Christians may have a bad reputation in the world. Perhaps for a good reason, though not for the reason one might initially suspect or think.
I used to believe Catholicism was the reason I turned away from believing in God, but in reality, the bigger more prolific reason that turned and kept me away from Christian has been because of how Catholics and Christians treat each other and the world around them.
The limited view of Christianity I was taught and many Christian behaviours I observed influenced me to not think about the kindness and love Christians are supposed to manifest by modelling their thoughts, choices, and actions on the Bible and Jesus’s life, but about the hypocrisy and even cruelty dominating the Christian culture, regardless of denomination.
As Joyce Meyers emphasized from her experience, many Christians call themselves Christians, but don’t act very Christian-like when they are not in church. They may go to church, even serve as high-ranking Christians, sit on committees, volunteer, etc., but they don’t model the Christian code of conduct. In fact, many are still comparable to the scribes and Pharisees Jesus talks about in Matthew 23: 1 and 2 “Then Jesus said to the multitudes and to His disciples; The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat (of authority), so observe and practice all they tell you, but do not do what they do, for they preach, but do not practice. “
For the past twenty years, I struggled to feel connected to something bigger and deeper than our everyday human existence. I wanted to believe in God, but I couldn’t because of how reprehensible I found much Christian behaviour to be, whether I visited a church, or just in general, when I saw them in public with their crosses and other paraphernalia
Turning to religion of intellectualism of our modern age, led me to study many belief systems, from philosophy to Buddhism, and now back to Christianity, but this time by studying the actual Bible myself to find out why Christians are as they are and why Christians have such a bad reputation.
Christians are not being persecuted as much for their belief in Jesus in our modern western world, but they certainly are being ridiculed and discounted because like the scribes an Pharisees Jesus spoke of in Matthew, most of the people who identify themselves as Christians are a far cry from acting what they profess to believe in into their everyday thoughts, words, and actions.
The result is the majority of modern-day western Christians are not being ridiculed for being Christians, but for not acting like Christians, by modelling the behaviours God tells us to do.
The great revelation has also been how the enemy uses such confusion, judgment, and condemnation to not only ridicule God and the Trinity, but also to keep many people away from truly discovering the truth for themselves in the Bible and from manifesting the lives God guides us to have, not only for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of all people.
In the western world, we have the freedom to choose our beliefs without the persecution and threat of death many face in the eastern world. We have the freedom to exemplify the Christian principles in order to help ourselves and non-believers. And as Christians, we have the obligation to model the behaviour asked of us in order let the light of God’s love be a beacon to those who want to believe in something so much bigger, beautiful, and affirming in life … and death.
Christians’ bad reputation can be turned around by better Christian behaviour. And we can start by recognizing how we as Christians, are not only keeping others from God, we are hurting ourselves and those we love now because God, who is love and good, cannot bless us the way he wants to because we are not living as He has requested us to do.
Personally, I am hoping that one of these days I will experience from Christians the kindness, generosity, and compassion I have received from non-believers whose humane “Respect Level” is higher than most Christians I have interacted with.
We have the power to change the world for the better, regardless of our beliefs, but the onus is on Christians, who want and expect to reap the benefits God promises, to stand up and deliver what has been asked of us, for only then, will people turn to God and Christianity … only then will we do our part to help all those God asks us to help.
August 29, 2016
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, Founder & President
Connecting the Dots … with The Respect Principle
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