Friday, July 6, 2012
Five Lies Christians Tell... (Lie #1)
Being a Christian does not mean all the pain and heartache of this life will go away. To tell people otherwise is worse than misleading… it’s a lie.
This is the issue I have with proselytizing. In proselytizing, some Christians will do whatever it takes to get people to say, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior” – the magic words – so at the end of the day they can pat themselves on the back for how many lives they saved and then go home. As I see it, there are two basic flaws in proselytizing.
First of all, we don’t save anyone – only God can save. I’ve even heard of “mission trips” where hungry people are fed or ill people receive medical attention only after they say the magic words. Shame on us. Jesus Christ fed thousands and healed the lame, blind and sick with no ulterior motive other than to show God’s love for them. Likewise, our actions – not just our words – should share the hope that we have in God’s love, forgiveness and grace.
Secondly, where is the follow up if we simply leave and go home? This morning an alcoholic may pour out her heart to God then sincerely seek Christ’s healing presence by tearfully declaring Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior… but later today she’s still going to crave that next drink. How can we abandon her after she cries out to God for help? It is very likely that we are Christ’s healing presence she so desperately seeks. She needs the love and support of a Christian community that is willing to surround her and walk with her as she stumbles her way along the uneven road of sobriety.
No… being a Christian does not mean all the pain and heartache of this life will go away. But being a Christian DOES mean we believe that the God who cared enough to create us continues to be active in our lives – even in the painful, heartbreaking times. Instead of simply trying to get everyone else to say the magic words, let’s start living lives that model for the world what it means to BE a Christian… what it means to have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. That's living the Gospel!