I am not fond of the label “Christians.” I am talking about us people who claim a relationship with our Creator is worth considering. We are of course hypocrites. What human being lives up to the standards they know in their heart are honorable? Paul Copan is right: “The truth of a position isn’t undermined just because a person acts hypocritically…if we reject a philosophy of life based on hypocritical adherents, we believe nothing” (When God Goes To Starbucks, 201). But, the truth is many folks who are interested in spiritual matters are often hindered by the actions of those who claim a relationship with God is beneficial.
Beliefs about God matter as they can either alienate us or draw us closer. “Why, me!” can sometimes turn into “why God do you not love me.” This is the reason that I mostly write about what I think God is really like. It is claimed Hell is a reality. Who cares to respect a sadistic God? Characterizations of God must make rational and moral sense. We are not totally clueless of what God is really like since made in God’s likeness. But, it is convenient for me to forget that my actions are far more important than what words I may write in defending God to others.
One of the main problems is not when spiritual folks sin. The problem is we don’t confess our wrongdoings, seek forgiveness, and make necessary amends. We judge others about their sexual preferences rather than spend time living up to our own standards. We may fight for the unborn because we feel the child feels pain, but we fail to act respectfully toward others who disagree. We are not a Christian nation. Jesus didn’t try to turn the Roman Empire into a Christian nation. Jesus came to show among other things that serving was more important than gaining power.
Jesus was successful in getting others to consider His ways because Jesus walked the talk. If our beliefs are truly life changing than people will simply know by the way we love others. But, sense I suck at loving others I often find it easier to write about beliefs that may hinder ones relationship with their Creator. Jesus did not come as a theologian but lover. How can we love people better so if interested, they can know how much their Creator loves them?
Love doesn’t have a hidden agenda. Some spiritual folks think their mission in relationships is to get one to say the sinner’s prayer to obtain a free pass out of hell. The sinner’s prayer or hell isn’t in the Bible. Jesus said the main thing was to treat others like you want to be treated. Personally, I think the best way to accomplish that mission is to get to know who God really is. Mother Teresa said that she was simply responding to God’s boundless love for her and for all of humanity. When one feels extraordinarily loved they simply want to return that love to others.
Besides focusing on the main thing, we might learn from how Jesus interacted with others. People who are not interested in God aren’t evil. Some non-spiritual minded folks put me to shame in how I treat others. God was always willing to live in peace, despite one’s beliefs, as long as they didn’t engage in such evils as child sacrificing, raping, killing, etc. Jesus did not attack people’s sexual preferences. Jesus attacked the real hypocrites – the religious. Religious folks are busy claiming they know truth and trying to impose that on others.
Jesus never shoved His ways down the throats of others. People have a way of letting you know if interested in what inspires you. Spiritual folks need to consider others’ opinions gracefully so one can work out their own convictions with as much consistency as possible. The truth is in any discussion you could be right, I may be right, or we may both be wrong. Once a discussion turns into a debate or argument we have both lost. If you claim to be spiritual ask a friend where they see hypocrisy in your life.