Judge Christianity by Christ, Not by Christians
Updated: Apr 17, 2018
Christians are human. And though we strive to avoid sin, sin is unavoidable. So we fail to consistently show the true face of Jesus, to reflect the true love Jesus has for all humans.
My son and I hiked the 4 Pass Loop outside of Aspen, Colorado, last Labor Day weekend. The mountain scenery is spectacular. Besides the views from each of the four passes, some my favorite scenes were that of Snowmass Lake. Snowmass Lake can be seen from both Trail Rider and Buckskin passes. The lake is truly breathtaking. I took the picture above while we were descending from Trail Rider Pass. We had stopped for a quick rest and a snack. It’s not a great picture, but the imposing view inspired a thought. A complete view of Snowmass Mountain is not in the picture, only an extension of its base at the edge of the lake. As you look at the lake’s surface, you can see a sharp reflection of the white stone cliff near the shore.
One of our callings as Christians is to manifest Christ daily, to show Him to the world, to reflect His love for all of us. There are moments when we are able to do that. We might help the widow next door with her lawn; allow a co-worker to use our awarded day off; or excessively tip a waitress having car trouble. Just as the moments when a lake is able to perfectly reflect the granite cliffs of its shore, Christians are able to manifest Christ in our daily actions. However, all it takes is a slight breeze, a little rain, a nibbling fish, a gliding duck, or perhaps a canoe, to wrinkle the lake’s reflection of the granite cliff. For a Christian all it takes is an act of hypocrisy to distort our reflection of Christ: ignoring the need of another; using the company’s printer for personal use; inappropriately glancing at the opposite sex; skipping worship for a sporting event; or disrespecting God with our tongue.
Christians are human. And though we strive to avoid sin, sin is unavoidable. So we fail to consistently show the true face of Jesus, to reflect the true love Jesus has for all humans. Jesus never sinned and never failed to help others that would accept His help. All of Jesus miracles were for others, never for Himself. Jesus’ life here was pure love, love for His Father and love for us. Placing the needs of others in front of one’s own needs defines love. There’s no other way to put it. Jesus put all our sin on His back and died for each one of us, for every human, for every sin. Jesus loves us, all of us; Christian or not.
So don’t judge Christianity by Christians, judge Christianity by Christ. Look how Jesus lived His life for others. Read the Gospels. My favorite is John. Then watch for Jesus’ actions in His followers, yet recognize His followers are still human.