faith

The Worst Among Us

If you viewed her profile on Facebook, it said: “I am a Christian, and I love people like Jesus does.”

If you read her posts and comments she is self-righteous, judgemental, unloving, ungracious, and accusatory.

She believes that she is the only one who isn’t fleshly and actively accused others of walking in the flesh while she also claimes that she will only obey scripture or listen to teachers when she could “feel the Holy Spirit telling her this was right.” She ignores passages of the Bible because she doesn’t feel the Holy Spirit when reading that passage.

She spent 84 comments on one public post telling everyone there (who, based on their comments, were Bible-believing Christians) that they weren’t saved because they didn’t agree with her 100%. Unless they did things her way they either weren’t saved or had lost their salvation if they had ever been saved.

She had decided that she was the only holy person out there. They certainly weren’t as holy as she was.

She denied the existence of Christian liberty and judge not only on outward appearance but on things not specifically discussed in scripture. Her way, the way that she said everyone needed to follow, was a minimalistic, legalistic lifestyle including denial of anything enjoyable and never reading anything except the Bible, a belief called asceticism.

She trolled the pages of one organization I follow on Facebook until I finally blocked her because I was tired of her vitriol.  

This is what the public sees.

This is, unfortunately, what Christians look like to them.

As I’ve mentioned before, a group is judged by the worse among us.

Don’t believe me?

What do you think of when I say, “Muslim”? Do you think of the moderate Muslims living in the US and just wanting freedom?

My guess is your first thought –as mine usually is– is of Muslim extremists.  

This group is also judged by the worst among them.

I’m not saying it’s right.

I’m saying that’s a reality.

The world will judge us by the worst among us.

Make sure you are not poorly representing Jesus.

Are you sound and accurate biblically?

Do you know what kind of judgments are allowed biblically and what aren’t?

Do you impose your preferences on others?

Do you accuse others of being unsaved? Do you assume you know their heart?

Do you judge their character by their outward appearance?

Do you accuse those around you of sin when you have no clear passage in scripture to back it up?

Do you communicate in humility, grace, and kindness?

Is your motivation love and not to make yourself look better?

Do you make your disagreements public and air dirty laundry in the presence of unbelievers?

Unfortunately,  the lady described above is not an anomaly.

This behavior is rampant.

I would like to say that this behavior is just a result of social media, but it is not.

I remember similar extreme behavior all the way before social media existed.

What social media has done is made that behavior public and visible to everyone.

This behavior may have happened at church meetings of the past, but that was pretty private.

Now it’s out there online for everyone to see.

This is our testimony, unfortunately.

And, as a group, it’s not such a great testimony.

It’s actually pretty pathetic.

This is why Christians are having such a hard time having an impact on the world.

It’s hard to take us seriously when there’s so much nonsense attributed to our members.

Case in point:  who remembers the infamous red Starbucks cups?

The amount of outrage by people I know in real life was ludicrous. The number of people picketing and protesting like spoiled children acting like they were owed cups decorated the way they preferred was frankly embarrassing.

Do we honestly think we won anyone to Christ or planted any spiritual seeds in that debacle?

While Christians were out whining about their rights they were losing their testimonies. I am glad Jesus didn’t whine about His rights, aren’t you?

The entire red cup situation did believers only harm.

What we do and say matters.

We are Christ’s ambassadors.

As a whole, it seems we’re doing a pretty poor job of representing Christ.  

I think part of that reason is because we’re not vigilant to see that false teaching, legalism, and inbelief isn’t in our midst.

I understand the people who choose not to use the word “Christian” because the word is kind of empty of meaning today. It used to mean people who truly followed Jesus. Now it just means anyone who kind of goes to church and sometimes does religiousy type stuff.

This is part of the problem with calling the USA “a Christian nation.”  It muddies the water between real believers and those who are just flirting with religion or just think they are Christians because they live in the US.

Imagine being an American Ambassador to another country. Would you be a good ambassador if you attacked people, argued, treated them unkindly? Do you think anyone would want to come to the US if all they ever saw was angry unkind people who fought with each other and attacked each other, making public scenes?

We’re supposed to live in such a way that people will ask about the hope we have. People should want to become a Christian because of the peace we have.

Is peace a ruling factor in our lives?  Do we display that to other people?

Are we living in such a way that we show we have hope to offer people?

I cannot emphasize enough how much our testimonies matter.  

Don’t be the worst among us. Have a good testimony and live in a way that shows what a Christian should be like.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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