Last week I received a "share" on Facebook that sort of sickened me.
It was a clip of a preacher who had been visited by someone of another faith, and in this clip it was pretty clear that the preacher felt he had the corner on the market on faith, prayer and knowledge and what these other people believed was completely wrong.
While I am not of their faith, it saddened and sickened me for a few reasons.
First of all, mocking another for their beliefs, is not only sad, but as Christians, it is so beneath us.
Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, the Savior made it clear that it is our job to "love one another, as I have loved you." Let that sink in a minute.
Who are we to decide whether someone else is right or wrong in their belief of the Bible? You are entitled to your opinion, but even if you disagree with someone else's interpretation, it is not up to you to decide if they are right or wrong. Not your job! It is His to judge.
The Savior himself, expressed His displeasure with the Pharisees who were judging others. They judged Him, the Savior, for not washing before dinner. And he didn't mince words with them calling them "fools" and saying, "Woe unto you".
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been accused of, or not considered Christian, because I am the "wrong brand". Really?
It doesn't really bother me, because I know better, but it bothers me that as religious people, we tolerate that kind of teaching from those within our churches. Have you ever been in church and heard another denomination maligned? I have and it drives me nuts!! Rarely have those people ever known someone of that faith, watched them hold onto their faith through trials, or asked questions of what they really believe, rather than what "they've heard."
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, if they weren't (fill in the blank with a religion) they probably wouldn't have that trial/problem.
Last I checked, I don't know of a single religion whose people don't have problems and trials. Why? Maybe because God is trying to make us more like Him and more reliant on Him.
I wasn't raised as a young child in the religion I have chosen, I went to a private school of another religion, and it was there that several of the questions they couldn't answer helped me to find the beliefs I have now. However, even though that church wasn't where I wound up, I'm so grateful for the goodness of its people and for many of the teachings, as well as not being able to answer my questions.
Let's face it, we all want to be right. But we will never be right by mocking others, not loving others, not allowing ourselves to ask questions of our own faith as well as ask genuine questions of others. And then if we need to agree to disagree, so be it. The Judge will take care of it in the long run.
Our greatest challenge is to love others. If we can do that and bring others to Christ, we have no need to fear. But if we mock each other and send people away from the Savior because we are too busy judging and being right, we lose. We lose BIG.
I'm not perfect in my faith, but frankly, I don't know anyone who is. We are not here to be perfect, someone already did that. We are here to follow His example the best we can. That may come in calling out the Pharisees, but more often it will be in reaching out to the sick, the poor, the hurting and suffering, the lonely, those faltering in their faith.
So my fellow Christians it is time to get over ourselves and get on to being the best follower of Christ that we can be. Let's embrace the good things we see in each other as we practice our faiths, as we see the goodness in other churches, in other believers.
There probably has never been a time where we are needed more collectively than right now. So let's unite in our faith in Christ and uphold each other in our respective faiths. Let's respect each other's faith and show this world what believers really are all about: love.