Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Not Sorry for My Beliefs

I've been timid to stand firm for my beliefs for a long time.  I have friends with differing beliefs and I want to be respectful of them.  However, I have started valuing their approval more than I value my own convictions.

And I'm ready to stop.

Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please the people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Before I begin - to those of you with differing views of religion, politics, morals, etc.  I still respect you.    I appreciate diversity. I value our differences because you challenge me to grow and to reflect on my own beliefs.  I love you because God made you in His image and He loves you (whether you believe it or not).
I also ask that you respect me and understand that my beliefs do not equate to judgment.

I know that there are people who claim the label of Christian out there who have been hurtful, crude, and bigoted.  I know that there are people who claim to love the Lord who have been hateful, malicious, and harmful.  I will not apologize for them because they do not represent me.  They do not define my Christianity.

My Christianity compels me to love.  Christ compels me to share His grace and mercy.  The Holy Spirit gives me kindness, gentleness, patience, and peace.  God calls me to accept ALL people as His children who He loves and longs to bring closer to Him…because we ALL have flaws that He can overcome.

Am I saying that I find every lifestyle, every sin, or every choice acceptable ?  NO!

What I am saying is that each one of us has flaws in our lifestyle - we sin - we make bad choices.  My job is to see the PERSON and not only the choices.

Am I saying that I should not see a sin as a sin or disagree with another person's choices?  NO!

Isaiah 7:9b says "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand firm at all."
I am do not apologize for my faith.
I am telling you that my beliefs are CONVICTIONS.
I am convicted that sin and corruption are more in-your-face than ever before.  The more media I expose myself to, the more I understand that Satan is alive and well in our country.  I am convicted that our children need to be protected from some of these things.

I am convicted that it is time for Christians to stop being extreme in 2 different directions.
Christians, stop being hateful and judgmental of people you don't even know!
Christians, stop being too accepting of everything you see!

Non-Christians, please stop telling us that we are wrong and closed-minded.  In doing this, you are treating us with the same oppression we are accused of!  Do not tell us that we are silly or stupid or naive.  That is just as hateful as the things you've heard from some on "this side" of the fence.  Stop treating me like I haven't been enlightened or that I don't have a thought for myself.

I'm tired of feeling like I have to apologize for my believes. I do not apologize!!!  I am not sorry!!!

Here is what I know:

  • God is real - as are Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  • We were created by a loving God in His image.
  • He sent His only Son to die for each of us - not just some of us - because we all need it.
  • The Bible was inspired by Him and is just as relevant today as it was when it was written.
  • The Holy Spirit still works in us
  • I believe in Heaven and Hell and that God is the judge

I do not have all the answers about what is right and who is wrong.  I am sure of this - God is love.  God lives in me.  God's love needs to be what comes out of me.

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