‘Tis the season to wade through a lot of things about what the season means and whose meaning should hold sway in the public domain. Unfortunately for us, ’tis also the season where we begin the largely futile effort to pick a new short-term leader for this passel of cats we call a nation. So that means we get a lot of opinions disguised as facts.
It also means we’re in for a ton of assertions about The Right Way To Do Things. What to say, who to say it to and when it should be said are now the purview of what we do. Including, it would seem, this very post.
Christianity is many things. It is a faith. It is a discipline. Most importantly, though, it is a RESPONSIBILITY.
If you choose to be a Christian, you are declaring your likemindedness with the aims of Jesus. Going to heaven is a nice end point, but it’s not why we do this. We do this because we like the message of Grace and we want to be more like Christ himself. That is a huge, not to mention impossible effort. It’s one that takes more than a lifetime; I don’t think any of us will be the people Christ asks us to be, even at our death. Our lives are a mission to take up that cross daily and follow him. To learn to love others so much that we would sacrifice our comfort, security and even our very earthly lives for them. Our mission is to feed and clothe the world so that their physical needs are met. Our mission is to love the world so that their emotional needs are met. To tell the world about the bounty of Grace, that there is someone who loves them so much that their soul was worth his life. That no matter who they are or how wretchedly they live, that love is there for them.
That’s what Christianity is.
It is NOT a continual stamping of feet about how others should live. If we want them to live like us, we should act the way we’ve been told to act. Humbly, turning the other cheek. Then they might become one of us. But we ourselves are not under the law, we’re under grace. How we expect to use the _law_ to force others to act as if they are under Grace is beyond me.
We are responsible to Christ for the message we carry into the world. If that message is one of fear, of cruelty, of dominance, we are betraying Christ. We are slapping his name onto Satan’s charge. And of course we aren’t perfect. The desire for power, for wealth and for glory will always tantalise. But even though Christians Aren’t Perfect (Just Forgiven) that is no excuse for acting as though we’ve never even once read or heard the words of Jesus.
We aren’t perfect. But we are to be striving for perfection. We owe at least that much to the God who redeems our souls.