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Can You Hear Me Now?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Un-Evangelical Interactions

I admit it. I follow the links of my favorite "reads" to find more favorite reads. I'm assuming most of us do it. It's like being impressed upon to buy a product because someone we know and TRUST uses it.

So recently, I was clicking through the blogdom as I followed one of my favorite reads and I ran across a blog and I started reading a few of her posts. While our political and religious beliefs are at complete opposites, her writing is gifted and poignant. She proclaims her beliefs openly, without apology and usually without attack. I have only commented on her site once but I lurk there regularly. Mostly because what she says sparks conversation and sometimes debate. What she lacks in Biblical wisdom, she makes up for in seeking and searching for truth and discernment.

I know at this point many would argue that you cannot have discernment without Biblical wisdom, but note I did not state BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT. She is one of those souls who will find God because all TRUTH seeking leads to Him. She may still reject what she sees and finds, but He will be there, at every turn, meeting her stance, facing her theories and tearing down the wall she has built around her empire.

Recently she shared about an interaction with a “Christian” who was using her ‘title’ in a financial pursuit via email. While I’m not a HUGE advocate of separation of church and state (after all state wouldn’t be here without church), I am sickened by any politicians using their Christianity as a launching pad or position defense in their politics and I abhor this tactic in political fundraising. My feeling is your life should speak who you are and what you believe.

The woman I write of notified the “Christian” that she did not share her beliefs and would appreciate being removed from automatic emails that were religious in nature. She received a harsh reply and cold personal interactions since the confrontation. The resulting comments on this post were less diplomatic and I pray they serve as a reminder to us.

Here is an excerpt:
“J” said...
“I think you handled this issue very politely and sensitively. This woman's attitude is patently un-Christian (and I am not a Christian, but I was partially raised as one, and I have studied the Bible, so I do know of what I speak). Her bad attitude does not stem from her so-called Christianity. Rather, her religion is a mask she employs to hide an ugly personality, and her self-righteousness, a crutch for a fragile, overblown ego.

I have, unfortunately, met several individuals like this woman-- shallow, selfish people who use religion to justify their conviction that they are better than everyone else and therefore somehow more deserving of attention or good fortune. People who use religion as an excuse to alienate and belittle anyone they deem to be too "different" from themselves, because that is easier for them than attempting to step outside of their own concerns long enough to try to understand the perspective of another human being.”

Then “W” said...
“It's people like this that make me think of that saying some Christians use (usually about h@mo$exuality- and it really annoys me), "Hate the sin not the sinner"-- well here's what I have to keep telling myself when I run into these types (and it is da*n hard to remember) ‘hate the Christian, not the religion’!”

So as I’m reflecting about my own daily interactions with people and thinking there just may be truth in the statement: “You may be the only Christ this person ever sees.” I am going to T.R.Y. to remember my own experiences as a young Christian and comments like these that are the things people remember when they are excusing themselves from any possible interaction or connection with “CHRISTIANS”. Hopefully I’ll remember these things while driving or worse yet at the Big “W”!

I’m still not fully convinced demons don’t lurk the doors at Wally World waiting to capture the mind and MOUTH of some of us as we enter the labyrinth. But that’s another post…

By the way, I was originally going to post the Friday Feast, but decided against it...but the very first question is: What was the very last song you listened to? and in PERFECT God-Timing...and in light of my own vision issues, I heard "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord" this morning as I was driving to work and of course that was the last song I heard on the way in the door, thus the song on my mind, heart and lips this morning.

Have a day worth remembering!


MommaB said...

Wow, KP, thanks for the great post. I've been struggling with my "title" this week and this is another great thing to print and pray over. So many times in my walk I've faltered because of "false instruction" of another "believer". Even though I stand firm in God's word and believe fully in the promises found there, these eye-opening encounters often leave me to wonder if others truly see HIM through me and my own actions! Are my motives correct? Am I reaching for that lost soul or just simply preaching at the sinner? Does my life as you put it, "speak who you (I)are (am) and what you (I) believe?"

As always, thank you for a "think-full" posting. As always, God is using it to teach me!

Aunt Murry said...

Have a great weekend.

Dawn said...

Things I definitely need to think about - how I look to people I am in touch with. I struggle with holding my tongue while encountering "difficult" (read stupid) drivers! Then I find myself doing something really "difficult" on the road. Thanks for a good heart check.

Morning Glory said...

This is a really good reminder to us in our attitudes toward others. You've got the right idea and have expressed it well. Being possibly the only Christian someone may see can be totally destroyed by the words out of my mouth.

The thing that concerns me regards the comments from "J". This person has resorted to quite a bit of name-called and labeling, which I sometimes feel is just as wrong as the deed they are criticizing. She has labelled this person as "patently un-Christian" with "an ugly personality" "self-righteousness" and "overblown ego". Her next comments go on to further label people as shallow, etc. I've been working really hard in my own life to avoid the involuntary name-calling that so quickly wells up when I'm annoyed with someone's actions or point of view. Her comment is a reminder once again to guard my tongue.

Good stuff today, Kim.

GiBee said...

Bravo, Kim ... Bravo!

Dawn said...

I'm back again with a frivolous request! Could you please go to Kristen's site and post a comment - She's trying to get 125 comments on her 125th post. Thanks!

R.G. said...

Well, I know exactly the blog-conversation you're talking about, and I posted a comment over there, too. I felt like the non-Christian actually behaved in a much more "Christian" fashion than did the person who called herself a Christian.

Boy, this is a sticky wicket. In truth, none of us are really "good enough" to represent Christ, but we are washed by Him and forgiven, and He has sent us out to represent Him, so we have a huge responsibility to do our best at this!

Great thoughts here.

tam said...

Rachelle said it well, "stickey wicket"...

As believers and all the other tags and labels that go with it...we can be da*ned if we do and da*ned if we don't.

Meaning...if we are overtly kind, patient,giving, (aka Christ like)we are patronizing and putting ourselves above everyone else..

...if we are human at times and make the mistakes we inevitably will, we are "un-Christian" and "hypocrites".

Coming recently (2000) from the populace that will attack any religion venemously and ferociously and with breakneck speed...there is NO way to win THIS type of battle UNLESS we do turn to Christ at every moment we are able, (it will NOT be e v e r y moment) do, to the best of our ability (meaning higher and farther than our own mediocre expectations but without perfection) to act as Christ would, and finally let God put those glasses on our face that kpjara so eloquently wrote about on Thursday... see the situation as Christ would...not as we would...this can eliminate hurt feelings, selfish pride and "how dare they..." or "I can't win for losing" type mindsets.

(speaking to myself as well as commenting in all of the above...I so totally do not have that down pat!)

Last song I listened to?

On the radio...oh well, I cannot remember the title but it was "worshiping you Lord" in form and verse

In my boys singing unceasingly little tunes from their hearts which often carry words I do not know save for "love" many times over and "so, so. so, much!"

Spookie the Warrior said...

Great post Kim!! I learnt a while ago how important it is as a Christian to love everyone and not be opinionated or judgemental - and i learnt this the hard way...I was brought back to earth with a rather nasty bump! And this was once again a very good reminder of this lesson.

FarmgirlCyn said...

OUCH! Good post. I am reminded of one of my LEAST favorite bumper stickers..."Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven"
I try to remind myself "WWJD"...speaking of which, has anyone out there actually read that book? Written many years ago, it is truly a good read.