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You Might Hate Christians If...
* Editorial Note
This article is in no way intended to bad mouth Christians, or anyone else for that matter. It has come to my attention, that "Christians" are not acting like Christians at all, based on the fact that the term Christian means "Christ-like". Being a Christian myself, the last thing that I want to see are "Christians" who are not pressing on towards the goal of Christ-likeness.
It is true that we all fall in many ways, and I am no different, but my intention of this article is to bring a wake up call to my brothers and sisters throughout the world. The wake up call is about persecution and consequences, which I am sure we can agree are two very different things.
Persecution is being hated, or harmed in some way based strictly on your faith, or your beliefs. Consequences are effects of various actions that we have performed. If someone knows that you believe in Jesus Christ, and they seek you out without any provocation at all, and inflict harm upon you in some way, that is an example of persecution. If you constantly inform people about how wrong they are, and assume a position of higher authority, and they hate you for that, it would only be consequences of your actions that brought on those feelings and could not be considered persecution.
There is much confusion in this area, and it's high time that we drew a line in the sand. It's true that Jesus said that all of His followers would face persecution, but sometimes we only face the consequences of our actions, and not persecution at all. This is the purpose of my article; to reveal the consequences of some of our(Christians) actions, how others are effected, and why hate is not always directly involved with persecution.
God loves them more
If you thought God loves Christians the most, you might hate Christians.
"I hate Christians because God loves them more than me". This is an actual quote I found online. If you believe that God shows partiality in a way such as this, then you have been misinformed.
According to the Scriptures, God loves each and every person on the face of this planet equally. God does not always love our actions, but He does love each and every person exactly the same. He is not like some dad who ranks his kids from greatest to least. He is not like that at all.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ came here, in the form of a man, to pay the penalty for mankind's sins for all time. Jesus said that this was true love; that One laid down His life for those that didn't love Him. He loved us first, and He loved us all the same.
As a Christian, I am not better than you, and you are not better than me whether you are a Christian or not. We are both people placed here by God, for His purposes, and He loves us both equally.
They told you that you were going to hell
If a Christian ever told you that you were going to hell, you might hate Christians.
How does anyone know what kind of person you are? How does anyone know where you will go, or what will happen to you after you die? How does anyone own the right to tell you what is going to happen to you?
Some Christians like to run around and inform others that they are going to go to hell. In my own opinion, I highly doubt that anyone in the last 2,000 years was converted to Christianity because of this move. Think about it; sometimes we can be prideful, sometimes we can be arrogant, and we definitely DO NOT like to be told what to do.
Did Jesus walk around telling everyone that they were going to go to hell? Then why would we do it? This is what Jesus did; He went around developing a loving relationship with others. He desired mercy and not sacrifice. In fact, people came to Him because of the kind of person He was. Jesus was definitely a people person, and we should be as well. If we walk around telling people that they are going to go to hell, eventually there won't be many people around. Jesus didn't push people away, He invited them into His life.
They hated or mistreated you
You might hate Christians if they have ever hated or mistreated you.
Okay, with this one we can go back again to how Jesus treated people while He was here. Did Jesus scream at people who didn't like Him or get along with Him? Did He show hate towards anyone? Did He argue, slander, ignore, or use people? Then why would we do it?
I would love to argue my point all day long just as much as the next guy, but what is that really going to solve? Arguing in relationships may be a good thing when they get resolved, but arguing about spiritual things solves nothing. Lets stop wasting time, and move on to more important things.
Name calling, fighting, and displaying hate through words; why do it? Doing things like this will only push people away from you, and is in no way showing love to others no matter the situation.
Think about how you are going to act, or what you are going to say before you actually do it. If you are not displaying love, then you might as well not display anthing at all. It's the second greatest commandment; love your neighbor as yourself. Are you doing it?
They feel superior
You might hate Christians if they have made you feel like less of a person.
Christians are not superior to anyone else. We have no right to look down on someone else because they are not a Christian. We have no right to make them feel low, as if we were in some position of authority. The disciples, on more than one occasion, tried to figure out which one of them would be the greatest out of all the disciples. Jesus told them that such a thing was not to be. If we wanted to be great, we must be able to do the things that no one wants to do; we must be able to serve.
Jesus told us not to seek the places of high authority, power, and control, or things that corrupt, but to serve others and to love them as He showed His love for us. How would you feel if someone talked down to you because you simply didn't believe what they believed? Why would you do that to someone else. Hurting others pushes them away, and we are called to invite others with love. Before you talk down to anyone, or act as if you were in some great positon, remember why you really are where you are.
They don't practice what they preach
If you've seen the hypocrisy in action, you might hate Christians.
This is probably the biggest one in the whole list. Hypocrisy is a horrible thing, and it is no stranger to Christians. If you are a Christian, and you are telling others to do things, you better be darn sure that you are doing those same things as well. Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes to be around a hypocrite. Nobody will even listen to someone who doesn't practice what they preach.
The message of Jesus Christ is a message of love, and if we are not showing love day in and day out, then there is a problem. The apostle Paul said that if we had all things except love, we would be like a banging cymbal. It's just noise, and no one wants to hear it. If you are going to preach a message of love, you better be living it. Get connected to the Source, and make sure that what you are showing is love. Love conquers all. Don't try it any other way.
They do whatever they want
If it seems like they can just do whatever they want, you might hate Christians.
Again, I am no better than you, and you are no better than me. I have no right to talk to you in a way that I would mind being talked to myself. If you feel like you have any special rights over another human being, then you are sadly mistaken. If you respect others, most likely they will return that respect.
Jesus did many great things while He was here including; curing the sick, curing the physically impaired, feeding many without much, casting out demons, raising the dead, etc... However, He only did that which God(The Father) wanted Him to do. He said that those who do the will of His Father in heaven are His brothers and sisters.
Are we doing the will of the Father, or are we just doing whatever we want to do? People notice these things, and if we are just doing whatever we want, and acting as if we have some special authority, not only will we be wasting our time, but we will be getting in the way of that which God wants to do through us.
They don't care what happens
If they don't care about what happens on Earth, you might hate Christians.
It's true that Jesus told us this world is passing away, and that we should make sure we store up our treasures in heaven, but we are here for a reason and He didn't tell us to forget about this life competely. There can be such a thing as too focused on the next life. We should be focused on that, but not to the point where we neglect things that need to get done here.
If you are focusing on the next life, while not being concerned with your neighbor, your community, your environment, and things of that nature, then you are strictly forgetting about what needs to be done here. Jesus did leave us with several things that we can do while we are here; spread the Good News, love God, love others, as well as doing other works that He did while here.
We are here to take care of this planet as much as possible. We should be concerned about what goes on here, as well as being mindful that this world is not it.
Too many different versions
You might hate Christians if you think they can't agree on what kind of Christians they are.
We've got Catholic, we've got Lutheran, we've got Protestant, we've got Evangelical, we've got Methodist, we've got Baptist, we've got Anglican, and we've got many more than that. Supposedly there is said to be over 38,000 denominations, however, that is not a verifiable fact.
What do you think people believe when they see that there is not only more than one denomination of Christianity, but there are hundreds and potentially thousands? Many people choose not to believe in anything. What happens if they pick the wrong one? How can Christianity be true with this many denominations?
Some people refuse to believe in God because we did not listen to the teaching of the apostle Paul a long time ago. Back in Paul's day, division in the church was a problem that was becoming apparent. Some people were following Paul, others were following Peter, and still others were following Apollos. In Paul's letters to the churches, he said that this cannot happen.
Paul asked his brothers and sisters, "Did Apollos die for you? Were you baptized in my name?" In fact, Paul also told them that he was glad he didn't hardly baptize anyone, so that they couldn't boast about that. The people were choosing sides already within the church. He tried to tell us that it didn't matter who the messenger was, and that it only mattered that we were united in Christ. Did we listen? Did we?
They just wanted money
You might hate Christians if money was demanded of you.
Now I've never personally experienced this to be true, but I have heard stories about individuals being turned away from the church because they wouldn't cooperate with giving a certain amount of money. I know people who want nothing to do with churches because they claim they were only out for their money.
People have hated governments and the IRS ever since taxes have been required of them, and are we as the church demanding money from individuals and families? This is ridiculous. Jesus told us to love, to give of ourselves, to seek God first, and everything that we need would be given to us. Even if people are not giving as they are able, then perhaps there is another problem, but people should NEVER be turned away because of money.
They don't care about the poor
If you believed they don't care for the poor, you might hate Christians.
I did see this point brought up somewhere, and it is just flat out untrue. Now, I wouldn't doubt that there are Christians who don't care about the poor, but I know there are tons of Christians who donate their time, talents, and treasure to the causes of the poor, the sick, the oppressed, and the persecuted. This is factual.
Jesus loves everyone, even those who feel unloved, and those who feel like lesser human beings. He also calls us to love them as well, and give as we are able. There are many Christians doing just that. A statement about Christians not caring for the poor is just plain false. There's no need to start making stuff up that is not true in any way.
They believe in God
You might hate Christians if they believe in God without scientific proof.
If you are hated because you believe in God, then you can put that one in the persecution category. There's nothing you can do about that one. Except, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for those that intend you harm, and all that good stuff. Instead of starting some argument that will get nowhere, just be ready to inform others why you believe what you believe.
If you hate someone because they believe in God, then that is your problem, but I pray that God would open your heart to Him and reveal Himself to you in a new, real, and personal way.
Other reasons why Christians might be hated:
They always talk about Jesus
They read the Bible
They invited you to Church
They claim to know God
They claim to know they are going to heaven
Sorry, can't help you out with any of those. They appear to be perfectly fine to me. If you hate someone for those reasons then I don't know what to tell you. There's no reason for it.
If you are a Christian, I hope this article has opened your eyes to some of the things we have been doing as the Church. that may very well create a wall between us and others. I think we can all agree that our goal is Christ-likeness, and if we are not being like Christ; who are we trying to be like? It's time that we wake up from our slumber and treat people like Christ would treat them. He loves us each equally, and gave His life for every person. Besides that, He commanded us to love as He loved us. If He can tell us to love, then it's not just a feeling, it becomes a choice. Will you choose it?
If you are not a Christian, I hope this article has given you some insight into what Christianity is really about. Jesus Christ never intended you to be hated, mistreated, or unloved. As His followers we are not perfect, but we are trying to get there. If you have ever been hated, abused, mistreated, or unloved in the name of Christianity, then I am truly sorry. This was never the intent of Jesus Christ, and it should not be ours either. Christians should be nothing but loving, peaceful, merciful, and graceful. Like I said before, we are not perfect, but are trying to get there through Christ alone. Please don't judge Christianity on the actions of a few, and please don't judge Jesus Christ based on the actions of them either.