Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"I Like Your Christ. I Do Not Like Your Christians"

 "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
~Mahatma Ghandi

Ouch. Talk about a zinger. Kind of a gut-punch, isn't it?

One day a couple of weeks ago, I was driving my kids to school, lecturing talking to them about how important it is to remember to be more respectful toward each other and to be a blessing and not a burden to their teachers and fellow students at school. On this day, I was in a mood. Bogged down by what seemed like a thousand little loose ends and details I just couldn't seem to pull together. Sound familiar? So, anyway...I remember doing a lot of mental complaining and griping about how much I had to do, how I didn't have any help, how I wished I could just go back home, pull the covers over my head and go back to bed. You get the idea.

My husband (who is the sweetest man on the planet and who I'm still amazed picked me out of all of the women in the world he could have chosen) called me to check in and see how my day was going. Well, he unfortunately got an earful as I proceeded to download all of the stuff that was weighing on my mind and basically overloaded him with nonsense about how overwhelmed I was and didn't he feel sorry for me for being so over committed and under prepared which of course is ALL MY FAULT TO BEGIN WITH. (I am a self-confessed yes-aholic and chronic volunteer). As always, he listened patiently and calmly and said all the right things and told me it would all turn out okay and even complimented me by reminding me that I am always able to pull everything together and work it all out in the end. I hung up after the obligatory 'so...how is your day going?' which he answered by saying, "Me? Oh, I'm fine." Classic David. I love him so much.

I felt much better after that, of course. Cranked up the car radio just in time to hear someone on KSBJ talking about remembering to focus our attention on being more Christ-like in all of our interactions as Christians (he was referring to the contentious political climate) and then he shared the quote at the top of this post. And then...WHAM. My self-centered fog lifted and I realized in that instant that I was doing exactly what I had admonished my children NOT to do that very morning. I was being a burden, not a blessing. Fleshing it out, as it were. I was being burdened, period. I stopped and remembered what Jesus said:

Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~Matthew 11:28-30

This is what Jesus said about himself. 'Learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart.' In all honesty, I can see why Ghandi said what he did. As much as I hate to admit it, this is exactly what I have been seeing playing out all over social media and in conversations I've heard between friends and even in my own interactions with others. If this quote makes you feel convicted, that's probably a good thing. It certainly did make me stop and think. I hit the reset button that day and kept repeating that quote over and over in my mind and let it sink deep down into my spirit.

No wonder so many non-believers are turned off by some Christians. Why? Because self-righteousness and hypocrisy and a 'holier-than-thou' attitude are not attractive. Guilt and condemnation aren't, either. So much stone throwing and finger pointing going on in this world. Sounds more like the behavior of the Pharisees to me. If memory serves, Jesus had some serious issues with those guys. Seems to me that quite a few self proclaimed Christians are loudly blowing their horns about this sin and that sin and how bad everyone else (besides themselves, of course) is behaving. Being unapproachable, condescending and offensive. Passing out judgments and condemnation like Halloween candy. So unlike our Christ.

Are they well meaning? Probably. I would hope so. Am I perfect and without blame? Absolutely not. Am I condoning sin? No, of course not. Am I saying that he who is without sin, go ahead and cast that stone? Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying.

While watching the recent violent uprisings in the middle east that coincided with the murderous attack on our US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, I was struck by the amount of passionate hatred in the eyes of all of those thousands and thousands of radical Islamic jihadists who banded together to make their presence known. It made me think. Why aren't we, as Christians committed to sharing that kind of passion when we seek to demonstrate the LOVE of Christ? I'm not talking about radical, fundamentalist anger and condemnation. In my opinion, that has NOTHING to do with the teachings of Christ. I'm talking about a committed, passionate, peaceful outpouring of love and forgiveness and charity and understanding that is news worthy! Why aren't we making news every day by showing how loving and compassionate and respectful of others we are? Why aren't we fired up to show the world the gentle and humble heart of Jesus and His salvation by living it out loud by example in our every day lives? How powerful and uplifting would that be?

Yes, I said it. Some Christians could learn a few things about expressing passion and dedication to their faith  from Muslims. You may not like that but I think it is true. Yes, even in my own life. Any thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

I have (what I think is) a great idea. I'm too busy with my crazy life and I can't afford to fund it but wouldn't it be really awesome to have a new cable news channel called GNN? The Good News Network. All good news all day and all night. Reporters traveling all over the world to cover stories of unsung heroes and people doing unselfish good works and people being healed miraculously? Highlighting kids for putting others before themselves? Outrageous athletic accomplishments? Compassionate humanitarian efforts? Videos of people all around the world doing humorous things?That kind of stuff. Doesn't need to be religious...just any good news will do. Hey, it would be great to see people trying to make the news by doing good things instead of being knuckleheads or criminals, dontcha think? Somebody get right on that, will ya?

And, hey...if you need any help getting it started, I'll be more than happy to volunteer to brainstorm ideas and search for stories or help design an ad campaign. Of course it would have to be after I tear down the decorations from Red Ribbon Week and then the big fellowship I'm planning and then of course Thanksgiving....then there's the Christmas parade and by then Christmas will be here but maybe after that..... ;0)

Blessings and Love


(I love this song 'Proof Of Your Love' by For King and Country...take a listen).

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  1. This was so great and you are absolutely right on! I appreciate your insightfulness, wisdom, and genuine kindness. What a great essay!!! And while your husband is truly awesome, SO ARE YOU! You rock, Catherine!

    Kelly C

  2. Preach! Stolen for Sunday School in 3-2-1....well a little longer...its on Sunday, lol


  3. I've often thought of a station like "GNN". Wouldn't that be amazing!!! :-) I can't even watch the news because it fear based, negative and full of lies. I like to keep myself thinking on more positive things. A GNN station would be healing to many. :-) Anyway great post!

  4. What a great post Catherine! So true! I am going to keep Ghandi's quote in my mind today:)
    Dena T.

  5. Love this post!!!!


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  7. This is so true Catherine, we can actually learn commitment and absolute loyalty from the Muslims. Great thing ours will produce good not evil. Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Found you on Feedjit and followed you on GFC and twitter, gave you an Amen too!.
    Have a super blessed day!

    1. Thanks, Ugochi...glad you found me and hope you'll be back again! Blessings and love to you, too!!



Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated. If you do not wish to sign in with an account to leave a comment, simply click on 'ANONYMOUS' then leave your comment and sign your name and/or web address so I'll know who stopped by!