Just Wondering: Some Questions for My Christian Brothers and Sisters

I’m having such a hard time these days with social media and the news. Hatred, anger, and fear underlie almost every post and report. I have been especially surprised by the reactions and comments of Christians.

I haven’t been a follower of Jesus for that long—just since 2008—and I admit I follow him quite imperfectly. So perhaps I’ve missed something. But to my understanding it is love by which he said his followers would be known. (Jn 13:35) He didn’t say go out and be right. He said go out and be love. And he didn’t just say to band together and love each other. He said to love our enemies, to bless them, do good to them, and pray for them. (Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27–28) He said to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. (Mk 12:31) He said to welcome the stranger and visit the prisoner. (Mt 25:34–40) And he said “do not judge others.” (Mt 7:1)

These days, it seems that what we Christians are looking to do is correct behavior instead of love. Before we love you, we want to know whether you are a practicing Muslim or if you are just a Muslim by culture and in name. We want to know whether you are practicing homosexuality or if you’re just attracted to someone of the same sex. We want to know what crime you committed and whether you’ve actually repented. We want to know whether you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs before we buy you a meal. We would rather talk with you about your behavior than lavish you with love. We would rather pass judgment than extend mercy.

I guess I’m just wondering why we do this. What are we afraid of—that Christians will get a bad name? That we will be known as lovers of Muslims, homosexuals, criminals, or addicts? I thought that’s what we were supposed to be known for. No? Or are we worried that being right on certain issues is the thing that ultimately saves us? I thought we were saved by our faith and trust in Jesus. No? And, by the way, why are we afraid anyway? I thought we believed that Jesus has overcome the world and that our hope is in him, not our country, political leaders, or the Second Amendment. No?

Just wondering.

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19 thoughts on “Just Wondering: Some Questions for My Christian Brothers and Sisters

  1. What is really sad. Kelly. is as Christians we believe “in word” things we are having a difficult time living “by faith”. ..and this is why we are, justly, called hypocritical by those watching closely. Thank you for the reminder to all of your readers of this reality. Maybe it will be today’s reminder to LIVE out our faith. And while we’re at it…we need to remember to love those who fall short of living authentically too. Ironic!

    • Wasan,
      Ah, yes! I don’t mean to say being a Muslim is like being a criminal. But that certainly is the current thinking among many people including Christians which was precisely my point. I could have easily said that we are called to love Christians, criminals, addicts, etc. We are all humans, made in God’s image and deeply loved but we are always looking for ways to draw lines between us whether because of beliefs, origins, skin color, or conduct.

  2. Kellye – thank you for your post. I do encourage you to continue to fix your eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith. Some who say they are Christian will be surprised to learn they were religious pharisees, not true Christ followers. Others are Christ followers who fall short as we all do.

    This is not new. The church in Corinth excluded the poor from communion, engaged in lawsuits, judged those eating meat sacrificed to idols and on and on.

    You understand well the command Jesus gave us to love as He loved and that would be the mark of a Christian. Our challenge is can we love those who do not show love? Can I love those who promote fear even as I walk by faith in love. Our faith is not in man or systems but the Son of Man who is our Savior.

    Be strongly affirmed in your faith, recognize the problems are not new and will not disappear until the Lord returns. And continue to wrap yourself in love reflecting Christ to both the judged and those who judge knowing your heart of mercy will triumph over judgment.

  3. I so relate to your observations and concerns. Sadly, too many of these fearful and paranoid Christians are blinded to the problems with their behavior and attitudes. They are not fearful, just “cautious” – etc. From the many things I see on social media, one would think that Christianity is the religion of self-preservation, retribution, exclusion of outsiders, etc. Sigh. This sends such a sad and inaccurate view of our faith to non-Christians. Thanks for speaking out in your post.

    • Hey Laura,
      Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I think you’re right. Caution in small things often reflects underlying fear and a lack of trust. Praying God will guide us to know how to keep inviting people into faith over fear.

  4. I love the purity of this post, Kelley, and I’m reminded of the verse in 2 Cor. 11:3 – “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” I tend to filter comments I read these days and much has been revealed in recent days about those who understand Christ’s example of love and grace. Peace to you, my friend, and keep going against the stream which pulls toward short-cuts, cynicism and legalistic thinking.

  5. Kellye, Personally I believe a lot of this hostile reaction comes from people who call themselves Christian, but in fact, are not actually serious disciples of Jesus at all. I think we need to be questioning peoples genuine beliefs rather that giving them the benefit of the doubt that they actually believe the premises of Jesus. My opinion is that there are millions of people whose sole intention behind calling themselves “christian” is to feel they have escaped the judgement of God, rather than authentically attempting to embody the Spirit of God. The question that NEEDS to be asked is , What makes people think they are truly Christian?

    • Hey Joel, great points. I don’t know if questioning people’s beliefs is where I would head, but perhaps continuing to invite people into a deeper faith and demonstrating the way to be true disciples. Praying God will illuminate where we fall short and continue to lead us to know and trust him more and more, and to love as he does…

  6. I was going post a reply, when you 1st posted it, but I wanted to wait to let me reply in a more graceful spirit.
    My greatest struggle w/other Christians is the politics of anti-gay, anti-any woman who has had an abortion-is their sin any worse than our sin? The politics of anti-other races, anti-other religions, now anti-poverty, all these carry a negative picture of Christians. Doesn’t Jesus tell us love others. Period. No qualfiers. EVERONE!

    • Hey Tom,
      Thanks for your comment. It is hard to see any rhetoric that includes hate or anger. And it is hard not to judge those who are judgmental in that way, but of course then we fall into the same behavior. I agree that Jesus calls us to love others–everyone in fact, as you say. So, how do we love those who are acting in hateful or anti- ways?

      • We love them as Jesus loves us, asking Him to forgive them and to bless them. I’d like to pray they see Christ’s love for others, as shown in Math. 25:31-45
        Blessings

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