Actually, given the condition of some of His followers, I’m rather surprised so many manage to hang on to faith at all. Harsh, but it’s the truth. There are some truly appalling Christians walking the planet, preaching outright hatred, distorting scriptures, projecting their own wounding onto others.
In fact, given what I’ve now seen, I’d have to say that the fact that Christianity has survived at all is a rather miraculous thing, and certainly evidence that God is leading and not man. Left to man alone, I doubt we’d have anything resembling the body of Christ left in the world at this point.
Also, I feel rather blessed to have grown up outside the church, away from any form of established religion at all. It’s actually kind of frightening to imagine what would have become of me if I didn’t first have an established relationship with Christ and later some positive relationships with some genuine Christians. I have the ability to discern where somebody’s own self ends and Christ’s begins. I can feel His presence, I know Him, and I know where He is not.
If my faith, my perception of Christ, came from those preaching outright hatred, ostracizing, bullying, racism, blaming women for all the sins of mankind, calling children retards and freaks, mocking and ridiculing people who commit suicide, calling others human trash, reveling in self righteousness and mockery of human suffering…..good grief it’s enough to make me want to throw up, if that was what I thought Christ was all about, I would truly be adrift. I cannot even imagine how anyone actually in a relationship with Christ could ever engage in such behavior.
When you know Him, once you really embrace the love and mercy to be found there, it’s actually painful to contemplate misrepresenting Him. Honest to goodness, every impatient word, every failure to empathize with another, every hostile thought in traffic, actually hurts. It is not easy, but if you love Christ, you have to love His people too. His people, in case no one noticed, are rather imperfect.
So, to those who have left religion because of the behavior of other Christians, I get it. I really do. If that is how one comes to perceive Christ, the only wise thing to do would be to flee in the other direction. For those who indulge and support such behavior, ahhh, yuck. Love sometimes requires you to speak up and if you don’t, but instead encourage such hatred in Christ’s name, there’s going to be a price to pay.
Somebody wise pointed out to me that either the blood of the Lamb is enough to wash all that ugly away, or it isn’t. It is. It is enough, it is more than enough, it is an abundant well of Grace, able to cover all the sins of mankind, all of the sins of the church, even all of the hateful misrepresentations of His name.
******Repost from Jan 2015