It seems like I have the same frustrations over and over when it comes to christians.
(I realize that there are times that I use a small c when I type christians, you may also notice that I sometimes use lower case letters when talking about Jesus. This is intentional on my part, lower case letters in this case is the version of christian that so many have become, and the jesus that so many follow, the one that looks very different from the Jesus in the Bible, and the Christians that are different from the ones that grace our air waves, and sit in church looking down on others and… anyway there’s that explanation.)
The christian world view, the one that is giddy about a government shut down, that attempts to pin apocalyptic person hood on our president, and that talks about needing to get prayer back in schools, repeal the a fordable care act, calls for a military coup to set things right, I mean the list goes on. This christian world view is rather frightening.
Here’s what we were told to do;
Jesus :I am here speaking with all the authority of God, who has commanded Me to give you this commission: Go out and make disciples in all the nations. Ceremonially wash them through baptism in the name of the triune God:Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then disciple them. Form them in the practices and postures that I have taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you. And I will be with you, day after day, to the end of the age. Mat 28:18-20 (The Voice)
Why is it so hard for us to do this.
Which brings me to the next part of this. Paul gives us a glimpse into what the foundation of making disciples should be when he writes to Timothy.
So, first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity. Teach them to pray for kings (or anyone in high places for that matter) so that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives—reverent, godly, and holy — all of which is good and acceptable before the eyes of God our Savior who desires for everyone to be saved and know the truth. Because
There is one God and one Mediator between God and us—
the man Jesus, God’s Anointed,
Who gave His life as a ransom for all
so that we might have freedom. 1Ti 2:1-6 (The Voice)
A couple of interesting notes here.
1. God’s people are supposed to pray, but more importantly is who we are supposed to pray for. Praying for all of humanity, not just for ourselves, our churches, our ideals, our motives, our plans, not for the people that agree with us, and not that people would be put out of places be it a job, or an office, or a church. Pray for all humanity. Lets see that would include but not be limited to, other Christ followers and christians (there’s that little c again) Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, people who are strait, people who are gay, people who are rich, poor, sad, happy, all is a pretty big three letter word, and I fear that christians have forgotten how big it is.
Now you would think that when Paul says hey here’s what you need to do pray for all humanity, that would be enough, but obviously it’s not because he then takes another step and tells Timothy to teach the people to pray for kings or anyone in high places (read governing authority) I don’t see Paul saying pray that they are gotten out of office, I don’t see him telling Timothy to pray for their failure, I don’t see him saying to pray for God’s judgment to come on them. He just says pray for people in high places. I wonder if we would do this more than rant and rave about our rights and freedoms and privileges. If we would really do this pray for all of our leaders the one’s we like and agree with and the ones we don’t like and didn’t vote for, I wonder what a difference that would make?
2. The reason to do this is so that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives, that are reverent, godly and holy… What would happen if people that claim to be Christian would act like a follower of Christ instead of like a christian. What would happen if Christians prayed and then lived this way. What if we stood firm in our beliefs and allowed others to have their beliefs to. What if we prayed and then listened to everything that the other person, who desperately needs Jesus in their life instead of hitting the wall that is their sin and suddenly becoming the judge, jury and executioner as it where, what if we actually let God do what only can be done by God. We tell the stories of our life, and share the truth of His word. Then pray and let Him finish the work that we started. Isn’t that what he promised he would do?
3. God doesn’t have a list of people he’s willing to save and a list that he is unwilling to save. So why do we?
4. Our freedom does not come from the Constitution, it does not come from our government, it doesn’t even come from our church. Our freedom comes from the sacrifice that Jesus made. Why do we hold on so tightly to man made freedoms. Why is it so important for us to be right, or to be heard? Why are we so willing to take on the mantle of the oppressed and downtrodden? I’m not free because I live in America, I’m not free because of the Constitution, I’m free because of Jesus sacrifice.
I have been thinking of something lately. What if God is calling Christ Followers in America to take up a different sort of cross? christianity is on the decline in our nation, that’s a fact, and what if that’s what God is doing. What if he is calling us to live a life full of mercy, love, and forgiveness. What if God wants us to stop being christians and start being Christ Followers?