26 September 2007

Attitude Adjustment

Ok, so I like to stir the pot a bit... I do; I admit it.
But I like to make people THINK.

Recently, a good friend of mine posted something on his/her blog that caused quite a stir.
It was (essentially) about legalism within the church.
Now, I have listened to both sides of the debate and I have another perspective to offer:
It's all fine and good to stand firm about your beliefs regarding drinking, smoking, dancing, etc. and I *do* agree that LEADERSHIP in the church should be held to a higher standard (that, in and of itself, may be a double standard, but oh well), but I wonder how many people get their knickers in a knot about the *obvious* things, while completely disregarding WAY more offensive words/actions by so-called Christians.

This post is NOT a response to my friend's blog, but rather, a response to something I read online yesterday:

"I don't reject your Christ; I love your Christ.
It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mahatma Ghandi

I don't know if Ghandi actually said that, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's true.
Isn't that sad?
I wanted to cry when I read this and REALLY thought about it... I know SO many "good" Christians who have said and done things to me and in front of me that I thought, "Wow; what if I were not already saved???"

And please don't misunderstand me; I shudder to think of all the offenses I have committed, oblivious to their impact on those around me!

So, while I think it IS good for us to debate aspects of legalism and its place in the Church, I would like for us to think about this... Have I ever said or done any of the following that may have caused someone to think I am not like Christ?

Have you ever:

  • Told a racist joke or made a racist comment?
  • Made a sexist remark?
  • Treated someone who was unattractive or overweight like they are somehow inferior to you?
  • Treated someone who is not popular/well-liked like they are unimportant?
  • Lorded your position of authority over someone as though you achieved it by inherent gift & not by grace?
  • Acted as though you don't have the time of day to listen to someone in need because they are not "important enough?"
  • Treated someone as beneath you just because they don't dress like you, look like you, or live like you?

When I talk to those who are not Christians (and who claim they never want to be), they do not point to legalism as their reasons for shunning the church. They point to the attitudes and behavior of the so-called Christians in the church:
People who speak one thing, but do another.

God, help me to never offend another human being against your offer of salvation -- by ANYTHING that I say or do.

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