Grace Michaelson

When Christianity Becomes the Problem

Apr
20

As you have seen on my blog many times, I am a strong follower of the Christian God.  I believe He created me, loves me, sent His Son to die for me, and lives to have personal relationships with us.  Why He does all this blows my mind when I consider how unimportant I am in the grand scheme of the world we live in.  However, He does and I am continually amazed.

Having said that, I don’t know how to feel about the American Christian Church.  I think we’re airing our crap in a way that is breaking God’s heart.  Even “our crap” is not in line with Scripture:

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5

John 8:3-11, “As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.  “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”  They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.  Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”  “No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Mark 2:17, “When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Unfortunately, the American Church has become a group of Pharisees that feel like they can pass judgement on other people’s issues and not worry about their own sin.  Why do I say that?  I say that because of the many people I have met who have been pushed away from the church because we choose strict adherence to a set of rules we have created, not God.  Where is love?  Where is grace?  Where is truth tempered with the knowledge that we’ve all made a mess of our lives, so who are we to pass judgement?

You may be saying to me as you read, well you’re passing judgement.  Your passing judgement on the Christian Church.  No I’m not.  The truth is I know that I’ve done this very same thing more times that I want to admit.  I’ve passed judgement on other’s personal problems, I have gossiped, I have slandered.  It all breaks my heart.  Who am I? who is the Christian Church? Why do we feel the need to categorize sin? Why must we ostracize the very people God has sent us to go into the world and bring into the church?  We’re giving God, our God, a very bad name.

So what is the answer?  Because I know that truth is important and it needs to be spoken.  Sometimes truth does not feel good to say.  Just like this blog post is so difficult for me to write.  I think we need to go back to where are identity is supposed to be.  Is our identity Judge, Jury, and Executioner?  Or is our identity to be Jesus’ Disciples.  As Jesus Disciples, what is the path to take?  What did Jesus do?  He walked with sinners.  He talked to sinners.  Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.  The women at the well was an adulterer, James and John had tempers, Peter had a big mouth.  Did Jesus show any signs of passing judgement or putting on a holier than thou attitude because we haven’t sinned “as bad” as the rest.

What about God the Father?  What does he do?  He puts a prostitute, a foreigner, an adulterer into the lineage of Jesus.  What?! How can this be?  He was and is showing us by example that His Grace trumps.  Does that mean we only show mercy and never speak truth?  No.  However, when truth must be spoken, it must be spoken in grace and love.  You can speak truth if you really know the person.  You can’t speak the truth if your walk with God isn’t in the right path.  You can speak truth if your heart is to help the person.  You can’t speak the truth if in your heart all you want to do is rub their nose in the dirt.

I know that the basic truth is that most Christians mean well.  They’re not out to be brutes or Pharisees.  The mistakes we make come out of a heart that wants to please God.  However, it is still a truth that meaning well is not good enough.  We have to do our best to also do well.  The way we do well is balance our lives like God has done, in-between grace and truth.  It is hard.  However, it is the right thing to do.

In closing I’m going to share again a favorite quote of mine.  Theadore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Are you joining us in the arena?  Or are you just a critic?

Women in Burkas

Apr
01

I recently had a debate with someone who I thought was a Christian and a friend. This person said she was offended at women wearing burkas because she felt that the Muslim population of the United States were here to take over the United States and that they were going to use their women and children to bomb us. I cannot tell you how shocked I felt. I truly want to believe that she is one of very few Christians who believe this about Muslim women, but unfortunately there were several people on the Social Network we were on that agreed with her.

I am sure that we have several terrorist burrows who would gladly use men, women, or children to get their way to destroy America. After all extreme Muslims have never been shy about letting people know that that is their goal. Having said that, I still strongly feel that the racists comments made by this women should not be spread far, because not every Muslim person is an extremist. Now, I am not someone who is a fool and is going to be like our politicians are doing and make foolish remarks in order to supposedly pacify the Muslim population here in the United States. But neither do I feel that the average Muslim takes those foolish remarks to heart and accepts them.

This is what I do feel, I feel the average Muslim Women is suffering and brainwashed and she hardly knows it. Let me educate the Christian Populous about the suffering of Muslim Women. Their men are constantly holding them hostage. If one of them gets raped in one of their countries, the rape victim gets tried and put to death, not the rapist. If they are here in America and they are raped, the family will often take care of killing them.

Most often then not, they are forced to marry a very old man when they are a young teen, just after they start ovulating. Their only purpose in life, per Muhammed, is to make children for their husband. Their husband is allowed to marry four times. They are required to hide their whole bodies to any other man. If one of them accidentally shows off their wrist to another man, and their husband chooses to get jealous, he can have her killed.

Americans think it’s just simple to remove their Burkas and defy their husbands and family, but any kind of defying done by a women is usually an instant death sentence. Even here in America. Very rarely are they caught, too, because the family will hide who has done the killing and shield any evidence from investigators.

The culture surrounding a Muslim family is a shame culture. If someone, for instance becomes a Christian, then you shame the whole family. You, at best, will be shunned by your whole family, and at worst, someone will be sent to kill you. In a shame culture you must comply at the upmost to do what the father says to do.

Has there been women and children used to bomb people. Yes. But do we need to relinquish our heart of compassion for these women locked away in this culture of shame and trapped away from freedom just because we’ve read some articles on some website full of sensationalism, or listened to some sensationalistic video? Absolutely not! Jesus said we are to love one another and pray for those who are suffering. We are to have compassion for the hurting. It is the ultimate of selfishness to forget what Christianity is about. What did Jesus do? He was there to reach out to those who needed Him the most. And he loved them. He did not judge them.

With Obama doing all the stuff that he is doing to create fear and division so that he can get his agenda done in the government, I know that it’s easy to lose sight of this. We can’t do that, though. We have to remember why God left us here. What our job is, ultimately, here on Earth. Don’t let Satan blind you because of the fearful things going on here in America. We are here to bring people to Christ. And we don’t do that by spewing hurtful, hateful lies wherever we are.