I have been a Christian for 19 years now. I wrote about turning 19, HERE, if you care to read about it. I love being a Christian. I love that I am a part of a group. I love what being a part of this group means, ultimately.
But for a solid handful of years now I have grown in realization of the fact that Christians are facing a growing problem. A problem that affects how we are viewed. A problem that affects the impact we have in our world. A problem that, quite honestly, cause many "Christians" to be ashamed of the title.
A problem that causes me to be ashamed of the title.
But I am not ashamed of Jesus, or His Gospel, or even His exclusivity as the Only Way to Spiritual Life everlasting.
There are several issues that define the overall problem...
1) "Christians" are Lazy
Laziness is one of the swiftest ways to tick God off...yet so many of His people are best described in this manner. We preach and teach right and wrong...yet we live out and model the exact opposite.
We "Christians" have always been strong at setting rules and barking marching orders for others to live by while we slack by the wayside.
DONT...but then we do.
DO...but then we dont.
2) "Chrisitans" are Prideful
God is pretty clear on His stance toward prideful individual. He says that "He resists them" and that "He gets close to the humble." Too many of us allow our track record of medicre personal and spiritual growth and the long list of sins we no longer committ to puff us up. We begin to be a stumbling block for others in need of Jesus when we are "proud" of ourselves.
LOOK AT ME...I dont listen to that music, watch those kind of movies, wear my clothes too tight or hang out with people who do, say those words, think those thoughts, or go those places (anymore!).
LOOK AT ME...I sing "The Old Ruggud Cross" and "How Great Thou Art" while I'm showering, wear suits and wool socks to church, carry a big black bible under my arm, love the Lord, pray my "thees" and my "thous" thrice daily, and I enjoy a good buffet.
LOOK AT ME...I am a cool, modern "Christian," I go to an awesome church, my pastor cusses, and we don't throw stones at anyone, we accept everyone.
LOOK AT ME (not Jesus) LOOK AT ME (not Jesus)
We would never say this with words. But we say it in many ways by our pride.
The only pride we are justified to cultivate is a pride in the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
3) "Christians" are Inconsiderate
Where I am from, and I would bet all accross America, the rudest customers who pay the lowest tips are those in nice clothes on Sundays between 1-3pm.
Let that sink in for a second...
I could type so much more, but it is this attitude of inconsideration, played out in various ways from the restaurant to the retail store and even to personal conversations and run ins, that turn people off of "Christians."
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Ultimately, it is an honor to be a "Christian." One of the greatest honors, actually. But it is the laziness, the prife, and the inconsideration of those I align myself with (and, yes, even my own foolishness, at times) that cause me to be, more practically, ashamed.
The problem with "Christians" is that we are getting in our own way,
and in the way of Jesus and His Church, of reaching those far from Him.