Real Christianity


This Sunday churches across America will have pews running over as “people come out of the woodworks” (as we say in the South) for Easter. I admit to sometimes feeling a little aggravated at the fact that many people only show up out of some conscience obligation that tells them “that’s what you do on Easter Sunday” (or at least in the South). Don’t take this to mean that you should not go to church on Easter if you normally don’t: Easter is a great time to hear the gospel message. Just don’t let it end with Easter.

The problem in only going to church on Easter is that you’re probably not going for the right reason. That being said, there are plenty of people who go to church weekly but do not live like Jesus would want them to live. Going to church once a year or even once a day will not make you a Christian, no more than going to school will earn you a degree. If you never turn in your assignments (do what God tells you) or do any homework (read the Bible) or pay attention to the teacher (mature believers and mentors, pastors and teachers, etc.), then you will never graduate.

So many people claim to be a Christian, but they have not made a true heart commitment. They don’t love like Jesus loves. Jesus loves everyone. He died for everyone, even the most awful sinners in the world. And while He hates sin, He doesn’t hate the sinner.

There has been a lot of controversy in the news lately about Christianity and how Christians discriminate. Some Christians do, but real Christians don’t. I have friends of various races, professions, religious beliefs, genders, and sexual preferences. You can love someone without agreeing with them on everything. And true Christians show love while still holding to their beliefs.

Take for example my relationship with my husband. I love him more than anyone else. We have a lot in common that brought us into a relationship to start with, just like all my various friends came into my life through a common interests or being in a common place. We agree on all the important areas that I believe a couple should, but to say we agree on anything and everything would be a complete lie (see 10 Things You Should Do Before You Get Married).

My idea of eating good is a healthy meal that contains fresh produce with a proper balance of good fats, complex carbs, and protein. My husband’s idea of eating good is a meaty meal that contains starchy sides, fried fats, white carbs, and cheese for protein. We disagree on this, but we can still enjoy dinners together without bickering or trying to put down each other on his or her beliefs. (Which is probably why he adds a bunch of salt and butter to anything I cook!) Do I wish he shared my love for avocados and the gym? Sure. But that is not going to keep me from loving him and wanting to have a relationship with him.

Most of the current controversy about Christians centers on gay rights and gay marriage. I vote against gay marriage, because I believe the Bible states it is wrong. At the same time, I have gay friends whom I love dearly and would help in any way. There are many other issues I don’t agree with that today’s world makes common place, and if anyone asks about them I will be honest. At the same time, I love people who do these things. We all have various temptations and sins that appeal to us more than others (myself definitely included). Gay just happens to be the big issue of our generation, much like abortion years ago.

In my humble opinion, to be a real Christian is to love everyone no matter what. Nobody is perfect, and I am sure there are some things I do that people think is wrong. At the same time, that doesn’t mean you have to dishonor God and your own convictions. Blaine Adamson, who owns a t-shirt business in Kentucky, was approached to make shirts promoting a gay pride event. He declined, but offered to refer the group to another printer who would match his price.

A lot of people saw this as discrimination. I saw it as simply standing up for his beliefs. In the same way, I refuse to take on acting roles in which my character says “GD.” I believe that word is irreverent to God, and I feel convicted not to speak it. Some people say, “It’s just a word, and it’s not really you but your character.” Then let them say it, but for me it is wrong. However, I have been in a film where another character said that word, which would be the same as someone making a t-shirt for a gay person but that did not support the gay agenda.

We all have our personal beliefs and convictions for religious reasons or even just conscience reasons. It is right to not personally go against your own beliefs in your own actions. But it is wrong to shut out and not love anyone who is different from you. If you start ostracizing people from your life for any various way they act or believe, soon you will be alone.

My challenge to everyone this Easter is to find a way to love Jesus and love others as Jesus would no matter what. Don’t go around acting holier than everyone else, and don’t be afraid to make friends with those unlike yourself. Let Jesus show through your actions and compassion, not your pride. When faced with a decision, stand up for your beliefs. But do so in a loving manner without violently putting others down. There is no discrimination when love is involved.

Jesus - The Bridge to Eternal Life

About Kaci Lane Hindman

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