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My understanding of a what a good Christian is.

From a non-Christian perspective but one who has many Christian friends. If I’m wrong feel free to rip me apart. Many Christians I meet talk how people are so intolerant of Christians today. I’ve some clue why and I’ll talk about that in this post to.

Among the Chrisitans I’ve meet I’ve learned there are Christians and there are “Christians”. Something from of course my limited experience is uniquely Christian in nature. I’ll start with the first type the ones I understand to be good Christians.

A Christian is one who teaches, but not by words from a book. They teach by example of their lives. They welcome the opportunity to talk about their faith, their god but they demonstrate God by their own walk. They come up along side you and by example demonstrate the love and compassion of their god.

In doing such they prompt others to inquire about their faith which leads to discussions and learning. They share their faith openly by example and how they live. They aren’t judgmental, nor condemning of others in their walk. They have firm morals and beliefs and gladly share them in a totally loving manner.

An example was yesterday I read a piece by a very firm “fire and brimstone” Christian pastor. He is a firm believer and has a solid concept of right and wrong. I had questions about parts of his post and this spurred conversation with him. I sighted a section of his bible that lead to a teaching moment.

He answered in the truest of Christian ways. First being sure he doesn’t hate anyone because they sin. Contrary he loves all even the sinner but he has a firm belief of what is or isn’t a sin. After placing the questioner in a safe box he quoted the passage to which I referred and then explained the passage and the history behind it.

My take away from this encounter a positive reflection on Christianity and Christians who practice this type of Christianity. Though the Christians who have come into my life are just these types anyway. They are teachers and very eager to share their faith at the same time careful not to murder another’s faith.

These Christians know God has taken many forms and the best way to share theirs is with love and respect for others. I hate the word tolerance always have. Respect is a far better word it starts from a place of understanding where tolerance starts from a place of hate because you only tolerate but don’t accept the person. In a respectful walk you accept people who come along and in respect share your faith.

Seems logical to me you treat others as commanded as a neighbor with respect. The teachings of Christ are all about accepting people where they are and by example and kindness teaching. When you start from a place of comfort people are more apt to listen and learn.

Most of those I call friend who are also Christian are this type of Christian. Righteous, good and moral people who live a life that speaks for itself.

Now for the “Christians” who I feel don’t understand their walk yet. My other experience yesterday involved a fully different experience. I found someone who merely believed but didn’t understand what being a real Christian involves. In our talk i was condemned multiple times and told i was going to “burn in hell” and how i had to “repent now or die”.

Wow really? So you come at someone who doesn’t believe as you with quotes from a book that might as well be Tom Sawyer or Hunger Games. If someone doesn’t believe in the Bible quoting it constantly is useless save your breath. Especially when you repeat the same old tired lines over and over.

Your threats mean zero also. If they don’t believe in YOUR way then you will not convince them otherwise with threats of your judgment of them nor threats of your gods wrath. News flash by the way to these types. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE. That too is indeed in your bible. Your judgment of my place after death isn’t supported even in your bible.

“Are you seriously saying the Jews will not be saved? They ARE and remain HIS chosen people by your own book. See your logic is already broken down with a single fact. There are also faiths before the Jews who believe in “the one god” he is and forever shall be my heavenly father. So by your narrow opinion I’m going to hell and I’m fine with that. Because MANY faiths believe you to be wrong and only them to be right.

Islam believes the same about Mohammed. The Jews the same about birth right and blood. Religion as practiced by the stereotypical faith is very exclusive by nature.

The pope even says “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.” And claims your very bible supports that.

St. Paul saying in the First Letter to Timothy that Jesus gave himself as a ‘ransom for all.’

ALL the key word there. Not Christians who by the way didn’t exist as such then. Not just for Jews, not just for those who take his name. But all. He died by your book for me as well.

Romans 2: “…the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (vss 5-10). I also say what Peter says: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to him” (Acts 10:34-35). I also follow the words of Jesus which indicate that responsibility varies with knowledge (Luke 12:48).

More words that say you are flat out wrong by your own book. See people can say what they will but a good person who knows and respects (I dislike the word fear for I do not fear god because he is my father and I do not fear my father) god can and will be welcome in heaven. Even your heaven. I have a personal relationship with the one god my heavenly father. My people never needed to be reminded of this fact as the Jews needed to be. That is exactly why Jesus came to the Jewish people to remind them it’s a personal relationship not that building or those “holy men” that will bring you to him.”

This was part of our conversation yesterday. What does this person do? They don’t address this directly they instead quote a verse that says he who believes but doesn’t accept Jesus doesn’t believe. Wow was the question about belief in Jesus? No out right the passages stated say “Non-Christians” will be judge by what they’ve done and if they’ve been good will be allowed into Christian heaven.

That tactic is called hey I can’t talk to that but look over there see I’m right. Hmmm you can’t debate the facts presented but you claim to be right? Lame!

To not address these verse directly she prays “The lord will open my eyes to the truth”. Whose truth? Her inability to speak respectfully to others and after saying “your soul will burn in hell” multiple times has the audacity to claim she made no condemnation? Really a laugh people.

I only quote the verse to have a deeper understanding of Christians. This same person said Muslims are the devil? Wow another judgment.

Let me address that statement about Muslims for a moment. I’ve only know one Muslim who was a pompous arrogant ass and frankly she was before her conversion. Guess you can’t change stupid as they say. The Muslims I know are nice and eager to share their faith with any who ask. I’ve challenged many of them with hard questions (Like the treatment of women under sharia, owning slaves, terrorist hijacking the faith) on their faith and with grace, respect and understanding they answer.

My Jewish friends also always willing to answer questions and share their faith with all willing to listen. Not a single Jewish friend has ever been judgmental or disrespectful that I’ve born witness to. Under the Jewish belief the Messiah hasn’t come and Jesus isn’t important enough for a footnote in the Torah. They must see praying to Jesus as blasphemy because you are breaking the first commandment and placing another before the heavenly father. But I’ve never heard one voice that ever.

So this seems to be a solely Christian phenomenon. It seems these “Christians” feel the need to attack anything that isn’t like them. They forget the example of Jesus. He won over the masses with peace and love not condemnation and threats. he understood to get people to engage in dialog is the only way to win the influence of change.

Your not saved because you don’t know GOD!!!!! Oh I’m shaking I don’t know YOUR god (aka Jesus) therefore I don’t know god at all? Wow you really believe that? Then If my heavenly father AKA the same Jesus called father is a fraud then everything you believe is a fraud. That was simple.. To simply cast aside the beliefs of others we nullify our own. Now that’s logic for you…Sheesh.

Yes she did this too. Claimed I don’t know God because I don’t know HER god. Another judgment. One which she was too blinded but anger and hate to even see. Sad really I feel sorry for people who need to become angry, threaten and condemn others to pump up their own inflated self worth.

Anyway quoting lines and simply repeating them from a book another doesn’t believe in means nothing in a conversation. When questions about the book you hold as truth answer the questions directly, sincerely and respectfully and you will see a change in how others see you and perhaps “Christians” in general. It’s the bad apples (though there seem to be an unusual number among Christians) that lead to the stereotypes and disrespect shown to the entire faith.

If more walked like the man Jesus I’ve read about Christianity wouldn’t be struggling with the impression it’s disrespectful, intolerant and rude. This misconception of the Christian faith is sad to see because I see many friends who are Christian and good people. These same friends don’t deserve the label or stereotype.

Jesus understood words (form a place of compassion, understanding and love) not war bring lasting change. Far to many forget that today Christian and non-Christian alike. Condemnation and judgment make you seem stand offish and certainly don’t come from a place of love, understanding of respect for the person before you. To bad more of the world didn’t act like Christians and instead act like “Christians”.

If more walked in faith as previously described it’s my belief peace would truly be within our grasp. It is odd how every faith believes themselves sovereign dominion over the only truth. The major three faiths all share the same heavenly father and other faiths join them in his blessing. Rather than attacking the other try understanding.

So you know half the god I know in my heavenly father can I tell you about the good news of his son…. (See I didn’t attack and try to murder the faith of another and at the same time opened a door to talk about what I believe.) This friends is dialog and what good Christians the world around are (or should be) about in my opinion.

I don’t have to try and destroy YOUR faith to talk about MINE. We forget (I am guilty at times as well) that faith is highly personal and often deeply engrained. Only the right approach can open the door to understanding between faiths. And only in understanding can we bring about change.

After all LOVE thy neighbor. Not love only thy Christian neighbor. Judgment is the sole right of god. The final disposition of any person in the new life is the sole right of the heavenly father. And last to attempt to strip by force or bully tactic is indeed an attempt to murder the soul of a person. The proper way to convert or attempt to convert is example and a walk that makes the other say hey I like what they have. They will come to you and then the conversion is genuine and lasting.

Now I’m not playing little miss victim after repeated condemnation and demands from this particular “Christian” I’m referring to I did stoop to a level I wish I’d avoided and simply taken the high road. For that I’m sorry I should always take the high road and let haters hate. Either way you don’t teach by threat, you don’t convert by condemnation nor demand. That should be the take home message to those who call themselves “Christian” but don’t walk the walk and talk the talk.

~Michelle Styles – January 16, 2014