It would be fair to assume that the World looks to The Church for a measurement on moral leadership. So it’s fair to assume that when the secular looks at the saved, they look at us as a whole. What do they see? Who do we represent? What are we representing? With such division and immorality within our own “Religious Government” I find myself defending the unreligious criticism of the religious.
I can go down a list of things, but will limit to a few of the most recent distractions in the name of divinity.
California Proposition 8
This has been made into such an outrageous issue that I believe many miss the point. Regardless of any person’s sexual preference does it mean that they are barred from salvation? If so, when did Acts 10:34-35 (God is no respecter of persons) get removed from the Bible? Yes you can throw back scriptures against homosexuality, but that doesn’t give authority to discriminate, hold hatred in our hearts or be a respecter of persons does it? Haven’t we all fallen short of the promise of God?
If I’m comfortable with my own sexuality, but more importantly my spirituality why should I expend energy towards outrage on the issue of Gay Marriage or homosexuality? Where’s the outrage towards the issue of fornication or adultery, domestic violence, gluttony, lying tongue or even that hypocritical spirit? I would like to see a Christian Coalition on those propositions.
Stop allowing yourself to be misled and start allowing yourselves to be lead by the word of God. Instead of transform the world the church is too busy being transformed by the leasing of their minds to the world.
I really want to talk about this one more, but in the interest of time I’ll move on.
I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. If you remix this in a religious context, the church can not achieve what it is charged to do until its members realize that we are all one, caught in an inescapable universe of mutually. What affects one, affects the other. When you discriminate against one group you are discriminating against all members of that group.
If I’m a Baptist, Congregationalist or Pentecostal why can’t I worship with you? If I’m White, Latina, Black, Native or Asian why should you look at me strange or with suspicion? If I’m straight, gay or transgender why can’t I sit beside you without that little extra space between us? If the doors of the church are truly open we must first open our minds to the redemptive scriptures we often read but fail to translate into deeds.
O what is it like to be a Christian in America, the world for that matter.
Purpose Driven Life
Far too often you find people who proclaim to be Christians who go to church to be entertained like its some type of social center. You can tell by asking a simple question, “How was the service today?” If they tell you everything, but the word of God then they went for entertainment, not education or enlighten.
The church is not an entertainment center. Stop worrying about who’s in the church and start concerning yourself with why you’re in church. The church has a purpose.
When we become more interested in the person than their lifestyle you begin to see the image of God in them. You see past the mask of their political affiliations, you see past the color of their skin, their level of education, economics status and even sexual orientation you get to the essence of the person. This is what too many people are missing today. More concerned with appearances than apathy. I believe Jesus got criticized for hanging with “worldly” people, but many Christians seem to have gotten away from Christ.
Now I titled this section the way I did for a specific reason. The Purpose Driven Life is a book by Pastor Rick Warren. Now I’ve tried to stay away from the same levels of contempt for Pastor Rick Warren than many had for Dr. Jeremiah Wright. I decided instead of trying to understand what was meant by their inflammatory comments in each of their sermons I think it’s more important to look for the image of God. The doors of the church are open to them just as it is for anyone else.
The purpose driven life is one that I believe seeks the truth, but also seeks equality fairness and freedom for all. When the world looks inside the church what do they see? As of late they have seen condemnation of America, racist and homophobic rhetoric and discriminatory practices against other religious beliefs. The doors of the church are open, but should we close them until we get our act together?
**I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY ON THESE TOPICS, BUT DECIDED TO KEEP IT AS SHORT AS I COULD**
References & Inspiration Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Paul’s Letter to American Christians” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Guidelines to a Constructive Church” BlackPast.org – 04/13/03 “Confusing God and Government” CNN AC360 – 03/21/08 “The full story behind Writ’s God Damn America sermon” An Eclectic Array of Topics – 01/03/09 “Religion and Politics Are a Toxic Mix!” Newsweek – 12/15/08 “Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy” Newsweek – 12/08/08 “A Religious Reaction to Gay Marriage” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 1965 “Temple Israel of Hollywood Address”