I have written about being a misunderstood Christian multiple times before. Alas, the problem has only gotten worse lately, and quite frankly it’s mostly because the only Christians many non-Christians see are the “Evangelicals”, This term used to simply mean someone who was a member of one of the more conservative church bodies, but lately has become synonymous with homophobia, attacks on women’s rights, and conspiracy theories among other unpleasantries. I wish I could say that depiction is incorrect, but more often than not there is a good deal of truth there and that hurts my heart. The saddest thing is that the folks who call themselves Evangelicals often consider themselves to be the only good or real Christians. I’m here to tell you that not only is that entirely untrue, but that quite frankly, those folks are barely Christians at all!
How can I say such a thing? Simple. By looking at the words of Jesus Christ, our namesake. Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples. (John 13 34-35). Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40). Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37).
Outside of the Gospels we find more words of wisdom including: Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8). May the Lord cause you to increase in and abound in love for one another, and for all people (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
If you spend more time arguing over the age or temperature of the Earth than considering how to be a good steward of this beautiful planet our Lord gave us, that’s not very Christ like. If you spend more time looking down at people for who they love than caring whether or not they have food to eat or a roof over their head, that’s not very Christ like. If you use the words of our God to defend hating any of your fellow brothers and sisters here on Earth, that is about as far away from being Christ like as you can get.
We are called as Christians to be the light of the world. To live and act in such a way that anyone we encounter wants to be a part of the joy in our hearts. Not to argue, but to comfort. Not to look down on anyone, but to lift others up. Not to hate, but to love.