Monday, January 14, 2013
I Am An American Christian and Proud of It!
A few days ago, a site on FB called "Stop Playing Church" posted this quote:
"If following Jesus Christ doesn't cost you anything... It's because you've bought into American Christianity. - Paul Washer"
I took great offense at this statement and honestly, would have had words with this guy, Paul Washer, had he been standing in front of me!
Personally, I'm sick and tired of American bashing! It's bad enough that the countries around the world, who so gladly stick their hands out and take our offerings, say horrible things about us and yet, continue to use our resources. But, to me, it's worse when American Christians get on the self-righteous band wagon and make pompous comments such as the one above.
Do I think this country is perfect? No. Do I think we have lessened our morals and removed God from the public square to our own detriment? Yes. But do I think that American Christians are any less than those around the world? NO!
America is full of loving, kind, giving, gracious, sold out to Christ, hard working, sacrificing, people who normally would give the shirt off their own back to help someone out.
So maybe we don't walk miles one way to get to church (or maybe some do) and maybe we don't have to smuggle Bibles into secret Bible studies, but we face our own hardships and persecutions.
In fact, we're the ones smuggling the Bibles over to their countries, so they can have them in the first place!
Did you struggle last year? My guess would be that you did.
Was your life all peaches and roses, just because you profess Christ as your Lord and Savior? I bet not.
Did you have to trust Him for your safety? Yes. Did you trust Him for your provision? Yes.
It may not be on the same level as someone living in a third world country, but does it make our hearts any less dedicated to the Lord? Absolutely not!
Most Christians I know, have paid some kind of price for following Christ.
What about when you give your life to the Lord when you're 23 years old and not one single friend from your past, can relate to the changes you've made? You know what happens? You give up your friends to follow Him. You face ridicule and people throwing your past up in your face; constantly reminding you of the person you're trying so hard to forget. So you lose friends.
You face your family - those who are not believers - and sometimes you give them up too because they just can't handle the way you live - trying to raise your kids differently than they raised you. They don't understand you at all. They think you're preachy and so they stay away.
Sometimes believers face persecution in the workforce - name calling, accusations that you're a "Jesus boy" and ostracizing you for trying to walk a different path. They purposely fill the air space with vile jokes, in your presence, because they want to shock you and test you. So you're torn between being respectful and not letting your flesh get the best of you, because you know they are just tormenting you on purpose. Sometimes it means you eat alone, work alone, and dread going back, day after day. But you know that following Him is worth it.
Some were innocently minding their own business, in a school in Colorado, when two crazy lunatics walked in and shot those who professed Christ. I'd call that a sacrifice.
And then there are many of us, who daily know that the world is watching, waiting for us to fall flat on our faces in sin, so they can point their fingers our way and show the world that we're not who we say we are. When really, we know that we are exactly what they say we are, except we are saved by grace. And we are daily praying to be more like Him.
So, NO, I don't live in poverty, in a third world country. I don't face some of the hardships that others in foreign lands do. But, I do love the Lord and I sacrifice daily, to walk with Him and for you to say that I (or we) don't, is just self-righteous and a lie. You don't know me or my heart or my walk with my precious savior, so don't pretend that you do.
I'm proud to be a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ AND I'm proud to be an American too. God blessed this country and I believe, He is still blessing those of us who desire to please Him and walk with Him.
So get off your anti-American high horse and be thankful that GOD gave you the privilege of living in this great nation. It doesn't mean you're any better, but it sure the heck doesn't mean you're any worse! We are ALL sinners, saved by Grace.