A few weeks ago someone in one of my Facebook groups asked a question about how to deal with their marriage and their husband. There were suggestions about leaving him because she could do better. There was the suggestion to ignore him, to call him out on every insecurity he has, and then there was my suggestion: pray. Whoopsies.
I was immediately accused of “pushing my religion” onto people. It seemed that they (the responders) and the lady who posed the initial question had all forgotten about the husband because suddenly I was their focus. Not only did we stop talking about her marriage and what she could do to make it better, but suddenly I had created a theology argument and a PC stance against prayer.
I wasn’t prepared to argue or make a case. I was simply suggesting something that works for me and my marriage. I certainly wasn’t trying to offend anyone, but here I was being attacked. I was called names, I was threatened. All because I suggested praying.
So it got me to thinking. Why is praying so offensive? And apparently it’s offensive in all accounts: praying for you or telling you to pray. Even when I didn’t know what I believed I never got offended by someone praying for me. I never thought to myself “Wow, what a jerk! The nerve! To pray for me!” Nope, never. Most of the time I just shrugged it off, but now, it seems that everything about Christians is offensive. Why?
I tried to think back to my first impression of Christians and suddenly, I had my answer. Now in order to explain, I’m going to have to change the word Christian, to Sunday Morning Christian, or SMC, because, you see, Christians, like real, actual Christians, they aren’t offensive, but SMC’s? That’s a different story.
Sunday Morning Christians are not really Christians at all. Hence their name, they go to church bright and early Sunday mornings. They do their time (usually no more than an hour) and they leave. The rest of the week, and even day, are no different. Christ has no bearing on their life, well, except when they want to pretend they’re better than everyone else and even then they only throw Christ into the face of others in order to hurt them and/or make them feel inferior. I can say this because I was this, well except for trying to make people feel bad. I went to church for an hour and pretended to be a Christian. And then I told people that I was a Christian, and to be honest, I couldn’t have told anyone the smallest amount of information about Jesus and what it meant to be a Christian, not to mention my life didn’t resemble that of a Christian. I was a fake, a phony, a fraud and here I was the poster child for Christians, alongside the rest of the church, well most of them.
So I get it. I know why I may seem offensive. I am sorry to each of you who has had to deal with a SMC. I am sorry that they have done such a lousy job showing you what a real Christian look likes. You see, a real Christian, looks just like you. I’m not better or worse, I’m just me. I do not think I am any better than you as a person, it is my job to tell you about Christ and to show you what a life with Christ looks like, I am not to judge you. I am not to make you feel bad or inferior to me. Jesus shouldn’t hurt you because of me. Following Christ isn’t for the elite. It isn’t so people can say “look at me! Look at me!”. I don’t know who’s going to heaven or who’s going to hell. And so I’m sorry that SMC pretend they do. When I suggest praying or suggest that I pray for you it isn’t to make you feel stupid, it is only because I’ve seen prayer work and I know the power of prayer. I don’t want to keep Jesus from you like SMC, but I want to tell you all about Him because He really is that awesome.
I want to tell you about Him because I was in the same position you were. “Life without Christ is merely existence.” I know this is true because I’ve experienced it. The truth is God loves each of us. Not some of us. Not most of us. ALL. OF. US. And Sin is sin. For you SMC listen up! SIN IS SIN. There is no ranking system for sin. Where am I going with this? To the ones who have been told that you don’t deserve Christ, that’s a lie. We all deserve Christ. SMC do a heck of a job telling people that they can’t know God because of choices they make, will make, or have made. Truth is, they have no idea. You see, I am starting to realize how big God is, and He is huge! He is everything. And so I don’t pretend like I know what He is thinking or what He has in mind because I could never comprehend, or understand. Ever. All I know is that Jesus is love. And He tells us to love each other. He doesn’t say love some, or just those over there, He said everyone. More specifically He said to love everyone as He has loved us.
And so I’m sorry that the SMC never showed you that side. I’m sorry they tried to hurt you and offend you while using Jesus as their weapon. Jesus should never be a weapon.
Now I could sit here and go on and on about what SMC should do, but it’s more than that. It’s what we real Christians should do. And so I’m not going to stop praying for you. I’m not going to keep my mouth shut around you. I’m going to talk about Jesus. I’m going to talk about my life. I’m going to show you what He is capable of by being honest with you. I’m going to do these things everyday, not just on Sundays.
Maybe you’ll still think it’s offensive, maybe you won’t, but if I can make you see what a life with Christ looks like, then I’m going to do just that, not because I just want to talk about myself, but because you deserve a chance at knowing what it really looks like to be a Christian.