Friday, November 11, 2005

My Soap Box

So I have been working on this post in my mind for several days. I have prayed about it, I have thought about it, and I have waited patiently for the right time to write down my thoughts on this subject. The reason I have waited so long and put so much thought and prayer into it is because I am SO PASSIONATE about it and I don't want that passion to come across as anger or sarcasm. Please also know that this IS NOT directed at any one person, so please do not take this personal. Okay, here goes:

On a regular basis my "Inbox" gets FILLED with emails from people sending all kinds of chain letters telling me to "Take A Stand" against this, and "Fight Against" that. My favorites are the ones that say "If you love Jesus, you will forward this to 100 of your friends". I don't know about you, but I do not beleive the Bible says I have to forward garbage emails that cram political stances and religious fanatical propaganda to prove my love for Jesus. Nowhere in scripture does this get backed up. In fact, in my research I never found that Jesus ever organized a government protest or asked people to put their names on a piece of paper that said they were against the illegal Roman occupation. And what about the Apostle Paul? He just taught people about Jesus - PERIOD! He wasted no time on issues or boycotts.

My next favorite is people who try to push their own personal convictions on me. "Well, we don't think Christians should watch prime time television, or celebrate Halloween". I agree that there is a ton of garbage on television and Jake and I filter everything we watch. I don't agree, however, that we shouldn't celebrate Halloween (if you feel convicted about not celebrating Halloween, that is totally cool by me! I do not look down on you for that). Can you think of a better way to reach out to your community for Christ? You have a slew of people coming to your door. Literally hundreds of opportunities to plant seeds. You can think of a TON of creative ways to reach these people on their own level and invite them to church, or share your testimony with them. Tell them what God has done and is doing in your life. Get to actually KNOW your neighbors instead of just waving 'hello' to them.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, my Christian brothers and sisters that take these kinds of stances are sheltering themselves inside their "Christian Bubble" and are becoming so out of touch and naive to the world that they are completely clueless on how to reach out to the lost; how to relate to people of the world for Christ. God has not sent us here to place ourselves in a "Holy Huddle" limiting friendships to be with only Christians, doing business only with Christians, only watching Christian movies (which, by the way SUCK and do nothing but prove to unbelievers that Christians are lame and uncreative), and only listening to Christian music. That is not taking any risks for Christ!! (Thanks, Amanda!)

Please hear me on this: We are not sent here to take political stances, to boycott companies or products, or to sign our names on a piece of paper to say we are against something or someone! The Bible clearly states that we are here to Tell People About Jesus Christ and to set an example of what it looks like to be in love with Him. Political stances, "standing up" against something (meanwhile never telling them what you DO stand for), and cramming that down people's throats is NOT winning people for Christ. It is drawing a line in the sand and looking down on them with judgmental eyes saying, "I'm right and you're wrong and you're a bad person because you do ___." Guess what people, you are just as much of a sinner as the next person. You will never lay eyes on someone that God did not create, and love, and has a purpose for.

I am not for Gay Marriage, gambling, abortion, and many other things, but these people don't have a sexual orientation problem, a "choice" problem, or a gambling problem - they have a Jesus problem! They need someone to share the love of Jesus Christ in their life.

They don't need some self-righteous Bible-thumper telling them that what they're doing is wrong and that they're going to Hell. That only re-enforces their already warped perspective of what it means to be a Christian. I used to be one of those people that was Hell-bound and had a bad opinion of Christians, so I know what I'm talking about! The only Jesus Christ I ever saw was someone who looked down on me for living a wheels-off lifestyle, or pushed their propaganda down my neck. Not until I attended Fellowship Church did I find out who Jesus Christ REALLY was: The son of a loving God sent to die for me so I could spend eternity with Him. And all I had to do was believe in Him! And guess how they grabbed my attention? They played a "Police" song at the beginning of the service that tied into that days message, they used lights, sound, and CREATIVITY to tell me about Christ. They customized the way they taught the Gospel on the level that would grasp a non-believer. They gave me no choice but to sit back and listen to what they had to say.

WOW! Have some of us lost perspective on what we're here for or what?! People are dying real deaths every day - and many of them are going to a horrible place called HELL to spend eternity! That should bother us all to the point that it keeps us up at night. Jesus has called us to be deeply concerned for PEOPLE - not issues or boycotts.

So what are you going to "Stand Up For" today? How about loving your neighbor and sharing the Truth of The Gospel with them with your actions, your lifestyle and your humble spirit. How about setting a humble example and waiting for someone to ask you why you choose to do certain things in your life, instead of pushing it on them? How about listening to them first and getting to know them and then share how Christ can fill that enormous void in thier life?

7 Comments:

At 11/11/2005 12:04 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Minnie, Minnie, Minnie! AMEN SISTER! You have just said everything I have felt. Thank you for having the hutzpah to tell all of us annoying Christians what you think. You and I have talked about this at length and this is a subject that gets me fired up. How on earth can we be a part of the great commission if we Christian realtors, christian doctors, plumbers, dentists, and the list goes on and on. What risk are we taking for Christ? I just found out that I have a lesbian couple just a few doors down from me. They even go to a gay church. One of the ladies came down to intorduce herself the other day and found out that i was baking for the Holidays to make some extra money. She offered her oven for me to use if I got really busy with mine. She is one of the FEW neighbors that have come down to meet us. Well guess what? They will get some homemade pumpkin bread from me for Thanksgiving and some delicous rum cake from me for Christmas. I will also attach a note to their baked present telling them how glad I am to have neighbors that are so friendly and helpful. Do I believe that homosexuality is wrong? ABSOLUTELY! But, I am quite sure they have not felt the love of Christians ever and I pray that I can be one to show what Jesus is all about. He would be inviting them for dinner, He would be friendly, He would love them just as they are. So, come one all of you Christians! Start acting like one! By the way, I love Survivor, Apprentice, Martha Stewart Apprentice, Biggest Loser, According to Jim, BOSTON LEGAL, CSI Miami, Freddie, Reba and I even TiVo General Hospital sometimes! Call me a TV addict, or maybe better, pray for me. It's Christians out there that are preventing the world from being saved. Don't be so nerdy people! Be real! This is 2000 and almost 6! While you are at it, drink a glass of wine too. It's good for the heart and wonderful to drink while making supper.

THANK YOU MINNIE!

 
At 11/11/2005 1:15 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

One more thing Minnie. I can't get you off my mind. You have sucha story to tell. You have been through so much in your life and your testimony is unbelievable. Pray about sharing it with the world of bloggers. You never know who will come across your page and I know so many could relate to your story.

 
At 11/11/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger Trish Bossow said...

Minnie~
What words of wisdom you share and thanks for the time it took you to put those thoughts together for all of us. You touch all of those around you with you humor, wittiness, and loving ways and I pray that through your life, you continue to share your testimony of God's great works in your life. All you need is a listening ear!!!

You are awesome and I thank God for our experience of growing in faith together!

 
At 11/16/2005 11:18 AM, Blogger Kathy Allen said...

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At 11/16/2005 3:59 PM, Blogger Minnie said...

Thanks for the comments, Ladies. I do feel the need to say something, though.

Unfortunately, many people did not receive this post in the way I intended it to come across. That is the unfortunate thing about writing ~ not everyone can see your facial expressions or hear your tone, let alone know your heart. This post was not written in anger or haste toward anyone or any group, nor was it a result of hurt feelings. It was a point of view and a challenge for us ALL to reflect on the way we portray ourselves in our walks with Christ and challenge ALL of us to not lose sight of why we are here.

I agree that someone shouldn't tell me what I should be doing, but if I am doing something that I shouldn't be doing or that isn't biblical or reflective of my walk with Christ, then I would hope that one of my Christian brothers or sisters would stop me and point that out to me in love.

Thanks for reading and for all of your sweet comments and emails regarding this post.

 
At 11/16/2005 4:28 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Yes, BUT, you should never have to apologize for what the Holy Spirit reveals to you AND guess what? God offends people sometimes. His ways are perfect and not all are willing to be sold out soley on a thriving relationship wih Jesus. Instead, people are sold out the church, or their causes that they take on. I am not trying to be ugly in any way but this is YOUR blog, YOUR BLOG! So write whatever you want girl and people love you because you say what others think. Oh and I think Ed Young probably offends people too!

 
At 11/16/2005 5:13 PM, Blogger Kathy Allen said...

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