Called to Love

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to call myself a Christian. This isn’t because I’m embarrassed of Jesus, it’s because I’m embarrassed at how his children act and react to things.  All you have to do is think about how the media portrays Christians.  We’re known for stubbornly clinging to an ageing and outdated list of Old Testament laws, despite the fact that the world has moved on without us, not even looking back so much as to wave goodbye.
Crowds of people have turned their back not so much on God, but on the Church.  This is because they can’t sit in a service on a Sunday and nod in agreement to what is being said from the front or whispered in the pews.  Things don’t add up for them, no matter how many times they’ve revisited the problem.  These forward-thinking people have probed, and they’ve questioned, and they’ve wrestled with doubts, and they still can’t shake off the feeling that the Church is slow in hearing the truth.
The truth is that God cares more about social justice than stale and suffocating morals. I 100% believe this. I’m not saying out with standards and in with thoughtless and shameful living, I’m asking a question- why can’t we love rather than throw stones at people and beat them with sticks? Why are we so hung up on sex, drugs, and alcohol, instead of love? Why are we obsessed with pointing the finger and laying the blame at someone’s feet?  God calls us to love, and not condemn.  He calls us to care, and not criticise.
Christians should be known for the good and godly things that they do, and not for the hurtful and hypocritical things that they cling to. I wonder how many people we have actively pushed out the door?  How many people have passively walked out of Church because they don’t want to be associated with snake-tonged smooth-spoken insincere human beings? I have seen ‘christians’ unmasked and exposed, and it is ugly.  Some days I want to crawl under my duvet or hide in a cave because I want to get as far away from so called ‘christians’ as I can.
Why can’t we love as Jesus loved?  Why can’t we care an iota as much as God cares for each and every one of us? It was only when I started my ministry training that I felt like running away from the Church.  And it wasn’t because I wanted to get away from God, it was because I couldn’t stand being in a room with a bunch of people who professed to be Christians and then slated ‘sinners’ in the very next sentence. It has been a long and difficult battle since then, and unfortunately it’s not over for me yet.
People are out there dying, and we as the Church are within our four walls gossiping and casting judgemental glares at each other. I don’t think God cares as much about sex, drugs, and alcohol as we think He does, because He’s pre-occupied with other things. Hunger for example.  And poverty.  And AIDS.  Social justice should be at the top of our list, but instead we’ve replaced this list with 101 man-made commandments that God never approved.  Take this; there are over 2000 references to poverty in the Bible.  There are also over 2000 references to money.  In fact, 15% of Jesus’ teachings centre on money and possessions, more than everything Jesus had to say on Heaven and Hell put together (www.oneplace.com).  Maybe it’s worth us re-looking at our firmly held beliefs once again.  For some people this may be a first.

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