Lately I have been studying the book of Jeremiah and how the nation of Israel had been corrupted with idols and lifestyles that dishonored God. The complete disregard for God and the things He desires and commands from his people is disheartening. One of the most infuriating things to me is when Christians- Christ followers-misrepresent the Gospel. Whether it is intentional or unintentional, I believe it’s a scheme of the devil, and it breaks the heart of God.
“For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless.
Yet you say to me,
‘Father, you have been my guide since my youth. Surely you won’t be angry forever! Surely you can forget about it!’
So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can.”
I believe there are many churches and cities throughout the country that the Spirit of God is alive and changing lives. But, in the success of that, there are also many people who use Christians to advance their own agenda’s whether in business or politics- or whatever- to get ahead. Often, a political candidate will throw in the “God card” to get to the “evangelical base”. They claim to be a Christian yet their life is completely contrary to who Christ is. This trend has compounded so much that now it is hard for people to understand who a Christian really is. Are they just claiming that or are they really a Christ follow- one who is striving to emulate the life of Christ?
A few weeks ago I heard an interview with Bill Maher- who recently released the movie, “Religulous”- a documentary on the state of world religions. He started the project out of curiosity for why people are attracted to religion. He concluded that anyone who participates in any type of religion (Christianity included) has a neurological disorder. It is so sad to me that after his research (which may be questionable) he couldn’t find the truth. In my opinion, if Christians truly represented Christ and the Gospel the way it is intended, it would be noticed and the truth would be clear- not foggy like it is currently.
As we are in the midst of starting a new church in Silicon Valley, it is troubling to me that those who don’t know of the life-changing power of the Cross may be resistant because of the false portrayal from those who are Christians yet still “doing all the evil they can”. If we understood the power and magnitude of our God- we would fear Him and not dare attach our name to someone as Holy as He is.
The beautiful thing about our Holy God is the mercy He offers us. Following the verse above, God says in verse 12,
“O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful.
I will not be angry with you forever.
Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you reveled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord, have spoken”
One of my prayers is that those who are true followers of Christ would be unashamed and glorify Him with their lives. Christians don’t have to be perfect, but if we live lives of integrity, respond appropriately in times of conflict, be good stewards with what He’s given us, and be faithful to one another- we could change the reputation of the church, and of Jesus Christ.