August 28, 2015

Stop Hating On Christians

So, explain something to me, please.  Because I'm confused.

Why are people always so surprised when professing Christians - specifically those that live their lives in view of the public eye - turn out to be sinners? Why all the shock and/or disgust when they turn out to be as imperfect and flawed as the next person? (The Duggars, specifically Josh Duggar, and Sam from the Sam and Nia YouTube channel come to mind.  You could probably reference others.)

Why is there always such indignation expressed when a Christian is found to have made an error in judgement or to contain a serious character flaw?

Christians, including the Duggars and Sam and many others like them who have been crucified on the internet for their imperfections, never profess to be perfect.  In fact, the reality is just the opposite. The main reason one becomes a Christian is because he or she sees his or her inherent sinfulness and need for a savior. To call oneself a Christian is to say he or she is a fallen sinner - terribly flawed.

Perhaps the mainstream population sees Christians as professing to be sinless and, thus, better than others because when Christians see sin, they don't hesitate to call it sin? But here's the thing, Christians don't exclude themselves from this.  When sin is revealed - in anyone, including ourselves (I am a Christian) - we call it sin. We shine God's light on it, or if it is our own sin, we own up to it. This is not hypocrisy.  It is honesty.

Besides, is a person instantly disqualified from pointing out wrongs in the world and in others if he or she has committed a wrong? If so, we all better keep our mouths shut!

So again I ask, why get so upset or instigate and facilitate a witch hunt when a Christian is found to have fallen and sinned?  Every Christian I have seen accused of sin has owned up to that sin, and upon revelation of the sin, he or she has sought restitution for that sin.

Actually, this is what sets us apart.  We call sin what it is when we see it, in society and in ourselves (sometimes with the help of others), and we seek to right those wrongs. Because that's what Jesus asked us - everyone - to do.  To turn and follow Him. To chose this higher path. Perhaps this act of restoration is what is so irritating to some?

Because there are those that own up to their sins and admonish others to do so also (Christians), and then those that would rather go to their graves embracing their sins, referring to their darkness as light, while waiting in the wings to point out other offenders for their faults.

The hardest thing one can ever seek to do in this life is to follow Christ, and yet, it is the most rewarding path one could choose.

So don't be surprised when you see headlines - and I guarantee there will be more - about other Christians whose names were found on the Ashley Madison server or who turned out to have checkered pasts. First of all, it shouldn't be a surprise as these have never claimed perfection - although you may perceive it to be that way.  And furthermore, don't throw around the label of "hypocrite" when your sins cause God just as much sadness as the next person's.

When you point out others' hypocrisy, who then is the bigger hypocrite?

And don't go claiming that I just wrote a post in support of or to minimize anyone's sin. If you read this post and think that I would do that, go back and reread it because you totally missed my point.

Here's the thing, people. We can't expect Christians - especially those in the limelight - to never disappoint us.  They most certainly will - as we all, daily, disappoint Jesus even with our best intentions.  Please, don't set these poor souls on some high moral pedestal.  I guarantee they will fall from that height if you put them there.

And on that note, if you perceive a Christian to be be espousing some moral superiority, YOU have put them on that pedestal.  They have not put themselves in that position. If you believe otherwise, you don't understand our faith at all, so do us all a favor and don't spread that ignorance around as it helps to foster undue persecution.

I believe one my favorite poets, Maya Angelou, explains best what I'm trying to say in her poem entitled, "I Am A Christian." I'll leave you with it as today's forget-me-not.  Read it through, and remember her words the next time someone says to you, "I am a Christian."

And one last thing.  To borrow from Sam's and Nia's concluding remarks on their vlogs...

I love you! And don't forget to love each other!!!

Today's forget-me-not:

"I Am A Christian"
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.”
I’m whispering “I was lost,

Now I‘m found and forgiven.
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.

I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.
When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow!
– Maya Angelou

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