I’ve been hearing the same sentiments over and over. Online or in person, people have a bad taste in their mouths about Christianity. Why? Because the “Pastors are pimps. “Congregation is judgmental.” and “no one is Christ-like anymore”.
What caused this thought was Twitter hanging Pastor Joel Osteen out to dry for not opening his doors as a shelter for Hurricane Harvey. For the record, Lakewood Church can hold a massive 17,000 people and was left completely dry in the midst of millions being displaced from their homes.
The problem here is that over and over again we see Christians not acting Christian-like. We see the KKK cherry picking and dropping Bible verses to support the separation and hatred of other races. We see people claiming to be “Conservative Christians” strictly condemning homosexuality while partaking in Adultery. This turns all young children in Christ against the religion while they still search for the home that Jesus described.
Let me clearly state: Joel Osteen is wrong from not opening the doors to his church as a shelter sooner. It should not have taken Twitter outrage to create move him to action in his own city. Hopefully God dealt with him but I’m sure his PR will do its best to sweep this under the rug. The message still lingers out: A Christian Pastor, with the means to help thousands, stood idly by and only offered “prayers” via Twitter. God hates the actions of men like Osteen, and you know who they were during Jesus’ time, the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were a strictly religious group that held extremely close to the doctrine of the Mosaic law. They hated Jesus because He taught different and spoke a different Gospel than them. While the Pharisees held tightly to the Mosaic books, following them to the letter and judging anyone that thought differently, Jesus taught in parables and the overall meaning that God wanted spread, love.
So, while I have no right to condemn, convict, or even shame Joel Osteen, I will admit that I believe his actions during this crisis exemplify the failure of modern-day Christians. Christians have started to focus too heavily on the word and missed the entire meaning of the Good Book itself. We are here to truly take care of, honor, and love our brothers. Whether it is strangers that live in our lands, the unfortunate, or the lost. Christianity should primarily focus on the love that Jesus showed us by making the ULTIMATE sacrifice: He laid His life down for us.
I believe the missing part of Jesus’ life that most people miss is that His life was never about Him. Everyday He sacrificed what He wanted to bring joy, health, life, and love to others around Him. I think this is also my message to all of the people who claim themselves “Spiritual but not Religious”.
You are loved by someone bigger than all of us. We, as people are immensely flawed, and even in the midst of our blessings and privilege, we often get lost. We were told to not put our faith in man because there is no salvation there. Beyond that we often get lost in the details instead of looking for the larger lesson. The message is that WE are the church. WE create the environment for future generations to grow in. Just because a man speaks the Gospel, it could mean nothing if it is not in his heart. May blessings follow whoever reads this in this time of need.
Turn Your Brightness Up!