A few days ago I posted this meme on my Facebook page:
Per usual, I received an equal number of comments in favor of the meme as disagreeing with it or questioning it.
The one reply that really made me stop was this one by my dear friend, Ruth, whom I’ve known since Junior High and who married my best-friend. She said:
This reminded me of something I had written about almost a decade ago: “It’s sad when the Good News to non-Christians is that Jesus is nothing like His followers.”
And, over and over again, this statement just continues to be proven true everywhere I turn.
Last week I was invited to be a guest on a radio/video podcast program called TRUTH WANTED which is hosted by “ObjectivelyDan” and is funded and hosted by The Atheist Community of Austin, TX.
Not only were they refreshingly kind and gracious to me, they also sent me $40 on GrubHub so my wife and I could eat a huge meal together and they went out of their way to assure me that there would be no “gotcha” questions and they honored me and blessed me more than ANY other podcast [Christian or otherwise] I have ever been invited to speak with.
Now, I’ve had my share of rude encounters with Atheists, mind you. I know there are assholes on every side and in every belief [or unbelief] system.
But, my point, [and I believe there is one], is that Christians – who are supposed to be following the Greater Commission to “love others as Jesus has loved us” – and who are supposed to be known for our love, and who were commanded by Jesus to love even those who hate us, should be held to a higher standard. I mean, we should hold OURSELVES to a higher standard.
Sure, Jesus said that people would hate us because they hated him. But, I don’t think that means that people should hate Jesus because they’ve learned to hate Christians who go out of their way to make them feel unloved.
If we’re serious about following this Jesus guy – and I really think that is pretty much the ONLY THING we should be serious about – then we need to understand that the God we believe in is LOVE, and we were created in the image of LOVE, and we are called to LOVE, because we have been transformed by LOVE, and we have experienced the beautiful, transformative power of LOVE ourselves.
In fact, if we’re not going to major on love, and if we’re not committed to becoming better at loving our neighbors, and our enemies, and, yes, even at loving OURSELVES as Jesus loved us, then I suggest we peel those fish stickers off our bumpers and burn all our Christian CDs, and donate all our Christian T-shirts to the Salvation Army, and call the whole “Christian” thing off. Because we’re doing more harm than good and we’re making it a LOT harder for those people who really do want to represent the God who is LOVE to the world we live in.
Love is what will change the world. The world will only change if we change.
We can’t afford to wait much longer. Let’s start practicing love today.
Deconstructing your faith isn’t easy. Don’t go through it alone.
Starting May 10, we’ll launch our next round of Square 1 – a 90-day online course and online community designed to help you navigate the Deconstruction process and move on to Reconstruction without Self-Destruction.
For a limited time, you can register for a whopping 75% off at this link HERE>
If you’re looking for someone to walk with you through this process, please meet me at Square 1.
Keith Giles and his wife, Wendy, work with Peace Catalyst International to help build relationships between Christians and Muslims in El Paso, TX. Keith was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church over a decade ago to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today he is the author of the best-selling “Jesus Un” series of books, including “Jesus Unforsaken: Substituting Divine Wrath With Unrelenting Love” which is available now on Amazon.