Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

CHRISTIANS AND HEALTHY ATTITUDES

There was a time that I thought I had it altogether. That I was the lone person who understood what was important and necessary. If you believed what I believed, I reasoned, you were on the right religious track and headed toward heaven’s gates. On the other hand, if you didn’t agree with my convictions you were clearly standing on a banana peeling and ready to slip into the fire of hell.

Yesterday I was listening to a television preacher. He was excited. Emotional. Convinced. Those ingredients were obvious. But it did not take me long to realize that he was suffering from the alienating ailment I once had. His brand of religion was right. The only way to go. And everyone else and their belief’s were wrong. Completely wrong. If you didn’t get in step immediately with the directions he was insisting up0n, you were headed for hell fire.

I laughed. But then I felt pain. Much pain. For that is not the attitude and message we should be conveying to the world as Christians. Once Christ Jesus takes hold our arrogance and pride are removed. Eliminated. The beligerant attitudes are buried. We can no longer cling to the way we once acted and behaved.

Christians are bearers of good news. Glad tidings. We have become salt and light. We have a message that has transformed us. Made us new creations. New beings. Those who’ve been changed from the inside out. There is a sweet melody playing in our hearts, a broad beaming smile on our faces, and a relationship with Christ that has become evident to all.

I am no longer in the fighting mood. Wanting to argue and debate with anyone who disagrees with me. Attempting to destroy the atheists, and pulling the rug out from under other religious groups, is not my game plan. My course of action. For such practices only serves to alienate me from humanity, and does not attract humanity. It manufactures legalism and banishes love. Creates retaliation, but doesn’t build respectful relationships.

I’ve been amazed at the rash of books appearing lately on the publishing market that promote atheism. When I began to read what these atheists were actually saying, I could see a lot of the motivation for their “no god” sentiments. For they were judging God on the basis of what they were seeing in churches. They were “turned off” to the presence of arrogant, uninformed, and smug attitudes. Furthermore, many they see who proclaim belief in God live before others as if He were dead. Some religious writers have well labeled this error as, “practical atheism.”

Healthy Christians and churches, I now believe, seek to live in a holy manner, and they have sincerely left the arena of hypocrisy. They want to be witnesses and not advocaters of war and its woes. They wish to adore Jesus only and not argue about Him.

I suspect that when this contagious Christian spirit is able to take hold of Christians generally today, we’ll become so different that our own dog won’t even be able to recognize us!!

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July 11, 2011 - Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Preaching, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Service, Spirituality, The Devil

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