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“We have become terribly disfigured in recent years, in many ways, the opposite of God’s intent,” writes Michael Brown in the Christian Post.
“If you don’t believe me, visit some of our personal, Bible-affirming, Jesus-believing, social media pages, where we savage each other and attack each other and spread hearsay and even lies about one another with reckless abandon,” he added.
“They are hate-filled pages, pages filled with venom and poison, yet pages that ultimately reflect what is in our own hearts. I ask: how on earth did this happen?” he added.
I must say that I agree with Michael. Watching Christians bicker online or off about silly, minor matters of faith is as frustrating as it is sad.
Our mouths and keyboards can become literal and virtual flamethrowers as we rip to shreds fellow believers created in God’s image for such things as:
- Is someone truly baptized by immersion or sprinkling?
- Should coffee or other drinks be consumed during a church service?
- Should people dress up for church?
- Should worship services consist of traditional hymns or modern Christian music?
- Should Christians vote in favor of one political party or another.
- Should a movie like The Shack be avoided because God is portrayed as a black woman?
- Would Jesus wear a mask or get a vaccination?
- Should children go trick-or-treating?
- How one Christian author’s Holy Spirit-inspired perception of a Bible passage is “blasphemy” while another’s is “truth?”
- Which translation of the Bible is the “inspired word of God” and which is “heresy?”
- Does the rapture come pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation?”
- Should homosexuals be allowed in church? Or single mothers? Or addicts? Or people with piercings? Or divorced people? Or pregnant teenagers? Or homeless people?
“We are vile. We are vicious. We are mean-spirited. We treat each other with disrespect and disdain. There is little honor. Little humility. Little grace,” Michael wrote.
“Perhaps worse still, we have been taught to hate and we have found justification for our hatred,” he added. “After all, the Democrats (or Republicans or whatever people have our ire at the moment) are downright demons. They are Satan incarnate. They are pure evil. They deserve nothing but damnation. They are worthy of our ridicule.
“To treat them with even a modicum of decency is beneath our high Christian calling, a calling we now demonstrate by our condescending, cruel, mocking, and merciless attitudes. Oh, how holy we have become!,” Michael wrote.
“The truth is that we can hate sin without becoming hateful. We can stand against corruption and evil without becoming vile. We can even be righteously indignant without becoming venomous,” he noted.
“It is high time – no, it is way past time – for some deep, serious soul-searching and repentance. It is time for radical change. May we learn to love again,” he concluded.
His column is lengthy, but well worth the read. It was a real gut check on some of my own attitudes, words and actions. I urge you to read it, save it and refer to it often. You can find it at www.christianpost.com.
Michael’s column brought to mind a classic religious joke when one man encounters another who was about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge.
The first man engages the jumper in conversation to discourage him from taking the leap. During the course of conversation, they discover they have a common Christian faith down to seven points of agreement.
However, when the rescuer, who is a member of the Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 discovers that the jumper is a member of the Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912, he responds “Die heretic” and throws the man off the bridge.
It would be funny if the underlying message wasn’t so truthful.