I’ve quit being a Christian. To quote Anne Rice “My conscience will allow nothing else.” I’ve admitted this to my friends, my family and those around me. Ten weeks ago, I was reminded why.
I was working downtown one day and a woman named Ivy came in to my office completely distraught. Tears running down her flushed face, she tells me “everything is gone.”
I had just helped this same woman not thirty minutes from that point. What do you mean? I asked her.
Ivy proceeded to tell me that while she was waiting for the bus someone had come along and stolen her purse with everything inside it. Her voice was shaking, “and that’s not even the worst of it” she exclaimed. “This Christian lady tells me that God is punishing me because I am a Wiccan. That’s why I never wanted to be a Christian! All they are is judgmental, hateful people!”
As she continued to express her frustrations with this lady and the Christian faith, I could feel my face turning red and tears welling up in my eyes. I no longer cared about the professional demeanor I was supposed to portray with my job.
I apologized to Ivy. I told her that if the woman who said those words would dust off the Bible that she so aggressively points at people and actually read about the life of Christ, she would never have opened her mouth to speak such hateful, irreverent words.
God must have known that people would slip in to a perverted version of what being His disciple actually looks like which is probably why Jesus explained perfectly how a disciple of His would be known.
In John 13, the very night He would be betrayed, Jesus gives His disciples a “new” commandment. He tells the men He is with “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus never said to that by being anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-Democrat, anti-science or anti-Wiccan you would be known as His disciples.
It’s love. And NOT the adulterated version of love that our society and culture has pushed on us. True love. Pure love. Love that Jesus portrayed that while He was on the cross hearing people mock him, after he had been betrayed by His friends and family He chose to stay on the cross so that the same people who were against Him could choose to accept Him as their Savior. His love for us compelled Him to stay on the cross and die for our sins against Him.
His love meets us where we’re at and compels us to toss aside all the things that would separate us from Him.
This is the love that He desires us to bring to everyone we come in contact with. And this is the love that I introduced to Ivy. I respectfully acknowledged what she believed and told her about God and how He loves her and has amazing plans for her. I then asked if I could pray to my God for her. She accepted and after I had prayed thanked me then left my office.
This past week Ivy came in to my office. A smile had replaced the tears and laughter her crying. She walked in with a guy (we’ll call him Eric) holding on to her hand. She told me she had exciting news that I would like to hear. Almost shouting she says “I’ve accepted Jesus in to my life!”
Words can not describe how excited I was to hear that and for what lies in store for her. God is truly great!
What would happen if all the Christians in this world began to act on the words that Jesus commanded? How would your life be different?
I want to leave you with this one challenge:
In the name of Christ quit being a Christian and start being His disciple.