Thursday, December 18, 2014

What is a Christian?

I think Christians in the USA are constantly misunderstood, misrepresented and, often-misguided. 

As far as the raging, radical leftist is concerned-we are nothing but political ideologues pushing the agenda of the religious right. And as far as many average Americans are concerned, we are out of touch, judgmental hypocrites. 

Part of the problem is that we are letting the world, the flesh and the devil make the rules. We're allowing the secular media to push their own narrative and falling right in line with it. We're religiously accepting the left versus right dynamic that so many in America have come to define themselves by. 

But as citizens of Heaven, as ambassadors for Christ. We are not supposed to be defined or confined by the identities and definitions and priorities of the world. We are NOT here to be moralists, we are not called to preach a moral code or to promote a culture.(No, that doesn't mean that we should exclude ourselves from any type of political contributions or that we have no right to have an opinion) but those things are not what define us, they are not our faith, they are not our mission and they certainly aren't our identity. IF, for example I am pro-life, I'm not pro-life because of party affiliation or political persuasion, I am pro-life because God loves everyone and every human being is made in His image and God has given His own Son to save each individual. BUT my mission in life, the reason that God has put me on this earth as a vessel for the Spirit of Christ is not so that I may end abortion but so that I can proclaim the Gospel. 

My point is this-the root word of "Christian" is "Christ." Our message is Jesus. Our purpose is Jesus. We are not here to promote ourselves or even our ministries. We are not here to appear to be more righteous than others or to enforce morals and righteous living on other people. We are not here to condemn or put down anyone. We are simply hear so the message can be proclaimed that ALL men and women are sinners,and that Jesus Christ can save us so we can have fellowship with our Creator.  

The world is constantly distracting us with fights and debates that are endless and fruitless so that the real reason we are here will be neglected. I can tell a sinner all day long what they already know, that they are broken. But it's more important that I admit that I am just as much in need as they are and point them to the only one who can make our broken-ness whole, Jesus Christ. 

I'm not talking in the least bit about compromising anything that we believe. I am simply saying that we need to have our focus where it belongs because any cause that is not the cause of Christ, will end up being a waste of time. 

And if we as "Christians" are defined by anything other than "Christ" than just what kind of Christians are we? 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The World Teaches Self-Esteem but All It is Is Narcissism, the Golden Rule is The Real Solution

 We have three direction in which we relate, we relate to our Creator, we relate to other people and we relate to ourselves. Having the right perspective about all 3 of them is extremely important. We need to have things in the proper balance and organized as God would want them to be.

#1, God simple has to be number one. If we are disciples of Christ, we have to deny self and take up our cross so we know we cannot put ourselves first, but Jesus also mentions how we must not love mother or father or brother more than Him so others must also find themselves UNDER God on our list of priorities. If there is a conflict between your neighbors will, and God's will-you need to choose God's every time!

#2, Our perspective on our own Self must be appropriate. We must realize that we are valuable not only because we are created in the image of God but also because we are redeemed by a high price, the blood of Jesus Christ and we are His possession. Therefore being a good steward of your own self, is simply taking care of a prized possession of God. So having dignity and being responsible isn't selfish, it is respecting your owner, God. 

And when we do not respect ourselves, that bad perspective usually leaks into our relationships with others. In other words, those who don't respect themselves usually don't respect anyone else either, and we know, according to the Scriptures we are supposed to be kind, courteous and charitable to others. 

#3, Others. We are to love our neighbor. We are to esteem others better than ourselves. A godly life is a life of service, kindness, hospitality, mutual respect and love. We need to treat others as we would like to be treated. We need to be honest with others. We need to be gentle with others. We need to be considerate of others.

If you realize that God is of the utmost value and worthy of all worship, that we are valuable because we belong to God and that others are valuable because they are His creations and He loves them, then all of our relationships, our self-image and our daily interactions in this world, will be what they are supposed to be.