Monday, November 25, 2013

Real Christians Don't Curse (A Rant)

A while back I observed a conversation on Twitter that simply amazed me. A minor "Christian Celebrity" had used the word "ass" in a tweet- and he didn't mean donkey. This drew a number of responses. Some just laughed. Several people jokingly chastised him. A few others lightly reprimanded him. And then came the doozy. He was asked if he was still a Christian- because as the writer pointed out, "Real Christians don't curse."

Really? So that's what it comes down to? That's what our faith is all about? We believe that God sent His only Son to live among us, to teach us how to love, to bring us a new covenant, to die for our sins and to rise from the dead so that we could live out this eternal truth among our fellow human beings- "Real Christians don't curse."

There are words that I find terribly offensive, and I very seldom use them. They are words that humans choose to give a special foul significance to, for there is no biblical list of banned words. When Jesus commanded us to "Swear not at all" He was speaking about always telling the truth and not swearing on the Bible or your first born son- "Let your yes be yes and your no be no!" The 3rd Commandment tells us not to take the LORD's name in vain, but as the late Rich Mullins used to say what that really means is to not take the meaning out of God's name. That's what "in vain" means. If Rich was right, then a "GD" is no more offensive to God than an "OMG." Either way, we are using the name of God without meaning. But this post is not a referendum on cursing and swearing (or cussin'- I'm from NC ya'll!), and if you think that is the issue here- well, you are just proving my point that we are missing the point. 

"Real Christians don't curse."  How did we arrive at this? What was the historic moment when our faith became about the things we don't do? I am so tired of reading about the things that Real Christians avoid. They don't drink. They don't gamble. They don't support gay marriage. They don't dance. Apparently they hate Obamacare and picture Jesus as some sort of Rambo look-alike. They don't serve those little wafers for Holy Communion because they are nasty. They don't curse. To the people who espouse such philosophy, Christianity is nothing but a list of laws that can be used to judge others. Another group once did that. They were called Pharisees - or as Jesus liked to call them, "a brood of vipers." Certainly, there are things that scripture commands us not to do. But Jesus came because we were not capable of keeping the law. If we could have done it on our own, Jesus would not have been necessary. So despite our best efforts, we sin. "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak..."

I despise the phrase Real Christians (as it is usually accompanied by the undertone of "I am one and YOU are not!"), but there is a biblical definition- "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself." It's found in Matthew 22:36-40, and it's very clear. These are things Christians do. Wouldn't it be awesome if the news was filled with stories (and there are plenty of these stories to tell) of Christians taking care of the homeless, feeding the hungry and loving those who differ with us- instead of the usual *^&# about who we are against and what we are protesting? Because here's the deal- not doing things others may see as outwardly "sinful" and protesting the things that people who think like us are against are much easier than loving your neighbor. And Real Christians love.

Philip Yancey once wrote that "Christians get very angry with other Christians who sin differently than they do"- and that is soooo true. We love to throw stones. So next time you feel inclined to make an ass of yourself because another believer called someone an ass, go read John 8:1-8. Then lay down your stones, walk away without judging, and go share Jesus' love with that person and the world. There are times when we have to go to a neighbor and confront their sins, but it must be done in love. If we all did that when we encounter struggling and hurting people instead of passing judgement on whether their faith is real or not, our churches would not be able to hold the crowds that would show up on Sunday mornings. They would be so ready to meet the Jesus they had seen in our lives. And people whose lives reflect the radical love of Christ- those are the Real Christians.  It's the @#*! truth!  :) 

Because of Jesus, 

1 comment:

  1. Here's the interesting thing: I once read in some medical journal (psychology today or somesuch thing) and it said that if you focus only on the things you DON'T want to do or want to be, you are more likely to become those very things.


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