For years there has been an ongoing battle between Christians and, well, pretty much everyone else. There has been a great misconception of what Christianity is. Contrary to all belief, the Christians are not a hateful people. Unfortunately, we have fallen under a sad stereotype that we hate anyone who is not a Christian, that we think ourselves as “better”, and that we condemn any person who does not believe the way we do to hell.
Well, you know how guys hate it when a girl says that “all guys are the same” just because one guy did her wrong? Well, sorry ladies, but not all guys are the same. There are actually some good guys out there. The same thing goes for Christians. Not all Christians are the same. Do not get me wrong, I am completely aware of the “religious, hateful, hypocritical bigots”, as some people call them, that are out there, and on behalf of the Christians, I am sorry if you were ever wronged, and I am writing this to bring clarity to the world of what real CHRISTianity is all about.
Before I begin, I would like to clarify a difference between disagreeing and hating. When a person disagrees with something, it means that they have or express a different opinion, and when a person hates, it means that they feel an intense or a passionate dislike towards someone or something; two very distinct meanings. For example, let’s say you have a family member, or even an acquaintance, who abuses alcohol. You noticed how it has had a negative impact on their life. Now, you, as a person, disagree with the lifestyle that they have chosen, but does that mean you hate them? Of course not, that would be ridiculous, right? Alas, many times here in the United States when a Christian has tried to practice their freedom of speech by expressing their opinion, they are automatically labeled as an “extremist” or that we “hate” people. One of the most sensitive and controversial topics on the news, in regards to Christianity, is with the LGBTQ+ community. I am aware that many of these people have been judged, turned away, rejected, hated, ridiculed and many other hurtful things by many from the Christian community, and nothing I ever do or say can undo the harm that has already been done. All I can say that I truly apologize if they have demonstrated a false view of Christ’s love to you. Now, let me be clear on something. I am not saying that I agree with their lifestyle, but I do know that there are ways of preaching the Gospel, and expressing hate or disgust toward them isnot the way to do it. I think I remember God being the judge, not us.
The only difference between their sin and other people’s sins are that they are open about it. But whether you are hiding your sin from others or are waving it out in the open, let me remind you that Jesus loves you.
We all know the Golden Rule which states the basic moral rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, which also happens to be the Bible verse from Luke 6:31. Everyone needs to learn to love one another, and treat each other with respect. We are never going to win anybody if we are shoving Jesus down their throat. Jesus is a choice that I made for myself; this is the lifestyle that I chose to have and follow, and it is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I admit that I am definitely not perfect, but like everyone else in this world, I need saving… because no one is perfect.
Many Christians have developed this mentality that they should not be around “sinners”. “Don’t hang out with him because he drinks”, “don’t be talking to this girl because she sleeps around”, “don’t be friends with them because they are gay”, and the list goes on. Really? The most famous and most quoted Bible verse, John 3:16, says that “for God so loved the World”. It did not say “for God so loved the Christian”. He loved the World that He sent His one and only son to die for our sins so that we may have hope; hope for this world that is full of hypocrites, liars, murderers, cheaters, womanizers, the overly prideful, drug and alcohol abusers, and even for the God haters. He came, not for the healthy, but for the sick, and we are all sick.
I understand if you need to get away from negative influences to strengthen your spiritual walk with Christ, but don’t STAY away. This is where I see many Christians are at fault. They are at fault because they do not return to try and help the ones they left behind. We forget to go back and preach the gospel to those we cut off for the sake of Christ. I do believe it is necessary, at times, to get away because if your faith is weak, you can be tempted and brought down easily. So strengthen your faith, but never forget about your friends and family that still need saving. This is why people start calling us “religious” and why they think we think we are better than everybody, but that is not true. So right now, think of the people you forgot about and make it your mission to reach out to them.
I am a Christian, and I choose to love like Jesus. I choose to not fall into the stereotype of the “hateful Christian”. I believe that there is potential in everybody in God’s kingdom. I also believe that sin is sin, whether it’s lying or killing, sin is sin, and sin separates us from God. But it is not I, or the Christian, who changes a person. All we are supposed to be is a reflection of the image of Christ and present this hope of salvation to the world.
Jesus is the one who changes people, who transforms lives, not me. I can introduce Jesus, but it is up to the person whether they want to believe and accept Him into their heart or not. I believe that when Jesus comes and makes us realize that we are sinners, we will automatically want to please Him. We will strive to try and be like Him. When He transforms our heart, He will give us the conviction to be able to distinguish what is sin and what is not, and through His Word, we will develop a better understanding of who He is and how to be more like Him. I do not believe I am better or more righteous than anyone, because we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God in one way or other, so who am I to judge someone? Those who believe that they are better or more righteous, remember that the religious people are the ones that took Him to the cross.
So on behalf of the Christians, I apologize for all the close minded, condemning confrontations many people have had with a Christian who refused to be open minded or understanding to the other person’s beliefs.
To those who condemn “the sinners” to hell, stop condemning and start loving them. Show them Jesus, show them the cross. Let God do the transforming, and be satisfied being His instrument of choice.
The most perfect example is the story in the Bible when the woman was caught in adultery and everybody wanted to stone her to death, then Jesus came and said “He is who is without sin, cast the first stone”. The only person who was qualified to cast any stone was Jesus, and He did not do it. Instead, he told the woman to look around her and see who accused her now, and there was no one. Then He said to her “go, and sin no more”. You see, the Jesus I know, dined with sinners. Instead of hiding from the people (or turning off your lights when you see a Jehovah Witness coming to your door), or “sinners”, who don’t know Christ, we should be showing them through our actions and testimonies, that God really does change lives. Do not turn them away, but invite them in. Invite them to know God.
How selfish would I be to believe that there is such a terrible place as hell after death and not tell people of the salvation, of the hope that I believe in for everlasting life? Hell is something I would not wish upon even my greatest enemy. Jesus said that “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” He is the only way. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I choose to believe in hope, rather than being hopeless.
A Pastor told me once that “love is inclusive”. Love does not reject, but brings in. If you have ever been excluded, rejected, put down, or condemned…on behalf of all the real Christians, I apologize. My prayer is that you will see that not all Christians are the same, and that you may one day allow God to pick up all the pieces of your heart and mend you back together again. The God that I believe in is a forgiving God. He is one of compassion and mercy, and although many hate Him because they do not understand His ways, He still loves them anyways. He loves the people, and no matter what you do, how many mistakes you make, or how far deep you fall down, He is there to raise you back up again. God wants to be your hope in this lost world. It is time for the real Christians to come out of the closet, and start reflecting the image of Christ with our lifestyle and through our actions.
So to anyone who has been chastised, rejected, or pushed down; to anyone who feels lost, broken, afraid, depressed or alone; to the murderer, the liar, the cheater, the prideful, the lustful, the homosexual, the glutton, the alcoholic, and the religious;
On behalf of all the Christians: Jesus loves you.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” -John 13:34