Should We Apologize For The Christian Church?

meditation_of_my_heartI had a long conversation last night with a few youth and leaders about this very topic after our youth meeting last night.  The question basically started with a concern about why are homosexuals are so “hated” by the church.  “Shouldn’t we as followers of Christ show love to everyone?” was the question that followed.  The outcry was not directed to our church per say, but at the Christians in general.  I’m blessed with teens that want to talk about their frustrations and doubts with concerns to Christianity.  It’s become a regular thing…staying after the massive group has left and talking about whatever and wherever the conversation leads.  Sometimes lasting longer than our regular meeting time! It means they are thinking…not blindly following the words of the world, not taking the lies at face value, but taking doubts, words, and actions of others and putting it up against God’s word.  I for one think they will be stronger Christians for it.  Anyway…here is an excerpt from the article:

He wasn’t just angry, He carried sorrow so deeply that it caused him to weep for the religious (See Luke 19:41-44). His heart broke for the sinners in the margins and for the super religious who thought they were doing the right thing. It may do us well to ask if we carry that same kind of sorrow for those Christians within us.

If I’m honest, I usually don’t. Especially when it comes to judgmental, bigoted or legalistic Christians. More often than not, I am just angry at how they treat others. Mostly, I am frustrated because others associate me with them. All I am really doing is judging those who are judgmental, and being intolerant of those who are intolerant. In the end, I end up much like the people I want to distance myself from.

But if we are more honest and open about ourselves, we would see the log in our own eyes, and know we have a lot of work to do on ourselves before we can deal with the splinter in the eyes of our brothers and sisters. And if we practice this kind of honesty and openness, we then can speak about something else: namely, the grace, love and transforming power of God.

I love the quote:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Ghandi

I challenge to each of us to do better to live our lives emulating Christ in all that we say and do.  In the hallways at school, at home, at work, on the ballfield, ect.

James 3:5-10

English Standard Version (ESV)

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so.

Psalm 19:14 is a great verse to memorize.  Use it as a prayer!

Psalm 19:14

English Standard Version (ESV)

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.