Please start with the Introduction. The rest of the series: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
To those who grew up in the organized church and were raised in Christian homes yet never truly felt loved or understood. Perhaps you were told that your life would be seemingly carefree and easy if you would only just “ask Jesus into your heart”. But years later, even after doing so, things didn’t make sense, life got hard – really hard - and you assumed that A) you must have done something wrong and God was angry with you for your life choices or B) God’s wasn’t even real because all you saw was hypocrisy and double standards from your friends and family who claimed to know Him. I’m sorry. Perhaps you wanted to dress differently, listen to a different type of music or even do something as simple as say, pierce your ears, nose, eyebrow or whatever. Your quest for individuality didn’t fit the religious mold and you were likely scorned over it all. I’m sorry for years of confusion as you sought out your identity in this world. Years of “rededicating your life” has likely done little to help your situation. Your family was probably well-intentioned, but was just passing along a law-driven Christian tradition that they too inherited. I’d thoroughly enjoy talking with you if you still have questions today (no matter what they are). It’s OK to be angry, hurt and confused. If we were all honest, we either all have been, will be soon or are right now. Only a personal encounter with Jesus Christ can make all of the questions begin to make any sense.
Galatians 6:2-4 “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
To the thieves who will break into homes from this day forward, yes, I am a Christian and I’m sorry that We’ve boldly proclaimed that We will justifiably end your life for entering Our dwellings. Even though We claim to serve a Saviour that told us not resist you, Our stance is gallantly hypocritical. We so highly value Our earthly possessions and mortal bodies that We feel that We should defend them at all costs, even if it means deliberately shedding your blood unto death. If you enter my home unwarranted to steal my television, I’ll do my best to hand you my dvd player as well. If you enter to harm my family, I have no pre-meditated plan to end your life and personally send you to stand in judgment before my Heavenly Father. My life, and the lives of my family are in His hands and the wrestling that I do is not against you, mere flesh and blood as am I. So I will strive to do as my Jesus did and say “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. I will do my best to not respond to violence of your flesh with violence of my flesh. I know this makes me look like a pacifistic wimp in the eyes of men (especially those within the Body of Christ) but that’s OK. I’m learning to live free of the patterns of this world. If you’re in need, ask. I’ll do my best to help you so that you don’t have to steal to live.
Romans 12:17 “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.” (Read this one over and over again until it’s as crystal clear as it was written.)
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Matthew 5:38-41 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”
To those who choose not to attend Sunday church services within this supposedly “Christian” nation, yes, I am a Christian and I’m sorry that We’ve gone to great lengths to invite you to Our churches yet have rarely, if ever, taken the time to get to know you personally (We hardly even know those who sit beside us each week as well, if it makes you feel any better). I’m sorry that We’ve never invited you into Our lives and homes unless you “go to church” with Us. It’s hard for Us to relate to others who are “unchurched” so forgive Us for Our Christian-y jargon and church lingo. It’s OK if you don’t want to attend another one of Our programs and well-planned plots to lure you into “membership” with Us. I choose to lay aside agendas and formulaic programs that attempt to get you into services. I give you the freedom to seek God in any circumstance or environment because no walls can hold His seeking out of you. If you’re a non-Believer, it’s not my job to “save” you anyway so that I can win a pin in Sunday School. It’s a supernatural event that can take place anywhere and being in a church building doesn’t make magical things happen. I choose to love you for who you are, where you are. I desire to befriend you whether you’re interested in joining in with what I’m doing in regards to gathering as the Body of Christ or not.
Matthew 15 “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? … you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
* This series concludes with the next post on Monday.