A Call for Christians to Act Like They Are Christians

call-for-xtians-like-xtians

Do not say that it is naïve to think we can love everyone, even our enemies.
It is not naïve; it is Christian.

Do not say that it is politically naïve to be forgiving of those who hurt you.
It is not naïve; it is Christian.

Do not say that it is naïve to ensure everyone’s basic needs are met, even for the least of these.
It is not naïve; it is Christian.

I grow weary of Christians who on Sunday worship the Prince of Peace and the rest of the week align themselves with political perspectives that support war.

I grow weary of Christians who pray on Sunday, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and spend the rest of the week holding grudges and seeking revenge.

I grow weary of Christians who on Sunday profess their love for the one who said, “when you do it to the least of these you do it to me,” but spend the rest of the week supporting politicians and political platforms that step on the least of these.

I grow weary of the cognitive dissonance in which some Christians blissfully exist, not realizing that while on Sunday they claim the moniker of Christ, the things they profess the rest of the week belie the teachings of the name they claim.

If you don’t want your politics to match your religious beliefs, that’s fine with me.

If you don’t need authenticity in the balance between what you confess on Sunday and what you profess the rest of the week, that’s fine with me.

But do not pretend that you are practicing what you preach.

Do not pretend that you are talking the talk and walking the walk.

Do not pretend it is alright with God.

God expects a life lived with authenticity, not a life lived practicing this kind of false duplicity.

God expects us to strive to be the people we claim to be, not merely claim to be the people we are supposed to strive to be.

Don’t tell me that the things Jesus taught are naïve when placed within the realm of contemporary governance.

Don’t tell me that the things Jesus said are “good” things to say, but that they are not practical in “real life.”

Jesus never said that following in his way would be practical – he said that it would be difficult.

Tell me that your faith is big enough to take the first step into matching your Sundays and your weekdays.

Tell me that you are so committed to the teachings of Jesus that you will risk loving your enemy.

Tell me that the image of Christ is carved out in every face you see and that you could never sit idly by as politicians and big business conspire to step on the least of these.

Tell me that God’s love lives in you.

Tell me that in you, God’s love knows no bounds.

Tell me that in you, God’s love is bigger than any party loyalty.

Tell me that in you, God’s love is more valuable than anything wealth could ever bring you.

Tell me with your words.

Tell me with your actions.

Tell me with your political positions.

Tell me with your life.

6 comments

  1. Wonderful, Mark. I’ve found myself spending a lot of time wondering “How could they?” As my family and friends betray the values they claimed to hold. One day my soul answered “Apostates.” This was not a word I’ve ever used so I had to look it up. It seemed perfectly in line with the way they’ve established 45 as an idol who is beyond questioning. I am concerned now thst my family had surrendered their salvation for this great deceiver. How are we to reach Apostates?

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  2. Sharing my daily blog (and my translation) for today’s (Catholic lectionary) Gospel:

    The Good News for the Day, Sunday, February 23,2020

    Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (77)

    Jesus says, “You have always heard people say, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ I am telling you not to fight back at someone doing you wrong. Whoever slaps you—offer the other cheek. If someone wants to sue you for the shirt off your back—let him have your coat. And if someone makes you go on for a mile, go along for an extra mile. Just give to anybody who wants something from you, and don’t just turn your back on somebody asking to borrow something.

    “You have grown up hearing people tell you: ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ I’m telling you, instead: “Love the people who don’t like you; pray for anyone who causes you problems—so that you become children of your Father in the other realm—the One Who makes the sun shine on good and bad alike—Who rains on guiltless and guilty just the same. If you love just people who like you, what good is it? Financiers who skim and cheat do that. If you talk just with people you like, are you doing anything different? Doesn’t everyone else do that? Do things right—the way your Father in the other realm does them. (Matthew 5)

    The Follower of Jesus is different— “us” versus “them”—not because we are hostile to “them”—but because we are not!

    So, so many of us individually carry around a low-grade anger that bursts into rage at being thwarted, frustrated, or otherwise ego-diminished. We feel that other people are “them” and not as good as “me,” or “us.” We feel instinctively the rightness of rage to defend ourselves.

    Jesus tells us to be different. To have a peace within ourselves that accepts such injuries and insults to our egos. To follow not that instinct, but Jesus, to offer peace, not revenge, to create and make the world better by ending the prickly defensiveness that is so much a part of who I am.
    It is an achievement of grace, an acceptance of a whole world, a commitment to the realm of God, and not the ways of human beings. It is not easy

    But this is the Way. This is the respect for others, the love which shows itself in care, the check on habits and instincts, the way to be Newly Born, always newly born.

    It is sometimes very surprising that loving your enemies begets them into friends, that forgiveness and understanding make your life so much happier, that new realms of the Realm of What is Right become part of you, a new habit replacing the old irritability.

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  3. I agree with loving the sinner, but the Bible still condemns the sin. I love LGBTQ people, I gave them in my church. They experience the love of Jesus, but Preaching the truth doesn’t make me a homophobe. (Mal 3:6)

    This Is only one of the Democrats agenda items that violate scripture.

    How do you call yourself a Christian and let your politics support social issues that violate scripture?

    Either it is all true or none of it is.

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    • John, both parties support issues that are not supported by scripture. I do not know of any Christians in my circle who vote Democrat and do not believe Homosexuality is a sin, or abortion for that matter. The danger in what I see is when we support a politician for one or two issues based on biblical principles but exclude other issues that are just as important to God. When we defend 1 or 2 issues to the exclusion of the entire counsel of God, it becomes an Idol!

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      • It is not just that Jesus says absolutely nothing whatever about these two issues–homosexuality and abortion–it is in my mind that they both have become absolutist political stances (on both sides), instead of re-investigating the biblical information, the looking at the God of Creation, and the meaning of eternal life–for instance. It is my conviction that the rarely mentioned homosexuality–even when condemned in the Bible–is not a “sin against nature” because mebbe GOD DID MAKE SOME PEOPLE ATTRACTED TO THE SAME SEX, AND mebbe we have a total misunderstanding of what “soul” means when the two sides argue, and simply need to revisit the whole meaning of such a word through history (I read a recent well-research academic treatise on “The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy”–and because the author always assumes that sex is tainted with evil and sin, the arguments are exceedingly week (a 4th century Pope is the first writer to impose it because “sacred hands” touch the “sacred instruments of worship” If Celibacy had indeed gone back to the Apostles, it is almost certain we would have a hell of a lot more than some three centuries of silence.) I just think the two sides are not deeply thoughtful.

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