“I’m proud to be a Republican,” the first man said. ”I’ve been a Republican all my life and I will die a Republican. It’s hard being one right now but I know we can turn things around!”
The second man looked up from his plate with a quizzical look on his face.
“What?” the first man said.
“YOU are a Republican?”
“Of course I am.”
“You’re not a Republican. I’m a Republican and I can clearly see you’re not.”
“You can’t say that for sure.”
“Um, yes, I can. You claim to be a Republican and from your actions and words it’s clear you’re not.”
“Oh yeah? I say I am and you have no right to question me. I have the right to my opinion!”
“Who did you vote for in the last election?”
“Barack Obama. He’s the man!”
“Yeah, so? Romney was lame.”
“Who did you vote for in the governor’s race?”
This went on for about five minutes as the two men ran down all the ballots and determined that the first man had voted for a Democrat in every race and every race in the last election.
“But I told you, I’m a Republican and you have no right to question that.”
“So you have to be against abortion.”
“Nope. We need to make it available to more women. The government should fund it so any woman can do it if they want.”
“SAYS YOU! I see it differently and that’s my right!”
“You’re against gay marriage?”
“You’re in favor of tax cuts?”
“Nope. Raise the taxes on everyone. We need to pay for more government programs.”
“Stopping illegal immigrants?”
“Nope. Anyone should be able to come in anytime they want.”
“None of those positions are Republican positions.”
“Yes, they are. You just have to look at what the founders of the party really believed versus what the modern Republicans say they mean. And besides, Abraham Lincoln was the key founder of the Republican Party and he never said anything about abortion or gay marriage or illegal immigration.”
“Who are you to question me?”
“I’m a Republican who backs the party’s platform. The one that’s printed out and given to everyone at the convention. The positions that the party holds as it’s key beliefs and truths.”
“Well, just because I don’t agree with them doesn’t mean I’m not a Republican.”
“Well, it kind of does. You don’t vote for Republicans, you espouse the values of the Democratic Party and you deny the basic truths of the Republican platform.”
The first man stands up, slams his napkin to the table and grabs his coat.
“I don’t know who you think you are to question me. It doesn’t matter what you just said to me because this is my opinion and in this country I’m allowed to have it. And you have no right to question me at all!! You don’t say what a Republican is. Besides, I know you voted for a Democrat in the race for County Commissioner ten years ago. So you’re not a Republican then either.”
The first man turns and stomps away while the second man just shakes his head.
OK…that last section was obviously hyperbole.
But there’s an underlying point here that I want to make about Christianity in America.
Just because you say you’re a Christian doesn’t mean that you are a Christian.
If you don’t change your life to follow Christ’s teachings, then you’re not really a Christian. You can go forward in a church and say you believe and say all the right words but if ultimately your life doesn’t change then you were only speaking words to make yourself feel better or look good. If you continue to promote positions of the world that run counter to Jesus’ teachings and the Bible, you’re not really a Christian. (NOTE: I’m not saying if you sin…I’m saying if you actively promote things that go against Scripture like saying there are many ways to get eternal life other than through Jesus.)
You have to surrender your entire life, your entire self, to Jesus. That means you MUST take positions of belief in your life that run counter to the world’s way of thinking. You MUST do it.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ (John 15:18-25 ESV)
I’ve seen a lot of blog posts recently and spoken with a lot of folks who are “tired of being questioned” about being a Christian.
They get indignant. They get frustrated. They lash out at those who are taking them to task for their spoken declaration of being a follower of Christ yet have beliefs they profess that run directly counter to Christ’s teachings. They are upset at “fundamentalists” but revel in being so loved by people who are not Christians, don’t want to follow Jesus and who praise the fact they’re so critical of God’s people who are actually in line with God’s word.
The reason these people are being questioned is that just like the man in the example above who claimed to be a Republican yet didn’t support the Republican platform, these folks are saying and doing things that don’t like up with the Bible.
And if you profess to be a Christian, then you open yourself up to having other Christians point out that you’re advocating things that go against the Bible.
And if it happens significantly to the point you’re irritated by the questioning, perhaps you need to look in the mirror and realize those challenging your statements might have some merit to their claims.
Or you can just go on taking praise from the world. Which Jesus himself said was an indication you are still part of it.