Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and I submit, He weeps over what He sees of Christianity today. Because some of us [Christians] almost by definition see ourselves as “on a personal mission from God," we unknowingly act smugly and condescendingly towards others and each other.
Recently a young woman shared, “As a Christian, I am most often hurt, attacked, put down and disregarded by other Christians. Christians in the workplace are the worst. I love The Lord but Christians hurt me terribly…."
Why do some Christians hurt others?
Interestingly, Mark Twain once said, "If Christ were here, there is one thing He would not be — a Christian."
Is he correct?
When asked about Christianity, Mohandas Gandhi replied, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Gandhi also said that what passes as Christianity these days is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount.
I think he was right.
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually part of the Body of Christ. And just because someone is in the Body, doesn't make them perfect.
Why do we as Christians sometime allow our egos to get in the way of the Holy Spirit?
Ahhh…because we hold our beliefs and our words to be the ones most pleasing to God. At best others are less good or less pleasing.
We continue in the original sin and eat of that tree. For most, the fruit seems sweet but it is bitter.
We continue to fall from grace when we judge others. When we judge others we take another bite of that apple and satan smiles.
Outwardly, Gandhi lived according to the teachings of Jesus. He lived a life of service and sacrifice. Did he have the indwelling spirit of Christ? He certainly unveiled it to a great degree.
Robert McCracken was a gifted preacher at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. In one of his books, Questions People Ask (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951), he wrote:
Do you recall the ground on which Gandhi criticized organized Christianity? His complaint was not directed at the Christian ideal-for the Sermon on the Mount he professed admiration again and again-but at the failure of Christians to put it into operation and at their refusal to take it seriously. Stanley Jones once said to him: "Mahatma Gandhi, I am very anxious to see Christianity nationalized in India, so that it shall no longer be a foreign thing identified with a foreign people and a foreign government, but a part of the national life of India and contributing its power to India's uplift and redemption. What would you suggest that we do to make that possible?" This was the reply: "I would suggest, first, that all of you Christians must begin to live more like Jesus Christ. Second, I would suggest that you must practice your religion without adulterating or toning it down. Third, I would suggest that you must put your emphasis upon love, for love is the centre and soul of Christianity.Christian’s are not called to win but to serve. I think Jesus cares more about what we “do" instead of what we “preach."
So how are Christians to act? Jesus plainly told us when He taught The Sermon on the Mount. It begins with the utterance of "moving lyrical strains of the Beatitudes." They constitute the string of pearls which adorns the crowning of Christian ethics. The Beatitudes are independent exhortations of blessedness to mold the character of the Christian believer:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.So who enters the kingdom first? Those, who profess Jesus or those living the Christ?
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 5: 3-12
Here is a hint:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." — Mathew 7For those of us who profess to be Christian, may God guide us to live in the true Spirit of the Christ so that we can be salt and light to a dying world.
©2008 Judi Lynn Lake. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Judi Lynn Lake has kept up with leading edge business trends throughout her varied and successful career. She had already had her "15 minutes of fame" over and over again before starting her family. Judi and her family now reside in Charleston, South Carolina, but, having been born and raised on Long Island, NY, it is clearly evident that she will always be a "New Yorker." Today, she successfully runs her own advertising agency which handles everything from logos, branding and package design while she continues to work closely with self-published authors from design to promotion. For more information, visit judilake.com
The following video, "Jesus of Nazareth-best scenes-"Blessed are They," from the movie, Jesus of Nazareth, courtesy of You Tube.