I have watched as the church – just like the world – has divided into the “cool kids” and “not so cool kids”.
I mean the uncool wear dresses to church still…the cool ones wear jeans.
The not so cool – put verses on their twitter – cool ones tattoo themselves with verses.
The less trendy – love going to church – the cool ones prefer to hang out in a coffee shop – they might even brag that they don’t have a church at all. They don’t need it.
The uncool don’t drink – the cool ones explore their liberties and celebrate their drinking.
Some say these more conservative ones are less mature in their thinking – they take the Bible so literally and God’s wrath so seriously, the cool kids – are more intellectual and use the motto “grace” to get them to calm down.
The uncool – don’t like bad words – cool ones – use swear words and then call you a pharisee if you judge.
And on and on it goes – you know what I mean.
I straddle both sides – I like coffee shops and have no problem with Christians taking liberties – and I love grace – but I also like to wear a dress to church, post verses on twitter and swear words just aren’t in my vocabulary.
To be honest, I am frustrated that there is even such a THING as SIDES within the church. We are ONE – one body – one in Christ – one bride!
Who CARES how anyone dresses. And if one person wants to post Bible verses – thank you so much for your boldness! And if you drink a glass of wine – I’m not the wine police – don’t apologize to me. And two of my favorite friends have tattoos – and I’ve never batted an eye at our friendship or questioned their faith – it is clear they are Jesus lovers!
And yes – grace grace grace – but we must balance it with truth truth truth!
I have seen it play out in my own church and I’ve seen it play out on-line amongst bloggers. There’s even these “cool” Christians that dedicate entire blogs to making fun of their more conservative Christian sisters and brothers. They call themselves Christians BUT mock other Christians publicly…regularly. And I have qualified a few times for the public joke of the day.
I get it – I really do, – from a mockers eye – many of my youtubes are kind of funny. I’m an easy target. lol! You don’t have to look far to find something goofy that I’ve said – especially in a video.
But here’s the thing – Jesus said – they will know we are Christians by our love. And the part that baffles me is these ones who mock Christians champion the message of “grace” and “loving well”. And as I watch them mock me and my “uncool” brothers and sisters in Christ, I do not see the grace and love that they shout so high from their rooftops.
And I wonder – do they realize that it hurts? That it’s humans they mock? Or do they realize – I’ve heard this.all.my.life.
Since I was in public grade school – I was the girl who was different. Who was crazy serious about her faith. Who was sharing the gospel right and left and defending my beliefs even to the teachers and carrying my Bible to even cheerleading camp – yes I was a cheerleader – cool – but carrying a Bible – makes you uncool.real.quick! And it’s funny – I know – I could laugh at myself back then too – it’s crazy how different my thinking was from those around me. And when I got the nicknames at school for being the Jesus girl I carried the name with confidence. But when I got nick names from those in my youth group who I suppose were embarrassed of me at school – it hurt.
I recently told my children the story of my nick names from the youth group – in case it happens to them. Cause you know – it happens.even.in.church. And it happens – even.on.so-called.Christian.blogs.
And what other Christians think of me – can’t matter if I know I’m in the center of God’s will for me – and I want my kids to know that. Be secure in that.
And dare I suggest that we also remember that not every.single.person who calls himself a Christian is.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”~Matthew 7:15,16.
I certainly can’t say which mocker is a wolf and which mocker is my sister or brother in Christ – nor do I really want to. But since it’s happened so many times in the past – and some of those who mocked are no longer with the church – I know that not all mocking that appears to come from Christians – really comes from a true Christian.
Satan is tricky like that!
So what can we do – I can only tell you what I have done – cause I’ve walked through this valley many times in my life and there’s only ONE way through!
Put on the full armor of God and stand firm friends – stand firm. You are not alone in this battle! And make sure your kids know how to wear the armor too – cause it’s coming.
I Peter 4:12-16-
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”
Update: Someone mentioned in the comments that this goes both ways. I agree – this post is written from my experience in the last 20+ years of living in the church. I have been hurt – but I know that the reverse has been true for WAY too many. And for that I deeply apologize. I pray we will be unified for God’s glory and that we will love deeply those who are different from us.
Walk with the King,