This has been on my heart for a while now. Please allow me to share this with you. So many non-Christians have a problem, I believe, with the Christian church. They see us as harsh, overly-judgmental, hypocritical, and unloving. This is far from what the church was called to be in this world, since we are to be the ‘light of the world’ as Jesus Christ was and still is. Unfortunately we as believers have strayed an awefully far distance from our true calling to love others as Christ first loved us. Why is that?
First, I think that many Christians have what I call a ‘buffet-style’ mentality when it comes to their beliefs. They want to pick and chose what they want to follow in the Bible. It is either all of The Word or none of it.
Next, many of us are not any different from the rest of the unbelieving world. And that world is keeping a close eye on us. We struggle with the very same addictions as others do. We may not respect our spouse as The Word teaches. We may harbor unforgiveness. We gossip. We lie. We cheat. We murder, and lust, in our hearts. That, I believe, needs to change.
But getting back to what I wanted to discuss here was an open letter of apology to those out there who have been hurt by The Church and by His People. I want to say ‘sorry’ to those who entered a church looking for love and acceptance for who they were but only found more rejection and back-biting. ‘Sorry’ to those who felt that because others in the church did not accept them, that God probably would not either. That is a lie. God loves you more than you can ever think or imagine. You are precious even to Him to have Him send His only Son down to earth to die for your sins and reconcile you to the Father.
I am sorry for those who in the past were forced to convert to Christianity to survive, having their heritage ripped away from them. That is never right to force anyone to become a Christian. That is something that God would never approve of. We are to come willingly, not out of fear.
True Christians do not hate anyone. What they hate is sin, which we are all guilty of in God’s eyes. No matter what your beliefs are, or lack of them, God looks upon the heart while man looks at outward appearances. There lies many of the problems. Look past one’s appearance and see the heart. That is what God sees. It says in The Word that we will know the true Christians by their ‘fruit’, how they live their lives and how well they treat others who are different from them. It is easy to love others who love us back, but much more difficult to love others who may not be so nice and loving towards us.
So as believers, let’s open up our hearts to those in need. Let the change begin with us. People who are hurting should be able to turn to God’s people for help. It is a mandate from God to take care of the orphans, widows, poor, and homeless. Read His word and let it heal your soul of any deep-seated pain. Know that God is on your side.
And for those who do not believe, please accept my apology for the way you may have been treated in the past. If you had been rejected by those ‘Christians’ and have turned your back on the church, please do not think this is how Jesus is. No. He died for you. He loves you and is waiting for you in Heaven. Let me know, if you are an ex-Christian or someone who never believed, how you came to the decision to be an atheist or agnostic or a follower of a different religion. I would love to hear your responses.
Again, I am sorry for any pain that His followers may have caused. That is not what the Christian faith teaches. It is all about the love: Love for God, love for others, and how to help those in need. And that is a good thing to follow in this age when so many people are hurting. God bless you. May this be your way back into the house of God.