I'm pretty active on social media, not necessarily because I love the platforms, but more so because it allows me the chance to peek into the culture at large and see what kinds of things are being focused on, obsessed over, and shaping the world around us. That being said, a large percentage of my "followers" on social media are Christians, and over the years, I have noticed one thing above all others that stands out about many, many Christians.
We sure do get upset about a lot of things.
I suppose that's not really fair. The truth is, everyone seems to be getting upset about something these days, Christian or not. Christians are offended that the world acts like the world, and the world is offended that Christians so flippantly and dogmatically try to impose their beliefs on an unbelieving world. Many Christians are offended by homosexuals flaunting their sexuality, and many homosexuals are offended by Christians telling them they're horrible sinners. Politically charged comments prove offensive to anyone coming at government from a different perspective. We find movies offensive. Art offensive. People offensive. Ideas offensive. Everybody is offended by everything these days.
I think a lot of this comes from the fact that so many Christians in the West are more familiar with their culture than they are their Bible. Our culture is highly politically correct—I would even say it is the unofficial religion of the American culture—and that seeps into the collective consciousness of everyone within our culture. Political correctness lives to be inoffensive, and in that kind of climate almost any absolute statement will be deemed offensive by someone. But of course, if you're a Christian who believes the Bible is the Word of God, you believe in absolutes.
The problem, though, is that as Christians, we should be the least offended people on the planet. If the world acts like, well, the world, should we really be surprised? More than that, should we really hold it against them? First Corinthians 5:9-13 makes it clear what we are to focus our "judgements" on:
"I wrote to you in my letter not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I did not mean the sexually immoral people of this world, or the covetous and extortioners, or the idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But I have written to you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Do not even eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But God judges those who are outside. Therefore "put away from among yourselves that wicked person."
Paul makes things very clear here. "What have I to do with judging outsiders?" Why in the world would he judge the world for acting like the world? That's God's job. Yet many Christians are quite happy to judge the world, especially when they can do so safely behind their computer screen.
Jesus never—not once—spoke in judgement against the sinners He was ministering to except for the religious authorities. That ministry fell to John the Baptist. But we aren't called to imitate John the Baptist, we're called to imitate Christ. He reached out to a sinful culture, healed them, cast demons out of them and then gently told them to "go and sin no more." He knew an encounter with Him would be enough to change their heart.
If we as Christians are going to get offended by anything, it should be other Christians who are making it more difficult for the world to find and access a true relationship with the Father. Feel free to call me names. Call me a charlatan. Accuse me of faking what I film. Call me a tool of the devil. (Don't worry, I've been accused of it all.) While it's not the greatest feeling in the world, I'm not offended by it. You simply don't know any better because you don't know me, and honestly, you don't know my Father very well. But if you start to tell people that my Father is one way when He is very much not, that's when you start striking a nerve inside of me, and I find it very hard to remain silent at that point.
So what do we do with all this? Simple: Stop getting offended when the world acts like the world. Stop making snide, snarky comments on social media every time you read something that you disagree with. Who are you to judge the world? That's God's job. Worry about yourself and those fellow believers God has placed within your sphere of influence. Be an example to all of what a true, loving, faithful relationship with God looks like.
Ultimately, Christians should be unoffendable. The whole foundation of our faith is that we are aliens in this world because we have experienced new birth into a new kingdom, and that kingdom is not of this world. We have forsaken the world and can, therefore, live outside of its ever-changing rules and societal whims. We can be the freaks who stand there, extending a hand to the adulterous harlot, even when the culture around us wants to stone them to death. This unoffendable nature should be our mark as Christians, it is what shows the world we are different because our hearts have been changed. Unfortunately, whenever we get offended at the culture around us, at the people around us, we are simply spurning God's kingdom in favor of the world and the rules it has made.
Our job is simple: Love God and love others. And when you do see believers not acting as they should, it is not a license to sin against them. First Corinthians 16:14 also makes it clear, "Let all that you do be done in love." Even when you disagree with your fellow believer, let that disagreement be done in love. Otherwise, you're simply a loud gong, and neither God nor anyone else will listen to you anyway.
Darren Wilson is the founder of WP Films and the creator of various films, including Finger of God, Father of Lights, and Holy Ghost. Darren's new film, Holy Ghost Reborn, is now available, as is his newest book, Finding God in the Bible, at his website at wpfilm.com.
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