“Good afternoon everyone. We are 2nd in line, so we will be taking off here shortly. Right now, we are a little bit ahead of schedule. We are on track to reach our destination at 7:34 pm, local time. We will be flying at 36,000 feet today. Thank you all for choosing Straight Up Airlines. We hope you have an enjoyable flight.”
My first time flying was a trip to Puerto Rico. I remember being nervous, not because of flying in itself, or because of heights or what ever other reasons people might have. I was nervous because I didn’t know the pilot. I didn’t know who he was, or what kind of day he was having (I mean he could have been loco, and decided to come to work that day for the last time O_O). Yet, I was about to offer my life in his hands. I had no control. Looking back on that trip, the flight was a very small part of the trip at large. But I still remember my nervousness. Did I have control issues? Possibly. Was I afraid to die? I wasn’t actually. How would the flight have been different if I had known the pilot? Not much at all, if any. The only thing that would have changed would have been my nervousness. So, I would have changed. Not the plane. Not the flight. Not the people surrounding me. Not even the trip. Just me. How many times do we expect change without having to change anything about us? This post is going to be a lot more personal and in depth than the last “Dear Mr. Christian,”. (If you haven’t read it, I would suggest it before this one) Also, if you are not a believer in the bible, or Jesus Christ, this post is not directed to you. This post is directed to my brothers and sisters in Christ only.
Brothers and sisters, we should be ashamed of ourselves. As I scroll through daily social media posts, I see extreme’s on both sides of the fence. Liberals who claim they can kill a child minutes before it is due because the child is either not human or it has no rights. I will purposely stay away from this topic for now due to the length of this post (though perhaps in the future there will be one). Then, on the other side of the river, republicans claim that homosexuals should be treated as mentally ill and put into treatment centers or just choose to live a straight life. These people are extreme and have no connection to life as we all know it. They see themselves and no one else. No matter how much they claim otherwise. This word count is not to address either of the extreme groups at the edges. So let us bring it towards the middle shall we?
In the middle liberal side, we have people who think others should be allowed to do whatever they feel is right for them. They don’t want to judge others for how they feel or their actions. They might not do some of the things others do, but they don’t want to hinder those people from doing those things. There are christian liberals who think this way. With numerous forms of ways to justify these thoughts and actions. “Well the bible isn’t clear on if it is wrong or not” or “I am not in their situation so I couldn’t tell them that is wrong or not” or “God wants us to love all people, and that is not loving a person”.
In the middle republican side, there are those who are close minded to any change. They see almost all change as bad. They expect others to change so they can remain the same. Christian republicans who see sin as a far off distant problem that would never influence their life in any way. When in fact those people most likely haven’t even trusted Christ in their sin and given it over to him, which in turn keeps them bound to their ideals. They say things like “They are going to hell if they don’t change their ways.” Or “They need Jesus” or “I don’t understand how someone can live that way”
With whichever group you more identify with, neither of these groups or identifiers express our problem directly. They are both a side effect of missed truth. The answers we seek are a little bit deeper in the mongoose hole. Shall we shrink down and see how far we can fall?
It doesn’t take long looking in the New Testament of the bible to see differences between lifestyles then and now. Obvious things such as traveling by foot to distant places. Then not so obvious things like trusting Christ at your work place and just believing in His word to get the unexpected. Oh the beauty of God’s word. Many people spend their lives trying to understand it all, only to see at the end of their time on this rock they know less, it seems, than when they started. Our God is big. Like…real…big. Not only as in size, but in thought and concept and perspective. No matter how much we try to get a “correct” view of God. We will always fall short (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though). It is a beautiful thing dwelling on the Creator of the universe and all the emotions and feelings we have and pass through each day. Brothers and sisters we serve an awesome God. This God is worthy of our time and praise and all our efforts. I can not put into words on this screen all the ways He is worthy of such things. I will however single out a misstep we have made along our journey.
I have been reading Nik Ripken’s book -“The Insanity of Obedience” the past few weeks (to those who have read it, you might be thinking “uh-oh” or “oh boy here we go” and yes that is the answer 😉 ). The book starts off a little slow for my non-ability-to-read self. However, if you keep reading, it definitely picks up the more you read. I just finished page 133. I had to stop at that point to add to this post. The words and truth spoke directly with what God has been putting on my heart in reference to the church and all who claim to be followers of Jesus. He mentions in the book that conservative Christians in the western post-pentecost church have the same stances on abortion and homosexuality as Islam and Saudi Arabia! (that is all I’m going to give you from his book. you should go read it for yourself)
If you are a true believe and follower of Jesus, this statement should not sit well with you. If we are supposed to love like Christ loved the Church. How does this fit together? Oh sure, you can add the “well I love them so I don’t want them to harm themselves.” or “They don’t know what they are doing so we need to make it illegal so they can’t.” Do you know what these stances show? They show these people that you only care about them from a distance. You “love” them in a way that is convenient to you. For those that are married, is love convenient? Or does it take sacrifice? Of course it takes sacrifice! If there is no sacrifice then you are conceited and love yourself more than your spouse! How can we say we love sinners if the only way we show “love” is by voting that they can’t express the ways they feel? “Well, homosexuality is wrong, so it needs to be illegal to get married to someone of the same sex.” If you think the government is there to make the Christian walk easier, then you are being deceived by the evil one and should re-read the scriptures for yourself to see what kind of life we as followers are destined too. Jesus calls us to give up all that we have to love others. For each and every person that reads this post, it will look different. If we would all ask God how he wants us to show love to the sinners around us instead of trying to push them off and say “come to church and we will give you the good news” or “you need to stop living this way because God says its wrong”. If we would all follow Gods words for our life, we will begin to correctly show The Church to a broken and lost world. It will not happen without sacrifice. I mean it. Sacrifice. SACRIFICE. Begin to ask God how you get rid of yourself and the things that you hold as your god over Him. Then stop seeking how have more pleasure in your life. Jesus did not say “follow me and you will have pleasure and comfort in this world”. He said “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves…”-Matt. 10:16 and ” If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”-Matt. 16:24 (and the rest of those verses in chapter 16!).
Brothers and sisters, no one but Jesus is perfect. But we are called to more of a life than what we are living. Comfortable Christianity is as far away from being a follower of Christ as you can be and still call yourself a christian. We should be running away from comforts to show God’s love to all that we see. We are in this together.
“Welcome to Haiti everyone. It is 7:36 p.m. local time. It is a nice and warm temperature of 88 degrees. We hope you enjoyed your flight and once again, Thank you for choosing Straight Up Airlines.