Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One of "Those" Christians and Our God

I spent a wonderful day last Saturday at Carowinds with some youth and adults. It was Christian music day, so the park was filled with "good Christian folk." Throughout the day, I overheard conversations with some of these strangers (yet brothers and sisters in Christ) and I got a little perturbed. Some of these Christians tick me off. They talk about God as if they own him and say how wonderful God is, but then they talk about other people in a way I'm sure God would not. They also paint the disturbing picture of a God who is like a vengeful, evil wizard and who zaps people who sin. When I hear these Christians, I think to myself, "How dare they make God out to be like that? And do they think they are really that holy?" Much as these Christians bug me, I am often one of them. I am often a person painting an inaccurate portrait of our God. I am reminded of my own imperfect ideas of God, and I am reminded that I am not the authority on who God is. As a pastor, I am the authority on the church, in a small respect, but in the grand scheme of our faith in our God, I am no authority at all. I am simply a believer, like the rest of those Christians, God's children. I am simply loved by our God, like the rest of those Christians (and even those non-Christians, too). As evidence of my not-an-authority on the nature of God, and my own shortfalls in the faith, I recently finished a great book about God: The Shack. Without giving too much away for those of you who haven't read it, The Shack is a book that gives the reader a vivid picture of God's love for us. As I read, I found myself secretly asking, "Can God really be that good? Can eternity with God really be like that?" And there I was, one of God's children, not understanding his love and not believing in his goodness. So, the next time I go eavesdropping on conversations, I need to remember that I'm one of those children of God who misses the point, who lacks faith and understanding, but I'm one of all of God's children who is loved...anyway.


ashley.diane85 said...

This is so ironic. I was thinking about this subject the other day. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life and how I can please God in what I do. I was able to go on a mission trip the past summer to Montana and have been thinking a lot about how I handled questions that were asked to me. I've come to a realitization - I can't change people, only God can. My job is to tell them about Jesus, not condeem them or force anything on them. That I shouldn't judge and think "God is going to shoot you with lightning for doing that" or other crazy judgemental ideas. Realizing that I can't read God's mind and really cant figure out what his plan is has been a huge eye opener for me.

After the concert I downloaded a lot of the Casting Crown songs one struck a cord with everything I was thinking about - What this World Needs is the name of the song. These lines seem to keep replaying in my head:

People aren't confused by the gospel
They're confused by us
Jesus is the only way to God
But we are not the only way to Jesus
This world doesn't need my tie, or my hoodie
My denomination or my translation of the Bible
They just need Jesus
We can be passionate about what we believe
But we can't strap ourselves to the Gospel
Cause we're slowing it down
Jesus is going to save the world
But maybe the best thing we can do
Is just get out of the way

Thanks so much for your posts - it's always a joy to read!

Pastor Robin said...

thanks for your response. i am glad this is generating conversation...that's what i had hoped for. thanks for the song, too...i watched the video on youtube and love it! what a great message.i think we are all struggling with how to be's good to know there are others like me who don't have it all figured out yet. that's what makes the journey of faith so interesting--that we don't know where God is going to lead us next.