sacrifice. Or compassion.
Yesterday, a comedic genius, Robin Williams, died. He fought the demons of depression and addiction for decades. I am deeply saddened that he couldn't defeat them, but he did give them a hell of a fight! That being said, I became upset that shortly after the world found out about his passing, I saw some church leaders say on their Facebook pages that Mr. Williams was not at rest because he didn't know God. Which I found weird. How do they know? Did they know other people's hearts?
I don't want to condemn as much as I want to challenge each other. As Christians, we can't judge non-believers by the standards of believers. If we are to call ourselves Christians, it means are 'Little Christs' or 'Christ-like'. Jesus treated those around him with respect, love, and mercy. Jesus told us to love one another. God said to keep the judging to Him.
Truth be told, if I didn't know Christ myself and this was the only Christians I encountered or heard, I would never darken the door of a church. We are called to love. With love, comes joy. Joy becomes a beacon to those who are lost. Basically, I'm challenging everyone to get some perspective when encountering others. Instead of hitting people down with words or actions, why not lift them up?
I'm posting two music videos. Please watch and listen to words. Meditate on them for a while.
**Author's note: Yes I too am guilty of judging others harshly. It is something that I am working on. I am challenging other Christians to do the same so others may see Jesus in us.**