Do You Ever Wonder…

How the rest of the world observes Christians?  When they read a blog post about Bible versions, dresses vs. pants, elders or congregational rule, modesty, movies, or the flaws in different ministries, do they go, “Wow… ” and if so, why?

Do they see hearts so in love with the Lord that we want to please Him with all of our being… or do they see people who miss the essence of what– or rather Whom– they claim to believe?

I bet this seems kind of odd after my recent “Dear Young Person” rant.  After all, I was pretty harsh.  I know I was.  Sometimes, you have to “turn over the moneychanger tables” and other times you have to back off and remind a brother to “go and sin no more.”  Christians have a horrible reputation of “shooting their own”.  “Friendly fire” is common in churches and Christian circles.  The sad thing is, because of that, true sin is often overlooked, excused, or practically encouraged under the guise of “love”.  It isn’t loving to watch someone drink poison.  It isn’t loving to let someone destroy themselves.

Do you remember when you were a kid?  Maybe it was the time you started to lie about who broke Mom’s vase and then ‘fessed up.  Mom said, “I’m just glad you told me the truth.  I’ll clean it up.  Just be careful on your way to the kitchen.”  You deserved some kind of consequence and all you got was forgiveness.  Why?  Because Mom saw that you were penitent and that you chose not to compound an accident with a wrong.  That’s what Christians should do when their brother sins against them.  It’s the right thing to do.

If the sister is in continual sin, it does her no good for you to pretend like it’s all ok, or worse, justify it.  “I know you just trashed your husband’s reputation all over Facebook, but he really did blow it and you were just venting.”   Gulp.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen, if Christians quit trying to live up to a set of rules and started just immersing themselves in the Bible.  I mean really FEED on it.  Make it such a part of our lives that we feel hungry– starving even– without it.  And then… just because I like to be radical… live it.  Not rules, not regulations, not a check list of ‘to-dos’, not even a “WWJD” kind of Charles Sheldonesque thing…  Just that when you’re ready to fire off a stinging reply to someone who unjustly blasts you, instead you remember to “see that no one repays another with evil for evil , but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”  You don’t do it because it’s another “godly discipline” but rather from an outflow of what you’ve been infusing into your heart.  In other words, you got slapped on one cheek and instead of raising your hand to retaliate, you opted not to (which leaves you open to further attack hence, the other cheek thing).

  1. Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
    Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
    Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
    Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
  2. Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
    Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
    By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
    Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
  3. Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
    And run not before Him, whatever betide.
    In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
    And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
  4. Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
    Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
    Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
    Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
Yes, sometimes I wonder what the world thinks of Christians… but then I put that thought out of my mind.  I really don’t want to know.  I don’t want to know because deep down I know it isn’t what I want it to be.

7 thoughts on “Do You Ever Wonder…

  1. Chautona, nice blog post. One of my FB friends posted this trailer; I’m not able to watch it yet because the sound is out on my laptop, but I get the gist of it from the title alone.

    Thoughts? I’m curious about yours, in light of your post. I have a few of my own…

    • Honestly, I think it might have some excellent points. Unfortunately, I think it may end up (really hard to tell from 2 minutes) doing exactly what I’m talking about… but from the opposite end. Shooting our own is just as bad when the “loving guy” rips the “legalist” as it is when the “legalist” goes after the “liberal.”

      I can’t wait to see myself!!

  2. I am a Christian, but when I read this …

    “When they read a blog post about Bible versions, dresses vs. pants, elders or congregational rule, modesty, movies, or the flaws in different ministries, do they go, “Wow… ” and if so, why?

    Do they see hearts so in love with the Lord that we want to please Him with all of our being… or do they see people who miss the essence of what– or rather Whom– they claim to believe?”

    … I don’t think about Jesus at all. I think about rules. I am not drawn toward Jesus and who He is and what He has done for me. I am pointed to what I must do, how I must act, etc. And if I wasn’t a Christian, I would think I would need to know these things in order to be one.

    All the while missing the point that being a Christian isn’t about me and what I must do, but about Jesus and what He did. Preach Christ. Preach the truth that we have died and Christ lives in us and we live that life by faith in Him. (Gal 2:20). As we received Him, let’s continue to live in Him. (Col 2 is awesome!) How did we receive Him? By grace, through faith. Now we’re alive in Him! Let’s preach Christ and all He has done for us, and that is when the world will be see Jesus living through us. They aren’t going to be drawn to our debates about rules, customs, etc. We as Christians aren’t made complete when we learn these things about Bible versions, modesty, etc. We are made complete when we grasp the love of Christ – that is the fullness of God! And when we are full of that love, it’s going to spill out to every single person we meet, and that’s how we can reach the world.

    And the above was written to me, because apparently I needed to hear it again today. 🙂

  3. I totally agree with you! I believe that Satan is so thrilled with all the petty squabbling among Christians about skirts and translations and music and…and…and…because it makes us completely ineffectual as witnesses for the love of Jesus.

  4. “Shooting our own is just as bad when the ‘loving guy’ rips the ‘legalist’ as it is when the ‘legalist’ goes after the ‘liberal.'”

    Yes, that’s sort of my take on it. To be fair, I have not watched this trailer yet, and I intend to do so when I can. But judging from the constant stream of criticism for their more conservative brethren, both politically and in terms of their take on inerrancy of scripture, that my friend seems to imbibe from these sorts of authors/commenters, I tend toward the “three fingers pointing back atcha” perspective on these things.

    I find this sort of thing as irrelevant to the actual claims of Christ on the individual as I do the heretic hunting sites.

    It’s the horizontality of it all, I guess. Where’s the vertical? 🙂

    Like I said to my FB friend after one of these linkages: “When do these guys ever get done critiquing evangelicals and move on to the things they claim we SHOULD be doing?”


    • Exactly. It sounds like more from the “emergent” movement which seems like an evangelical version of the “Crossroads” or “Boston Movement” that began in the Gainsville, Florida Church of Christ.

      See, once again, the point is on going after brethren rather than going to the Word and infusing it in our lives and trusting God for the outcome. Things like that link still make it about “showing someone how wrong they are” rather than “glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.”

      It’s no different than pants vs. dresses or Bible versions. Same basic thing. Let’s just attack one another rather than stand before the throne of God, His Word open, and saying, “What do *I* need to know?”

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