The number of Christian denominations worldwide is in the thousands, each having its own practices, creeds, traditions and beliefs about what is vital for their Christian walk. Asking questions to allow reflection is an opportunity to grow.
A short time ago I met a man who does not attend a church. I asked him for his impression of Christians. He said that, for the most part, he thought they were good people trying to live a good life but he found them judgmental and aloof. He felt awkward around them. This bothered me.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked a question. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment, and the second is like it. Love your neighbour as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Loving God and sharing that love with all mankind is the most important job we have on Earth. If we are perceived as aloof and judgmental, then we need to honestly give our heads a shake.
All the creeds and rules, practices and traditions count for nothing. They are meaningless vapour. The Bible calls us a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal if we do these things, and do have not love.
Jesus has called his followers to love God and share His unconditional love with all mankind. Nothing else counts for anything. Yet we are perceived by others as judgmental and aloof. We have missed the mark.
Christians need to take an honest look at their practices. Are we doing what Christ asked us to do? Why do we waste precious time defining our differences and worrying about who is right and who is wrong?
1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
The answer to my question, “What do you know about Christians?” should sound like this: If you are ever in trouble, go find some Christians. You will know them by their love. They will listen to you, accept you and help you, but will never judge you. You can trust them.
Their love is real and unconditional.
So let us begin by asking the question, “Does my neighbour see Christ in me?” Think on that.
Mason Brown is a member of the Creston New Life Christian Church.