Christianity…Lost in Translation?

When I scroll through my newsfeed I become inundated with exhaustion.  I consider myself more of a red-letter Christian, focused on reflecting who Jesus has called me to be, studying His truth, building my relationship with Him and trying to forget everything that religion has fed me.  I am friends with many believers, yet I am confused…where did our truth become so twisted in our call as believers?  Since when did personal gain or opinion become higher than the commandments given to us by the One who died for us, who has given us eternal salvation?  When did pro-life become just pro-birth? Since when did Christianity suddenly give people such bold entitlement to stand on cherry picked Scripture (often taken out of context) and judge, absent of the mercy they themselves have been given? I see celebration for the thought of building a wall, when as Christians we are called to outstretch our arms.  The rebuttal is rich with concerns of free welfare, illegal immigration, “my tax dollars”, and a host of other personal concerns.  As citizens, we should be involved and advocating for how our government is allocating expenditures on behalf of our country.  Civic engagement is vital to any democracy, but as Christians, we surrendered our lives, our personal gain, and gave it over to Christ, accepting His call for us.  We were bought at a price, and are no longer our own, but His (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). At least, that’s what Scripture says…

How we conduct ourselves in regards to others is also exponentially clear.  So clear, that Jesus Himself spoke endlessly on how we should treat each other, in love, loving our neighbor as ourselves.  Scripture also makes sure to define neighbor in various ways to ensure it is not defined by geography, in Leviticus He speaks of how to treat foreigners as if they are native-born.  In the parable of the Samaritan, the neighbor is one who is travelling through and generally despised Jews, yet he was the one who showed love and kindness.  Second to loving God, this is our highest call as believers, love your neighbor as yourself.  God is also undoubtedly clear when He speaks on those who are oppressed.  “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31).  Reflecting back to Luke 10:30-37 Jesus gives the parable of the Good Samaritan and even talks of the Priest and the Levite who passed by the man in need, letting us know that religious people, and people capable of providing, will fall away from their call.  But Jesus said, it was the Samaritan who was the neighbor, who looked after the beaten man, took care of his wounds, and ensured he was okay.  He instructs us to “go and do likewise”.  So then how did we get to this place of excusing a ban of an entire origin of people, celebrating walls, spewing hate and calling people who exercise their right to protest for human rights (even if you don’t understand their premise or agree with their desire for will) jobless or pathetic?  The very simple question is this, how does this reflect what He has called us to do? The simple answer, it doesn’t. Period.

I write this with sincerity, filled with love, hope, and a true desire for a better tomorrow, rich in love and a unified people. Christians who are radical in loving and serving! I know that we are all works in progress and sometimes it is easy to get twisted up in politics, media, and even to get swept up in our daily lives so much so that we can forget the core of who we truly are in Christ.  But now, now is a time when Christian beliefs are truly being held to the fire and I am deeply concerned with what I am seeing, especially from those who claim Christ as their frontrunner.  If I am my brothers and sisters’ keeper than I need to step out of my comfort zone and step in to my responsibility in challenging those falsities, calling out those who are not walking out their faith.  When you forget to reflect the King we have surrendered our lives to because you want a little more back in taxes next year, or you let fear or personal experience cloud your judgement about the principles and values of what it means to be a servant of Christ, it is God who tells us to call our fellow brothers and sisters back.  Especially when those decisions have such grave impact on so many lives during a time when so many are questioning the role of Christians.  Christians are about serving. Christians are the body of Christ.  We extend, we house, we build tables, we feed, clothe, aid, support, and above all we LOVE.  Somehow, SOMEHOW, this crucial, core fact has been lost in translation.  Yes, there are many things that could be better in our country.  But before you stand behind policies, orders, and principals that appease your personal afflictions, institute the pause and remember who you surrendered your life to and what that call really means.  Lifting each of you up in thankful prayer, and may God’s blessing, wisdom, and protection be with each of you.

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