Christians are often portrayed to be selfish, dogmatic and rigid in their beliefs. People see us as judgmental, intolerant and uncaring. They see us as forcing our religion down the throats of others and the see us as being conceited and almost elitist. These are common misconceptions about Christianity that have only in the last 100 or so years been used with any success against us. The reasons why these attacks have succeeded vary from jealousy over the great blessings that the Lord has poured down on people (individuals and whole nations/societies) who have not only believed in God but lived for Him to the reality that many Christians have indeed lost the Holy Spirit inside of them. That’s right, we Christians have not helped defeat these myths. In fact, in many ways we’ve given them a place to take root.
Christians (like me) must begin to stand apart from the world and provide a place for those who distinguish right from wrong to turn to. Today, you can find more Christians out vocally demonizing others, condemning others and judging others than you can following the teachings of Jesus. That’s not to say that these myths have any roots but rather that we have given truth to them by trying to prove them wrong.
As I was listening to the radio on the morning drive today a line from a popular Christian song stuck out at me:
No one wants to listen to
A list of things they shouldn’t do
So I build a city on a hill
And I light a candle on the sill
It came to me; Jesus never tried to prove the Pharisees or his naysayers wrong. Not once in scripture does he ever have a moment where he simply does something to prove to others that he can. He also didn’t spend all his time condemning individuals to death or exacting judgment on those who stood against him. The majority of his teachings were about how Christians, Believers in Christ the Messiah and the Son of God, should present themselves as set apart from the world. His entire existence was one that exuded who each of us should be to our core. He built a traveling city with his 12 Disciples and went from hilltop to hilltop spreading the message of good news! He was the first and brightest candle who passed his flame to others. We must learn to be that same light.
Instead of railing against other lifestyles, pray for those who are lost to be found and do good works. When they call us selfish we must give more, when they call us angry we must show all love, when they accuse us of being rigid in our belief’s we must not point to their sin and condemn them but show them a chance to turn from it and be saved by grace. We must present a positive reason for people to turn from the ways of Baal and his demons who actively work to subvert the work of the Lord. There is a positive reason; Jesus and God, the Father and the Son gave us the perfect roadmap to a world of peace and serenity. They gave us the Truth and made us Salt and Light on Earth. They sent us out as sheep amidst the wolves not to be eaten by the wolves but to show that with our faith in our shepherd, with trust in the power and the hand of God, we have nothing to fear from even ravenous wolves. Not a member of our flock can be harmed, not one of our number can be plucked if we remain firm in our Belief and trust completely in Him. This is good news folks! We will overcome if we simply trust in God and live in the image of Christ. So go out today and every day and build up the city that Christ began. Dip your wick in His flame and add another candle to the number. Be the light. Be a beacon. It’s what you were born to do!