But if they say they love Jesus, why?

My son is at a really spectacular age.  He’s crossing from my little boy into this pre-teen young man who really seems to enjoy learning.  Especially history.  He LOVES history.

Over the last several weeks, Payne has learned a lot about the Civil Rights Movement at school.  Maybe I’m remembering it wrong, but I don’t feel like we learned at the depth Payne is learning now.  (Salado peeps, am I wrong??)  One of the books that he had to read is The Watsons Go To Birmingham (I highly recommend the movie, too!).  Talking about this book over the last several weeks, along with To Kill a Mockingbird (my personal favorite from middle school!) has raised a lot of questions.

{Before I go on, let me tell you that my son meets someone and sees the good automatically.  He trusts everyone.  He just believes in the inherent good in every person.  And he SO does not get that from me, his skeptical, sometimes cynical mom.  I learn from him daily to see the good in people.}

Most conversations have just centered around the simple question of why anyone could think they’re better than someone else because of the color of their skin.  In his matter-of-fact (and 100% correct) way of thinking, God made all of us, so we’re all the same, no matter what we look like.  But as he’s dug deeper into the KKK (I feel like I’m cussing by even just putting those initials here), more questions have come up.  The biggest being that so many of those who sought to keep segregation as a part of this country, those who spewed hate, claimed to be Christians.  And some even did what they did claiming to be doing it because of something the Bible said or something that God “called” them to do.

“But mom, if they say they love Jesus, why would they think that what they’re doing is right?” 

My cynical, skeptical side wants to say “Because they don’t love Jesus at all”, but there’s that whole thing about judging another person’s heart that doesn’t fall under my job description.  I don’t like that these conversations are a reality in my home.  I don’t like that these conversations are necessary at all.

We’ve talked about how people all throughout history, and even still today, have misused the Bible and the title of “Christian” to further an agenda that doesn’t go along with the Bible at all.  We’ve talked about how misguided and just plain wrong so many of these people and groups are.  And Payne just keeps going back to the same thing.  “But if they really love Jesus, why?”

That question, for me, has crossed over to something else now.

I’ll be honest.  It’s made me dig deep.  No, I’m not a racist, I don’t forward an agenda that does nothing but bring disgrace to God’s name.  But, dadgummit, I sure can make decisions, have reactions, behave in ways that probably have my Father shaking his head and saying, “If you really love MY SON, why?”

I think it’s easy to dismiss our own bad behavior when we compare it to those who are “really” bad.  Or to shrug off bad behavior because it’s only our spouse or kids that see it (I’ll give you a second to check your toes…because God stepped all over mine when He pointed that out to me).  But truthfully, how can we ever expect people to want to know Jesus when can be such poor examples?

I’ll never be perfect.  I’ll stumble…daily.  But I’ll never stop trying to grow, improve, become more like my Jesus.  If for no other reason, than to never have my son look at me and say, “But mom, if you say you love Jesus, why?”

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2 Replies to “But if they say they love Jesus, why?”

  1. Good Post, good thoughts. As an adult who loves History, has a couple of degrees in that persuasion, I have asked myself those questions over and over throughout the years. Tough to translate to a kiddo, for sure, let alone to mature folks. haha. Sin is sin, and it seems that throughout the last 1985 or so years people have had varying degrees of “getting it”? Even Judas, on many levels, believed, but was evil. God, strangely, can and does use many of these flawed people to accomplish His purposes in the world. Even Judas had a purpose. Paul and Barnabas had a stupid dispute, which split their effective ministry, but God used it later to increase their geographic reach for Him. So many Popes, Monks, hermits, emperors, kings, etc., “believed” to one degree or another, and the tough part is to cry out for the purity of the faith and the perfection of Christ, while balancing how sincerely and genuinely a person really loves Jesus. But, to murder, hate, attack, kill, and abuse others? Sorry, you were right, they didn’t know Him. They knew about Him, maybe even liked some of what He stood for, but to “know Him” intimately, not sure we could do those things repeatedly, Payne has the right question, though, How could they Love Him? and treat others that way? Know about Him? That can be learned from a book, but… to Love Him? transforms our lives and makes us more like Him, and we wouldn’t treat others that way, so, yes, Payne, there have been a ton of pseudo-Christians throughout History, and their lives, and sometimes our own, a little, create a stench that I am sure God does not enjoy smelling. The Truth may be that Holiness is highly underrated, and we all (me especially!) need to pursue it with a vengeance, and clothe ourselves in Love!

    Like

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