So it’s Christmas time again, and this is something that comes up every year, but this is actually my first year with a blog so I thought I’d say something. this is not necessarily about Christmas, I’m sure I’ll tie it all in somehow.
This season is described to be about giving, and loving others, and the golden rule, yada yada yah…and with all that, we seem to see and get some of the worst out of people. This goes for Christians and non Christians alike. People act a their worst and at times can give you a true test of your own personal self control. People have removed God from Christmas, when the day comes every year, and has been that way for a while now. For those of you spelling bee champs out there, let’s take the word apart for what it is. Christ which is derived from man Jesus Christ. Hmmm…that seems like a good reason for Christmas, don’t you think. You have people out there wish you a Happy Holidays, when if saying actually meant anything we’d say it all year wrong. After all, doesn’t every month except for maybe one have a holiday in it? Nobody says happy holidays for the 4th of July, do they? Really, stop trying to take God out of everything, it just simply can’t be done, so don’t exhaust yourself. I think the Lord earned this one, okay!! Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to say, so I’ll just get to it.
Many people question what a true Christian is. I can’t even lie, sometimes I do as well. I understand why they question it because many Christians tend to act like they have all the answers. They believe that they, in addition to God, are the alpha and omega (the beginning and the end). They think they know better than most, when truth be told, they actually don’t know enough. That’s why the people I like to be associated with are what I like to think of as “True Christians”. True Christians have a type of understanding that makes them accessible. When I say that, I mean, not so “high and mighty”. So heavenly minded, that they are no earthly good. True Christians know that when it comes to it, there is that which will always remain true: by nature, we are all just human. They understand that they are flawed, but the key in knowing that is having the wisdom and knowledge that they also have a redeemer for those flaws in Christ Jesus. They have to live in this world everyday and deal with the same things that other believers and nonbelievers alike must deal with.
I think that’s the misconception that most have about Christians. That’s probably because some of us act as if we’ve made it to heaven already. We act like we are on the mountain top like Moses was and God is ready to hand us the keys to the Promise Land. Nah…it’s not like that on a daily basis for real. Some will argue against this, but when you believe, you have to love others that much more. You have to try that much harder to be cool in heated situations. We can’t act a fool because we have to die to our flesh daily. That’s why we make it seem like things can’t or won’t bother us. Because the real Christians are working on themselves every moment of every day. So hard, that we almost don’t have the time to be bothered by some of those little things. Don’t get me wrong, again I say we’re not perfect, so some of those “lil things” do make it through the cracks.
For those of you that don’t know God, or just don’t believe, I’m here to inform you. We don’t have all the answers. If you think it’s easy, think again. Preaching the gospel and spreading the word of God through us and our lifestyle is no easy task. Hence, why the apostles and disciples of Jesus were all or mostly martyred. They were killed for what they believe yet people want Christians to be tolerant!? That point is almost laughable. No other group of people have been persecuted more for what they believe, with maybe the exception of the Jews. Society wants the church to bless America only, when they are more people around the world. They want to pray when something happens, but a year later, they forget all about God. Yet, they want God to end wars, stop world hunger, and give everyone a lump some of money (through the lottery of course). Yes, I have to love you. But I don’t have to like you. Yes, I have to pray for you, but I don’t have to stay around you while you torment us, or ridicule us for what we’ve been taught and/or believe.
I’d like to put out there that there will be non believers who will treat all with respect and I’m not talking about them with this. But for the people who talk trash to me, that wanna make fun of my Word. That wanna say my God isn’t real and that Jesus isn’t Lord. Just know this: Jesus’ birth is the reason we give gifts for Christmas (Bout to get all Christian Scholar on y’all) You see, when Jesus was born the men brought Him gifts in honor of the birth of the coming King. He’s the reason I’m a good guy and don’t wish ill of you. He keeps me morally grounded and convicts me when I’m wrong. He makes me turn the other cheek if you slap me in the face. He is everything to us “real” Christians.
So when you decide that you wanna say something about the way I was raised, or spit directly in my face…KNOW THIS:
My belief system and faith in God, is what keeps me from jumping all over you right now!
More to come and Merry Christmas…
“You’re not saved…” “How can you know Jesus if you don’t…”
Now, in all honesty, no one has ever said this to me or about me. I’ve been fortunate to never have been accused of being a bad person, or not being Holy Spirit filled, or not knowing anything about Jesus. I guess I’d call myself lucky for that fact. Everyone that knows me, knows that I believe in God, and that Jesus came, died, and rose on the third day. I say that, but I do in fact, and maybe we all know people who that have been told they didn’t know the Lord. They’ve been told things like you have to do this to be right with God, or that to be known as saved. And to be real, that is what aggravates me most about the saints (the church). After all, who are we to say, who is and who is not. We don’t have, nor have we ever had that type of authority. For those people out there that are quick to say someone isn’t saved, I will say you’re wrong. I will also go as far as to say, there are “saved” people out there that don’t know God. And yes, there is a difference. But right now, we’re talking about what it means to be saved.
I’m about to get real BIBLE scholar on y’all:
How many requirements are there for being saved? For those of you who guessed two, you win the door prize of salvation. The Bible says in Romans 10:9 (King James Version) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Trust me, there was a time when I thought there was more to it as well. But there isn’t. There’s no secret spell or potion. No amount of shared Facebook links, or re-tweets, or instagrams that can save you. Just confessing, and believing in your heart is what is required. I think what’s crazy about the Christian community is that we think that it’s all about being in a church and about being baptized (which is very important by the way), and just saying that we’re blessed everyday, that saves us and grants us salvation. It’s not that. It’s not even about asking God to forgive you, as we do in our “sinner’s prayer”. It’s us saying God, I believe in you, and that your son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, and rose on the third day. Far too many Christians are looking down on people that don’t go to church, and that can’t restrain themselves from smoking or doing drugs or cursing for that matter. What we (that’s right I’m talking about myself as well) need to look towards are the heart of people, and get to where they really are. Find out what holds them back from God, if there is something. The truth of the matter is, I know most of us, have a saved Grandmother, that will curse us out in a heartbeat!!! It’s because they know that saying those choice words to you doesn’t make God turn his back on them.
Now on the other side of that, I’m not saying that when you confess and believe, that you’re supposed to stop right there. When you become saved there are some things that you have to do to maintain your salvation. You only get saved once, so you don’t lose it, but there is a difference between meeting God, and actually getting to know Him. I think that’s what people in the church are really getting at. It’s like the saying, “Come as you are…” Yes you should come any way you are able, but that doesn’t mean you stay that way. You have to grow, as you take part in this journey. So many people are under the illusion that once you get saved, all your problems melt away, when truth of the matter is…SOMETIMES THEY GET worse. Our flaws are generally intensified when looking at someone on a different level than us. There is a fine line, between being SAVED v. DELIVERED. Being saved is great, but once we get saved, we work to be delivered from the things that keep us from being closer to God. Going back to the example of the person that does drugs, or curses, or has done something worse: we didn’t become who we are today overnight, and we won’t change to a better person overnight either. As we get closer, we work on the things that are not pleasing to God, and we do our best to change them. Some things will happen quicker than others…Some things we’ll never get rid of. The point in getting better is that it helps us to know who God is and what He wants. That also comes with learning what His Word is all about. We don’t want to get to the gates, and God sees us and says, Matthew 7:21-23 “…away from me, I never knew you” Trust me, that would not be a great outcome, if we got all the way through this life being “saved” and then he sent us to the place where un-saved people go. OUCH!!!
The Bible tells us, that we are not to be a stumbling block to others. That means, that we don’t want to keep someone from knowing God because we judged them too soon. Or hurt someone who was already saved, and trying to learn, but we ended up discouraging them. Basically, what I’m saying is that having salvation is something we should take seriously. But if we are to do just that, we must know what it means to be saved, and stop telling people they aren’t without knowing their story. The world looks down upon Christians for that very reason. It’s our tendency to judge others without even speaking to them. Life in itself is a journey, a walk…That’s what we call it ultimately because we will never be quite perfect, but our aspiration to be takes a while, or as some would say, a lifetime.
More to come…
The other day, I was getting ready for bed, when a commercial came on. The commercial was for a site called Godlessgroup.org (I know right!!). That’s really a site, I know. I almost couldn’t believe it, so I just had to explore it. When going to the site, it actually redirects to a site called theseculardirectory.org (I know again…a site like this actually exist). At first glance, I thought to myself, you can’t be serious. Why in the world would someone put a site out there like this. And then upon looking at it again, I figured that I shouldn’t be so judgmental. It’s just a website/support group for people who don’t believe in a “higher power” or God. I said to myself there are a lot of people that don’t believe and if they don’t that’s ultimately their prerogative.
While that’s true, I did think that it was a little much to put it out there as if it really meant something. You’d be surprised though, it’s almost as if it’s some type of support group. At first glance I saw a bunch of white folks in pictures, and then I saw a picture with one black guy. I tried to play it off as if he was Hispanic or Asian or something like that, but nope…it was a black guy. Then I actually found a site called ebonyexodus.com, and realized that there are actually a lot of black people that don’t believe, and truth be told, that was a bit surprising. Either way though, if it’s a support site, for people who want or need it, then that’s just what it is.
As a black man, I can tell you that religion is deeply rooted in black culture. I mean it goes as far back as slavery times and forward. Even before in Africa, blacks have always been known to have some type of religion. Just a bit of history for those that wanna know. Let me make sure that I state that I do believe in God, and this blog isn’t about me defending what I believe. I honestly feel that what I believe speaks for itself in my daily life. That’s just what it is. I do, however, want to speak to those who are atheist. Those who claim to believe in nothing. Those that believe that there is nothing but us, who determines what happens in our lives. I could get into an argument about it, but truth to be told, what you believe is what you believe. While I do believe that we have free will to do and think what we please. I do believe that God is that deity that is out there watching over us, and protecting us from harm, guiding our paths, and giving us a source of strength to get through the hardships of life. Some might say my favorite thing, “why would a God allow babies to be raped and killed and wars to happen??…” I think that anyone can find justification in their own version of faith, if they try hard enough, but in my opinion, there are a lot of things that are supposed to remain unexplained. The man that has all the answers has nothing to aspire to…I’ll leave it at that.
So here goes…to my atheists out there…You’re an Atheist…So What!!!?? You want a cookie!!?? I’m a Christian…So What!!? (Don’t get mad at me saints…) I just mean that ultimately we believe in something different when it’s all said and done. We basically disagree on what happens after we die. I believe I’m going to heaven, and that there is a such thing as hell, and atheist believe that after life, that’s it. And that’s fine for them. Nobody cares that you’re an atheist, but atheist sure care about me believing in God it seems. And this is my one issue with the atheist belief system: Atheists seem to go out of their way to prove that there’s nothing there and make fun of Christianity. The truth is, you are almost as religious, if not more than most “super-Christians”. Billy Graham doesn’t have the conviction that atheists have. And to be truthful that’s fine. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on the subject. And I’m honestly perfectly okay with that as evangelism was never my strong suit. I do believe that’s it’s funny how the people who don’t believe are always out to disprove what so many people around the world believe. Also trying to say that things that were actually taken into account historically, aren’t true. Just like you’d say to us, “Were you there?” The answer is no, you weren’t…well…unless, you have a star-ship named Enterprise that can travel around the sun, and go back in time, but I don’t think they’d take kindly to a big spaceship back then (Yes I’m a Trekkie)
Overall, when it comes down to it. We’re just people, and we all have something that we believe strongly within ourselves. And most of us should be okay with that. I believe and love the Lord…you don’t. Some believe in Buddha, or Isis, or Zeus, that’s just the way it is. I’m not here to tell you that you should think what I think, or deal with issues of life the way I do. Bottom line: we shouldn’t judge someone off of what they believe when ultimately, when we get to know them, we’ll have plenty of other things to be judgmental about. I’m just sayin…Let’s just take a second to get along, and make the world better. It will all come out in the wash…trust me, when we die, we’ll have all the time in the world to figure out the answers.
More to come…