And You Call Yourself a Christian?


In the midst of an argument, how many times have others asked you this question?  And the question is more a proclamation than a question.  We have those who are our critics– those who know more about God than God does, who enjoy the full time hobby of pointing their fingers at others of which they feel are inadequate.

Don’t you just love it when people are in such a position as to judge?  By somehow or someway, these critics feel they are in such a position to pronounce judgment on what is Christian and what is not.

In the back of my mind, I can actually hear them even say that to Jesus, “And you call yourself a Christian?”

What this really means is that we have fallen short in their mighty eyes.  It means there are times when we are unable or even won’t do the impossible.  It means that we are human and have limits at various junctures, junctures that seem unforgiveable to some.

More often than not, our critics are frequently non-practicing Christians if there is such a thing, and I guess there is in fact such a reality as Jews claim this phenomena as well as being non-practicing Jews.

But no, we are not way.  We are not way as we say we have a higher calling and possessing that higher calling then means we are also constantly on the firing line. And since it is really actually impossible to be a Christian it also means no matter what, then Christians are going to be a target.

Face it.  It is impossible to be perfect.  There was only one that was and He left, leaving us in His place.

And try as we might, we are going to fail more often than not, but our quest is only in the trying.

And thus, in our efforts and someone accuses us, “And you call yourself a Christian?”  our answer should be YES!

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14 thoughts on “And You Call Yourself a Christian?

  1. Perhaps. I’m not so sure, Agent X. I still tend to see you more as Nathan the prophet. Perhaps that is how you were. I don’t see you judgmental with them, only that you desire they shore up the areas where they fail.

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    1. Okay… I think there is some difference between the critic you write of and me… but I still must say that I go a loooooooooong way down that path with that critic before we part company.

      Btw, I think Jesus argues with Pharisees so much because they are most LIKE him of all the other sects of Judaism. The places where he contends with them are the few places where there is much distinction, really. And even then, there are differences between Pharisees too. They are not some monolithic opposition force, but at least two major varieties.

      But more on that another time.

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      1. Okay, I guess I should have been more concrete. The people I’m writing about are really either non-Christians or Christians who don’t do a damn thing, but point fingers at those who do. Look, we all have blemishes. The difference are among those who DO things. Heck, I expect people to screw up if they are performing the work of God for to be sure, you really have to be…well, God in order to do it right and no, we are not God. Your musings to the church is different: you are calling them into what you and I believe is a basic, fundamental tenet of the very words of Jesus. Thus, this is not the same thing.
        In a very really way, you’re making me laugh as you’re judging yourself way too seriously.
        Yes, I do think where some of the malice you have toward the churches should go by the wayside, but I think some of it too is called for. After all, the bums tossed you out for simply speaking what you believed was a conviction from the Holy Ghost. To that effect, I am in agreement with you, And yes, you will still be Nathan.

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    2. I could stand outside and say: You brood of vipers, you hypocrites, Who warned you of the coming judgment? And perhaps I might even find a single momma of a minority race and call her a dog. Then I would be imitating Jesus.

      I claim the role of a prophet – a critic from within on the one hand, and speaking the potent word of God while, hopefully, maintaining personal humility.

      When the pastor steps out on the lawn of the church building after sundown and tells a group of homeless people, “You must leave now. I don’t care where you go, but you cant stay here”, he is being anything but a shepherd of God’s flock. And in fact is so insanely stupid at the same time. What are the correct words for a pastor who does such a thing?

      Well, perhaps on round one you might be gentle with him. Perhaps on round two as well. Even round three is still expressing the patience of God. But when that pastor then kicks you our for persisting in your gentle persuasion, what is the right words/actions then?

      I really hope your readers will offer some thoughts to that question!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Same pastor on another occasion emerges from his “study”(?) one evening to find a group of us homeless parishioners gathered around on the lawn sharing a little impromptu worship service complete with communion. As he passed us, he greeted us warmly enough but with the demeanor like one giving us a little small talk but who is really passing by and did not want to stay long. Nevertheless, when I invited him to stay with us a few minutes and share the communion, he looked it all over for a moment and then patted his tummy and said, “No thanks; I already ate a big meal”. Then he moved on.

      Think about that.

      What pastor of ANY church encounters his own parishioners sharing in a communion service and passes on it??? I mean, if his wife were in the emergency room, I would not have this critique! But he really showed his contempt in the way he answered the invitation! And it reminds me of those invited to the Luke-14 party who responded to the master saying they had better things to do than to come to the master’s party!!!

      What words are appropriate to that? Seriously! Someone answer this question!

      Do you think the words appropriate to that just MIGHT involve phrases like “outer darkness” and “gnashing of teeth”? I mean, I am just spit balling here, but would that kind of critique be out of line?

      And hey, there aint much I can do for that church or that pastor NOW, but anyone reading here can look over the shoulders of those of us who were there at the time. Any readers here can meditate on the question of response, pray about it, read some Scripture and then offer an answer.

      I AM INTERESTED.

      Thanx for listening…

      X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it improper for me to make any comparison with an ideal I have concocted in my head about anybody. I will proudly say yes if asked and add I have a long way to go and with God’s help in Jesus’ name I will be better day by day

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  3. My story gets worse.

    After the church made an official policy to run the homeless off nightly (and I am talking about a church made up of homeless that was established to serve the homeless in particular), I went down to the church house on a freezing winter’s night and took the weak and sick home with me for the night. I had 3 guests that first night. I called the pastor to protest the decision, and he directed me to speak to the board of directors. The next day one of the board members called me back after leaving messages. He actually suggested that I take people home with me. I told him I already had and that my house was full… would he take some? He dodged the question and ultimately was one of those who decided to kick me out for making a fuss.

    I went to 2 meetings with the board of directors (a few of them anyway) and traded many emails and text messages regarding the issue over the course of several weeks (most of the winter actually). They never budged an inch. No compromise AT ALL! And the reasons given for changing from a policy of keeping the homeless in the sanctuary on cold nights to one of not (because for years before this, they did)? The reasons were so stupid that I could tell they did not take me seriously. I was beneath their contempt all along.

    Reason 1: We need to teach these people to work by the sweat of their brow because not everything is a free ride.

    Reason 2: If we let these people in all the time, they will claim a mat and a spot as their own and then act ugly if they perceive someone has taken it from them. (I was thinking of Widow Wilson back at the other church who does that with here spot on the pew 5th back from the front and on the right. No one ever makes a stink about the stink she makes. We all just tolerate her – but she has money.

    Reason 3: We don’t have volunteers to chaperone the place. (And the whole issue came to light when my wife asked to volunteer AND found others willing to do it too!).

    This was the best they could come up with, given their deep contempt.

    What words do you use to respond to this stuff if not the Judgment passage of Matthew 25???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I realize that this is sad, but I have come to accept nothing else from the organized church. IN fact, I don’t even take them seriously at all for anything. Too, I don’t even see the church as the church. I see the building and administrators and some people, but that is all. If I ever needed help, I surely wouldn’t go to the church for assistance. Yes, we pay orators to preach so we feel good about all the stuff we don’t do. Often it is so bad they make God’s name a bad one. No, none of this is okay and God is handling it all and those other meaningless platitudes. All i can is that eventually we will all be judged on our faithfulness. And the first one now will later be last.
    In the meantime, it is our job to care about those who others see as unloveable. Thank you for your time in these posts. I appreciate it.

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    1. ” If I ever needed help, I surely wouldn’t go to the church for assistance.”

      Ouch! That’s some sobering thought. Especially when you say the church is the Body of Christ. The church is Christ (all except the head). So, your statement pretty much says you would not go to Jesus for assistance if ever you needed it.

      Unless, of course, the church is actually not his body. And well… you did describe it as a building with administrators running around adminstrating.

      I am not arguing with you here. I am highlighting just how devastating your remark actually is.

      I am a bit fearful of it, to be honest. Today’s church either is really in trouble BAD or you are a crank. But the thing is… I totally get what you are saying. And that scares me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, for certain, the church of Christ is outside the institution. It is there, yes. The others….”you have cast out demons in my name…etc” and he said that “I never knew you.”

        Just the other day, I listened to some jerk: He wanted 1,000 people to send HIM $1,000 for seed faith. Yeah, right. NO, he is not a Christian he is a crook. And that… well, I’ll with hold name but anyone can go to Trinity Network and find these quacks. Other churches are much more subtle. Some, not so bad….but it still comes down to…..

        “You shall know them by the fruits.”
        Throwing out homeless people is not fruits, it is garbage. This is not even crumbs for the dogs, it is doggie do do and even worse. Yes, the organized church is in a very bad way and one reason why young people stay away from it. Just as God spoke in Isaiah, “The worth hateth me because of YOU.” And that is still where we are today. God bless you.

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