What does being a Christian mean to you?

statue-of-liberty-crying

Is it just about church service? Do you think just because you have your name on a church roll that you have satisfied the requirements of Christianity?

Do you think your wealth has shown that you are blessed, or do you know that in many occasions wealth can be a stumbling block fully supplied to you by Satan?

Do you lord your wealth over others? Do you think paying more to your church in tithes than other parishioners makes you a better Christian? Do you think that God favors you over someone with a more genuine heart?

Do you realize that Christ died for everyone, and not just people who look like you, or have the same means as you?

Do you realize that to whom much is given, much is expected?

Do you think Christ Jesus would be pleased, or would He be grieved, by you turning your back on the most vulnerable of people?

Do you realize that there are other people who are in fact Christians that are not the same color as you? Would you be so unkind to them if Christianity was something that could be seen and worn like a piece of clothing?

If Jesus showed up at your door and He was brown and came from a country your government has told you to fear, would you refuse Him entry?

Did Jesus imbue you with the spirit of fear, enough to stifle the love that you are supposed to have in your hearts for those children of God who are suffering?

Do you understand that you and your hypocrisy, how you refuse to get along with people, to learn about people that differ from you, and your refusal to show the love of Christ in your actions is the reason behind the great apostasy?

And do you realize you will be held accountable for that?

I have experienced myriad emotions over the past several weeks, ranging from grief to outrage as I try to make sense of an America that has become foreign to me. This America, this racist, fearful, hypocritical America.

It was reported that spending on the 2016 election was close to seven billion dollars. People and corporations ponied up SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS so that the candidate of their choosing could win the highest office of the land, the presidency (and of course those campaign funds were funneled down to state elections as well). If one digs deeply enough, one could see that some of these companies that claim that paying their employees a higher wage would bankrupt them were able to pull funds from out of thin air to influence this campaign.

I have deep reservations about Trump as president. I was not a fan of his before the election, but since his inauguration, I have become even more distraught about what my fellow Americans have done by elevating him to this office. The Tweets, the recklessness, the drunkenness with his newfound power and wish to use our military like toys has me on edge. His Cabinet picks have been abysmal. The confirmation of Betsy DeVos sent me well over the top today. When I saw that Mike Pence provided the tie-breaking vote that would allow this supremely unqualified woman the possibility to dismantle public education, I blew a gasket. I got so angry I got a headache.

In one year, I applied for hundreds of jobs, and even with my Master’s degree and excellent grade point average and good references was turned down. Yet, a woman with no applicable credentials is now in charge of the educational system for millions of unsuspecting children who are dependent on adults to look past their biases and make the best choices for them. The choice today to put party over CHILDREN was despicable. The silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warrens during the confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions was deplorable.

We are living in the twilight zone. People prefer rhetoric and emotions over facts. They tune in to news that reinforces what they think they already know. When you attempt to inform these people of the facts, they put their fingers in their ears and yell “Fake news!” I am most disheartened when I interact with individuals who claim to be Christians. I am very disappointed to see that some of these conservative so-called Christians are among the most racist and intolerant people I’ve ever spoken to in my life.

Christianity is on the decline in America. Some Christians claim their vote for Trump (who I don’t believe has EVER come out and said he was a Christian) was not necessarily because they supported his platform. They felt that there was a war on Christianity by the left. They do not approve of gay marriage or abortion. And here we are–with civil liberties being taken from us, that Constitution that they claim to love being ignored, and dang near on the verge of war with several nations. Side note: How the heck you tick off AUSTRALIA????

My two cents?

It is my job as a Christian to witness to non-Christians. First, my life has to be a living illustration of Christianity. So even though at times I am tempted to get a bottle of Hennessey like I used to, I won’t do it. Not because I am afraid that God won’t forgive me for having a drink, but because I don’t want a babe in Christ to see me buying alcohol and thinking it is okay to do. I don’t want to be anyone’s stumbling block. With God’s help I have also removed some of the more grating personality traits from my repertoire. I am not as combative as  I used to be, although admittedly I do still have a problem with swearing (road rage, SMH).

Second… I have to have a calculated approach. Part of my approach involves being on friendly enough terms with a non-Christian to even be able to approach the subject. If I have already told someone they are going to hell, that they are disgusting, that they don’t belong in America, how in the world am I going to turn around and tell them Jesus is love, I worship Jesus and so should they? Do you think they’re going to listen?

So what do we do?

I always think back to my beginning days of witnessing. I was working in Target doing overnight stock (it was actually my favorite job. I like moving. I am not fit for desk work). One of my co-workers was a lesbian and an atheist. She explained her beliefs to me and I explained mine. We were both always respectful of each other–I liked her company. She was witty, helpful and smart. She just did not believe there was a God because she hadn’t seen any proof. We went back and forth each time we worked together about the existence of God. At no point were we mean to each other despite our huge difference in beliefs.

After I had my firstborn I quit working at Target (huge mistake, but I digress). She ended up leaving the state with her partner. Several years later, she friended me on Facebook. A few weeks after that, she put up a post asking for “prayers” for her girlfriend, who had just been diagnosed with cancer.

I read several more of her posts during the following days because I was curious as to who she was praying to. To my delight, she was talking about Jesus. I remembered during one of our conversations I informed her that the people who had told her she was going to hell because she was a lesbian were wrong, and that the only sin that got one sent to Hell was denying Christ as their Lord and Savior. I do remember that she was very quiet after my response, but I had no idea that a seed had been planted.

Here’s the thing. Yes, she and her girlfriend were still living in sin. And yes, I mentioned to her instances in the Bible that referred to that. She told me that her feelings for other girls had been with her for her entire life, and I didn’t deny her that… I expressly told her I could not comment on HER life experience, all I could do was tell her what the Bible said. But I was not interested in berating her for being a lesbian. I was more interested in getting her saved and letting JESUS and the HOLY SPIRIT do the convicting work required to get her to change her life if He saw fit.

I am here imploring those of you who TRULY claim Christianity–not you charlatans that wear the title and have never really opened your heart and received Jesus–to check yourselves. I am very disturbed by what I have lived these last three weeks, particularly at the hands (or should I say fingers, because a lot of these interactions have been on various message boards) of people who are claiming to wave the blood-stained banner. Christianity and racism doesn’t go together. Christianity and classism doesn’t go together. Christianity and fear, intolerance and prejudice doesn’t go together.

You fellow Christians need to get it together.

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