Have you ever been hurt by someone who claimed to be a Christian? Have you been hurt by religious judgement? Do you think that Christians are judgmental or intolerant people? I would like to take a moment to respond to this. I am going to use plain, at times elementary, language in my response.
We are all capable of doing good and of doing bad. It is a choice. You see God gave each of us free will. The reason He did that is because He loves us. Would you force your child to love you? No. You love your children and hope that they will return that love. You seek a relationship with your children and hope that they respond and seek to build that relationship with you. It takes two working together for a relationship to be healthy and vibrant. In the same sense, God gave us a choice. Every day, rather you are a Christian or not, you are faced with free will. The difference between a believer and a non-believer on any given day is Jesus. A believer has put their faith in Jesus, depends on Him, and has a relationship with Him. That same believer still has free will and must choose daily to live according God’s principles. Sometimes we make bad decisions and suffer the consequences. Sadly, when a person makes a bad decision they are usually not the only one who suffers for it.
I am a Christian. Am I perfect? No. Do I still sin? Yes. I have been a Christian for almost 28 years. Coming under His authority and following Him is a process. My walk with Him looks different from someone who has been walking with Him for only a year. I still have to choose to live according to His principles daily. It is just easier for me after 28 years. My point? We should remember that people make mistakes and can act in ignorance. We should not blame the church (which is the whole body of Christ by the way; it is not just a building or a specific religious organization) or God for something that one person or even a religious organization did that was hurtful toward us. God is love. He loved us so much that He provided the way for reconciliation with us; He forgave us. Should we not forgive those whose actions could very well have come from their immaturity, or maybe simply their lack of communication skills? Have we ourselves not had moments where we gave misinformation with great passion because we didn’t know any better, or maybe said something hurtful without giving consideration to the hearer? I know I have; I am guilty.
I promise you I will stumble. I will fall. I will let you down. Jesus will never let you down. Don’t look to me, look to Him who is worthy. I hope that this will help you to open your heart to God again if you have turned away from Him. I pray that if you have been unsure of God, because of those who are suppose to represent Him, that you will give God a chance to reveal to you who He really is and not the misrepresentation that some of us have given of Him. Remember, too, that there is a chance that a person can claim to be a Christian and not be one at all. The Bible says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Although you should know them by the fruit that they bear in their lives, please give grace to the new fruit that tends to be a bit sour before it is ripe.
By His Grace,