Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Love Your Enemy 2: Identify With Your Enemy

One of the biggest blocks to spreading the gospel is an "us" and "them" mentality.

In their apology against Christianity, I often see atheists and others pointing out that labeling people as "unbelievers" puts them in a class that is easily disparaged and discriminated against.  This is true....if Christianity were a set of logical propositions to be accepted or rejected based on their ability to describe the natural world.

But it isn't.

Well for quite a few people it is.  Many people accept Christianity because it's cultural.  They've always been christians.  Their parents are christians.  They are patriots and say the pledge of allegiance proudly at the [insert sport here] game and argue that there is a war on Christmas.  They think church is something we do for an hour and a half on Sunday or the building we do it in.

But it isn't.

Christianity is based around the person of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.  If you haven't met him, if you don't know him, you aren't a Christian no matter how many times you've gone to church rather than doing something you'd enjoy more.  Jesus calls this being "born again."  He said you have to be born again.  In Matthew, there's a story about people who get to the judgment and wonder why they're not in.  Jesus says "I never knew you."

So what does this have to do with your enemy? 

Because if you are born again, you have no enemies.  You can see through the eyes of others.  You see your sin as the most important thing for you to work on and not everybody else's.  You worry about controlling your own eyes rather than trying to censor television.  It is your sin Jesus says you need to be concerned about.  He likened it to trying to get a spec out of your friend's eye while you've got a board in yours.

Every person has value and everyone is welcomed by God through Jesus.  A real Christian won't treat a non-believer like a second class citizen.  We know that there is no one worse than us.  The Apostle Paul said "I am the chief of sinners."  I'm no better than you.  In fact I'm worse.  Because following Jesus isn't about being good, it's about being forgiven.  And the more you're forgiven, the more you know how truly evil you are.

No comments: