02 Mar I Like Your Christ, Not Your Christians
I Like Your Christ
I personally do not know many people, if any, that would say that they don’t like Christ. It’s pretty hard not to like the only perfect man to ever walk the face of the Earth. Even if they don’t believe in Christ – they would be hard pressed not to like a man such as Him.
Of course I say all of this, knowing that there were a lot of people, in this world who hated Him at the time He was on the Earth and there really are people that still hate Him today, because they are so vehemently opposed to His teachings.
But, for the most part, even those that don’t agree with all of Christianity and what the Bible teaches, generally appreciate what Christ stood for and the kind of man He was.
I mean really, how could you not like Christ?
I Don’t Like Your Christians
Mohandas Gandhi has been attributed with saying, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
How could someone like Christ, but not His followers? That doesn’t make any sense. Aren’t Christians just like Christ?
Or was Gandhi right? Are Christians unlike Christ?
Are you really Christlike? Do you look anything like your Christ?
We think people reject us, because we are so Christlike. Maybe they reject us, because we profess to be Christlike, but don’t actually look anything like Christ.
Francis Chan said something along the lines of the fact that we think, “People reject us because we are Christians – no they don’t – they reject us because we are weird – you have this self-righteousness about you.” He went on to say, “I’m a Christian and I don’t even like hanging out with you.”
Maybe we aren’t as Christlike as we want to believe.
What Do You Stand For?
It’s hard to understand why someone could not like a Christian, right? I mean really, if you read through the New Testament and live out the life that is proposed within those pages – who wouldn’t love you? The whole… turn the other cheek, treat people like you would like to be treated, and all that teaching about helping those in need. They would love you as much as they do Christ.
When it comes to Christ, He was and is generally appreciated and loved for what He stood for. You catch that part? They generally don’t mention, “I like Christ, because of the things He was opposed to.” They like what He was known for and what He stood for.
It seems like the church (we as Christians) are generally known for what we are against or opposed to much more than what we stand for. I want to be known for what I stand for though. I want to be like Christ.
When people think Christian – what comes to their mind? What’s the first thought that even pops into your head? How is a Christian portrayed in the media?
Christians don’t like… Christians hate homosexuals. Christians don’t love people who support abortion. Christians think they are perfect. Christians…
Christians don’t even like other Christians half the time. My church is better than yours. My church is more conservative than yours. Our worship is better and more pleasing to God.
People know Christians for what they are against. Awesome – but what do you stand for?
Does the world dying around us, those we are not reaching out to, do they care that some churches use one cup for communion and others use multiple cups? Do single moms and abused children care that we only have one time we meet on Sunday instead of two? Is all the in-fighting between Christian churches what saves souls?
On the absurdity of Christians who neglect the weightier matters, Deana Nall says, “They will know we are Christians by our relentless indignation over ultra-trivial matters while the 5.5 million children who are victims of human trafficking worldwide go ignored. Seems legit.”
Maybe We Haven’t Been Transformed
Why don’t we look so much like our Christ?
So far, I have attended the first couple of classes in a 13 lesson study, about Conversion. I look forward to learning more about conversion through its essence and examples.
We’ve talked about how conversion is a radical transformation. Maybe that’s part of why someone can like Christ, but not Christians. Maybe we haven’t been radically transformed. My own personal conversion probably wasn’t all that radical. I grew up going to church my whole life. I was a preacher’s son. I was baptized at age 11. I think I thought I was pretty much like Christ before I even “transformed” my life at all. Misconception.
Have you really been “converted?”
A lot of people aren’t radically transformed. We go from one form of being a good person to another form of being a slightly better person, following maybe a few different rules. Or at least we think we have transformed.
Where do we receive help transforming? Maybe not so much in the pews listening to sermon after sermon as it is in fellowship with one another. A good friend of mine passed along a quote that said, “Real transformation doesn’t happen in rows – it happens in circles.” Think about it, real transformation doesn’t come while sitting in rows (pews), it comes from living like Christ together in community.
Do we simply go to church on Sundays because it’s more of a cultural act than a relational act with the God of the universe?
Are we really looking to conform people to a pattern of religion or are we asking them to make a complete transformation with the help of the Holy Spirit?
What would a radical transformation look like?
What Does Christ Really Look Like?
What are we going to be judged on? Matthew 25:31-46
What is pure and undefiled religion? James 1:27
What should our faith look like? James 2:14-26
What was Christ known for? Was He known for being anti-homosexual? Was He known for being anti-instrumental music? Was He known for being anti-Orphans homes?
What was He known for?
Christ was known for being a loving Savior. He was known for being full of compassion. He was known for teaching truth. He was known for coming down from the presence of the Father, leaving Heaven for us. He was known for sacrificing His life for all mankind.
Let us strive to look like our Christ so that people will love Him and His followers!