Sugar-Coated Christianity

Sugar-Coated ChristianityToday’s church sermon got me to thinking a lot about Christianity, especially here in America. Is our Christianity the way that Jesus intended for it to be?

On the one hand we have the finger-pointing Christians, who are so busy pointing out the sins of everyone around them, they fail to see the big old log in their own eyes.

But what about the opposite extreme of this? What about the Christians who have mistaken loving with tolerance…turning their heads when they hear certain controversial issues discussed for fear of seeming like their finger pointing counterparts?

Sometimes I believe I am one of these “sugar-coated Christians”. I try so hard to be an example to other people by showing love and acceptance, but in the meantime I often avoid the tough topics. I don’t want to come off as pushy or judgmental…(after all, who am I to judge anyone?) I don’t want to have to express an unpopular opinion.

The thing is, by avoiding the tough topics, it may seem to some that I am giving a nod that certain things are okay. And that isn’t what Jesus would have wanted. Jesus never avoided the tough issues. He confronted them head on, but He had an amazing way of doing so with great love and compassion, addressing the issue at hand and never belittling the sinner.

I see many Christians these days, though…so afraid of being called a hypocrite that they take no stance on any of the important issues. They rationalize an “anything goes” mentality that they spread to others.

But is Christianity an “anything goes” religion? Of course not. We are called to the highest standard of living. We have Christ as our example…and He gave His very life for us.

There are Christians in the world who die each day proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is in these countries, such as Latin America, Africa, China…where people die for speaking out in faith. It is also in these countries where the church is growing at a tremendous rate.

But here, in America…we tend to sit in our pews and worship. We are willing to come to church once, twice, or 3 times a week. But are we willing to die for our faith? Are we willing to put ourselves out there and proclaim the gospel by speaking out against those issues that Christ would have us speak out against? And are we willing to learn to do that without pointing fingers in judgement, but holding out arms of compassion?

Are we willing to leave our church pews and make time at the homeless shelter? Are we willing to give up some of our riches to help those who have nothing? These are difficult questions, and they should make us, as Christians squirm a little.

I know they make me squirm a lot. Its very easy to get too comfortable as a Christian, and today I realized that I am definitely a “sugar-coated Christian”. Something for me to think about…and something for me to work on.