On the surface the title of this blog may seem silly, and perhaps a bit confrontational...However, if you give me a bit of latitude, I will try to back this bus right up to the front door of my point. Many Christians, these days, believe that we are opposed and persecuted solely because of our “godliness”. We would also like to believe it is our spirituality that’s really unnerving people, but in reality, it just might be the stench of our personality.
It’s true that the Spirit, and things of God often come into direct conflict with the world; he who is born of flesh will persecute him that is born of the Spirit. But Christians always run into trouble the further they move away from the likeness, and character of Jesus Christ. Thus, they are often persecuted for their own faults rather than their beliefs. There is nothing more pathetic than a pompous, self-righteous Christian trying to hide behind a few verses of scripture. There is also nothing sadder than “Christians” misrepresenting, and misquoting the Bible in order to try to justify some wayward, self serving ideology.
People are much more tolerant of outward faults and shortcomings than they are of hidden deceit, and ulterior motives. Drunks, gluttons, and braggarts are often given a much wider birth than pious Christians engaging in spiritual gymnastics, and biblical contortions. Luke 12:48 states: “ But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”
So if you are ever in a room, where things are getting a little heated and you start to notice a smell...be sure that your words, personality, and actions are in lockstep with the teachings, and example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessings to you and yours!
Looking back I find it a bit ironic that, in my youth, I attended a Christian school and went to church-- yet I never saw God there. Over the years I've had to let a lot of hard feelings go and realize that man, churches, and schools, for that matter, are not always the best ambassadors for the causes of Christ. Looking backward I now understand that the blight of my Christian school was the same as the blight of the Pharisees, in that they embraced a doctrine that was totally devoid of love. I recall my daily rations of poor renditions of the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and I really began to wonder whether God hated me? At fifteen years old I had pimples, braces, and all the other maladies of the teenage years, so I could really understand why God hated me, because in all reality, I hated myself! Over the next three years I gradually began to hear and care less about the rants flowing out of the pulpit and whether or not God loved me. Eventually graduated from that Christian school with enough biblical knowledge to write my own commentaries, however what I really knew about God and his redemption plan for mankind would not fill up one page on a mini-notepad!
After doing a tour in the Army I remember coming home and never feeling so old! I was twenty-two and I was spiritually bankrupt. I began attending college and I thought that psychology would be an interesting field of study, considering I had no idea what was going on with myself and perhaps I could figure me out along the way, which would be an ancillary benefit of paying my college tuition. Within the first year of my studies I tried to fill my spiritual void with psychology, philosophy, and eastern thought and meditations. And while these pursuits effectively passed the time, I found them less than transcendent. Eventually via metaphysics I stumbled blindly into the occult, where ultimately I spent the next 14 years as a Satanist. What I became was a walking incarnate of the god of this world. For I was an educated counselor that lead a sinister double life.
As I now enter into almost four decades of life it really causes me to reflect on how time is spent, and ultimately how much time is wasted. I'm reminded of a verse Joel 2:25 that reads: "And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten". When I meditate upon that verse I come to understand how much the Lord wants to bless us! That being said, I'm now living in the years of the restoration---praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!