The Mark Of a True Christian (as seen by the American Church)


My daughter was told the other day, after she confronted a Fundamentalist Pastor on Facebook over his behind the scenes attack on my credibility as a Christian, that I will have to answer at the judgement seat for loving people and my political affiliations. Apparently , at least according to him, unconditional love and grace are not what makes a good Christian. So here is a list…

Be a Republican
Adhere to a narrow, strict, and literal (well for some things) interpretation of Scripture.
Stand against birth control, abortion(which could be avoided by birth control), marriage equality, LGBT rights, anti-bullying legislation, gun control legislation, government-run social service programs (including health care legislation), environmental protection policies.

Stand for American exceptionalism (arrogance), war (only the just ones), teaching “intelligent design”, allowing public prayer and Scripture reading (only if it is Christian) in public schools, the death penalty, less restrictive gun laws, preaching politics from the pulpit, and slandering, bearing false witness, and demonizing those that do not believe exactly how we believe (because after all we have full knowledge of truth).

This is how a true Christian in America should think, look, and act.

No?

It is what those not yet in the Kingdom see everyday.

We have “taken the Lord’s Name in vain”…

 


17 thoughts on “The Mark Of a True Christian (as seen by the American Church)

  1. This is exactly my problem with douche bags like Rick Santorum…they have a completely skewed idea of the Christian way. I don’t know if you’ve seen the picture on Facebook of Jesus teaching, he says “Love them as I have loved you, protect them and don’t judge them,” and someone in the crowd says, “But what if they’re gay or practice other religions?” and Jesus says, “Did I f***ing stutter?” EXACTLY.

    And this is why it’s so difficult to be a Christian right now – because people who believe those things are the ones who are well-publicized, so this is the idea everyone has of Christians right now…

    1. So many politicans and religious “leaders” have done the skewing that I am not sure where to even begin to change things, it seems like an overwhelming task.

      I like that Facebook pic of Jesus…it is spot on.

      Those of us that understand need to be more vocal in castigating those that misrepresent the One that we love. And we need, with utter abandon, to love unconditionally love all those that God puts in our path. Love covers a multitude of sins.

      Peace to you and thanks for your great comments.
      Mark Lee

  2. Lord, forgive us! Have mercy upon us & please stir all hearts to your love! Please open our eyes & hearts to your truth! Please bring unity to your body! Please help us love the way You love! Amen!

  3. I believe the problem all over the world is this.

    People are preaching more on morality.

    when I say people, Pastors, Priest, Monks, Politicians, etc.

    the true gospel should be preached by the true believers.
    the true gospel that transforms a person, and not modify the behavior

    the gospel of grace must be preached. then people will be loving, understanding, kind, self sacrificial.

    – just my thoughts..

  4. This is typical, especially in the Southern Baptist Church. Apparently they think it’s acceptable to bully others into accepting their view rather than let them develop their own personal beliefs. It’s disgusting.

    1. When the church is known for being a bully, then there is something terribly wrong!

      Thanks for you comment. Peace to you.
      Mark Lee

  5. Yes, my brother. According to the political Christians, I am doomed. I wonder what we might witness if there were reality TV cameras following around that minister your daughter so skillfully rebuked. You know, when james wrote that he would show us his faith by his works, I don’t know that he was thinking about folks who display lives that were apparently Christian but secretely betrayed another gospel entirely.

  6. It is an age old problem. The Hebrew people mixed the religions of the Promised Land with their devotion to the God of Israel–mixing symbols and practices. We too mix our cultural religions with our devotion to Christ. We must be ever diligent in our devotion to Christ–leaving behind the things of our old self pressing forward in grace. But it is easy to get sucked into politics–obviously God would see the world as I do and suddenly I have created God in my own image. It is easy to get sucked into patriotism–not that it is wrong to love our nation (which ever we live in) but we must realize our worldly nations are not submitting to the KIngdom and therefore, not the bringers of the Kingdom.

    1. I also believe the problem to be the fact that we have read and loved Paul and his epistles so much. They are great and God’s Word, don’t get me wrong. But we get into trouble with reading Paul and interpreting Jesus and the Gospels through the lens of Paul. For example, we take a passage about loving our enemies from the Gospel but we justify treating people with “tough love” by quoting passages from Paul (Corinthians letter or Thessalonians passage). We need to be interpreting Paul in light of the Gospel. If Jesus said “love your enemies” and then demonstrated how to love your enemies by eating with sinners, dying on a cross–and even Paul interprets how we know we are loved by the fact that while we are yet sinners, Christ died for us. Then the passages about disfellowshipping with people by Paul need to be understood in light of the Gospels, Jesus’ example and even Paul’s interpretation.
      We often times get it backwards. We go to Paul first. Bishop N.T. Wright of the Anglican Church and renown New Testament theologian states it this way: “If we read Paul first and then the Gospels, we get Paul all wrong. If we read the Gospels first and then Paul, we understand Paul in a new way.”

      1. This is a very good point….I actually never thought about it this way.

        Peace to you.
        Mark

      2. I totally agree.

        the scripture must be read using the lens of grace.

        we should find Jesus in the scripture, Old and New testament.
        most people tries to fit themselves in the scripture. and ends up frustrated, because they do not see Jesus.

        I love it when Abraham offered Isaac. I used to think before that
        the message is for Me to sacrifice the things I love. like my career and join fulltime in the church.

        now, using the lens of grace, I see Jesus.

        when God said, “take your son, your ONLY son”

        God was in truth, talking about Jesus.

        what Abraham did was a demonstration of what God will do for us.

        and the list goes on…

        good comment you did….

        – grace and peace

  7. Reminds me of this quote:

    “The doctrine which has been held by bigots of all religions, when condensed into a few words, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me; for it is your duty to tolerate truth. But when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you; for it is my duty to persecute error.” – Thomas Macaulay

    Heck, for that matter, it also reminds me of these two:

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” – Anne Lamott

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” – Susan B. Anthony

    1. Thanks for commenting. I love those quotes, and Ann Lamottis one of my favorite authors as well.

      Peace to you.
      Mark Lee

  8. There is no use arguing with these people because they do not listen to anything said by anybody who does not agree with them, but in order for me to care what they say, I have to have some respect for their opinions. Needless to say, I do not. I am perfectly willing to answer at the judgement seat for my beliefs. They will have to do the same. I try not to judge them, but I’m willing to let God sort it out in the end.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I would have to agree that there is no arguing with people in the fundamentalist camp. They do not care what anyone has to say if it does not fit within their paradigm. I am glad that you brought up the idea that they too will have to answer before the judgement seat (I have nothing to fall back on but the Cross of Jesus), many of them do not think that they will.

      Peace to you,
      Mark Lee

  9. Keep it up. I too have had the same experience as you and my daughter has had to deal with these types of attacks. You must continue because you have experienced the freedom of knowledge. For those that disagree with you we must pray that they recieve ears to hear and eyes to see.

    1. Thanks for your comments, and it is good to know that others can understand where I am coming from. I also agree that we do need pray for those that cannot see nor hear. I have, on many occasions, I have thought that it might be better not to be involved in churches but it seems that God has other plans.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.

      Mark Lee

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