December 30, 2006
Sometimes I feel like this is the message that Christians give out to the world:
“For Christians so hated the world that they took God’s only Son so that only they might believe in him, and so that the world would perish and that only they would have eternal life.”
Yeah, I know this is pretty pessimistic, but too often I feel that it’s the attitude Christians are perceived to have. There is certainly a lofty sense of exclusivity that many Christians have and they couple that with a super-pious condemnation of everything they see as unclean, creating a deadly combination. And that combination is deadly for Christianity. We are killing the relevance of our faith, our ability to speak faithfully about our God, and our ability to bring him to the world that he so loves. Our piety and judgment, though usually well intended, are out of control—they have become virtuous in and of themselves and are in danger of being divorced from any connection with God. If we were truly connected with God, we would not be so standoffish and condemning—instead, we would exhibit the radically forgiving and accepting love of Jesus Christ. And that is in no way wishy-washy. It is acting as God would have us do. Our mark as believers is our love. But who on the outside would ever construe our hateful, self-righteous behavior as love?