Heaven is Waiting, Hell Kicked You Out

DoorThere are a lot of things floating around the internet today about a particular Christian ministry closing its doors. Times like this the negative is publicized much more than the good. For some reason people seek opportunities to put others down rather than build them up. It makes us feel bigger or more important to be right rather than to be righteous. I don’t know much about the ministry so I don’t have much to comment. I do give the people in the organization credit for being brave enough to start the ministry, and for the courage it took to repent of any wrongdoing. Sometimes we are simply damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

I don’t like to debate anymore over things that I have little knowledge of – they simply don’t matter. Social justice, care-giving, family, love – the love of Jesus is my primary focus. I am more worried about my own life and heart – first.  I have experienced the ugly defensive, opinionated, them against us side of humanity as both a perpetrator and a recipient far too often, and I would be a liar to say I still don’t have moments when I am hurt or rejected. But God is doing a work of grace in me, and I recognize it’s fully my issue, not the sucker whose ideologies I felt I needed to bash. I believe there is a Person and thing called Truth – but I believe that the things called Love and Grace are the foundation to Truth. You can’t live Truth without Love. You can’t love without grace. The Law of Christ – love God and love your neighbor. (Gal. 6:2, Mk.12:28)

Jesus has been misrepresented a lot. He was blamed for the Crusades and the Holocaust. He gets blamed for wealthy fat cat televangelists, and name it and claim it pastors who get rich off the vulnerable; he at fault for the worldwide famine. He gets blamed for tornadoes, floods, fires, and earthquakes, and the people who died as a result. He gets criticized when I make a mistake, or any human being does in His name to wrongly accuse, judge or hurt another. Rarely is he given the credit for those who were saved from death, or the poverty that is alleviated as a result of people doing God’s work. Rarely is He appreciated when a life is changed and the person changed is happier, healthier and at peace as a result. Rarely is He given credit when I do good in His name and I am thanked for it, or when I gave him credit for the actions and behavior of my eight successful, well behaved children.  I give Him credit, but it is most often given back to me.

There will always be people who do wrong in the name of Jesus making  the name “Christian” or “Christianity” appear like “hell” is for the good guys because “heaven” is filled with hypocrites.  That’s not Jesus. Jesus was simple and spoke a simple word. He walked around in a robe and sandals without owning his own – anything. He fed, healed, taught and loved all those His shadow fell upon– sinner and saint.  The only people He got angry with were the religious leaders of his time – the loud obnoxious opinionated who stood in places of authority throwing around words of condemnation instead of words that brought Life. Not the hurting. The hurting He loved into lasting life changes; He loved them into the Kingdom.  If only we did the same.

“In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…, the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

If only…

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