Thursday, September 15, 2016

Choices and Consequences

Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall stood up for social justice by kneeling during the national anthem. The cost? The Air Academy Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) terminated their relationship with Mr. Marshall. Why? "While we respect Brandon's right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership."

I'm not writing this to examine whether or not Marshall should have knelt or the AAFCU should have terminated his services. I'm writing about how "his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership." The other day, heading off to church, a car zipped by doing easily 60 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. The only thing I caught clearly was the license plate frame. "Smile," it said, "God loves you."

I can't tell you how many times I've seen, heard, even talked to people who have both classified themselves as "Christians" and then seemingly gone out of their way to demonstrate that they are "of the world". I've thought, more than once, "Please, do whatever you want. Just don't tell anyone you're a Christian." Because these actions are not a representation of our faith and membership.

It is, however, not even them about whom I am writing. It is me. It is my own concern and conviction that I must not be one of those about whom people would say, "Wait ... you are a Christian? You are what a follower of Christ is like?" I must not be one about whom it is said, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." (Rom 2:24)

We are called to be a light in this world. We are supposed to be holy in all our behavior (1 Peter 1:15). We are supposed to come out from their midst and be separate (2 Cor 6:17). We are not to be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2). Please, dear Savior, teach me to be a right reflection of You, to properly represent You at home, at work, in the world around me, to Your glory.

12 comments:

Bob said...

Perhaps what most Christians don't understand is that the world is already poised to accuse independent of our behavior. the world cannot wait to call us self righteous, thieves, or uncaring. we have to work hard to avoid such accusations. the world is always watching to see if we will trip up. the it will gleefully cheer when we fail. when we fail to represent properly, then the world say's see i told you so, they are hypocrites.

Stan said...

We are promised to be hated. It's too bad when self-professed "Christians" (real or imagined) give them fodder to do so.

I read in Scripture and in history of how the world responded to genuine Christians. They admired them, even while hating them. Would that American Christians so displayed good works and love for the brethren that our neighbors would see it and glorify our Father in heaven.

Anonymous said...

A couple weeks back I was in a Taco Bell. A white haired man came in with an empty water bottle, went to the fountain, and proceeded to fill his bottle with soda, not water. On his shirt I saw stenciled, "NOT PERFECT, JUST FORGIVEN." Given that he was engaging in what amounts to petty thievery (though the cashier did nothing about it), I would say he was not trying very hard to be perfect.

Stan said...

Perfect example. And for a Christian to say "I'm not perfect, just forgiven" as an excuse to demonstrate that he/she is not perfect is an unreasonable thing for a Christian to do.

(Of course, we could hope that this white-haired man was just making a mistake and he thought it was water, not soda.)

David said...

On the road, I constantly find myself wishing I could rip off people's bumper stickers. You want to drive like that and also point out just how "Christian" you are?

Stan said...

I know what you mean ... except I'm pretty sure our desire to tear off those stickers isn't very Christian-like.

David said...

You don't liken it to Christ in the temple? Sure, getting angry for wrongs against us is wrong, but anger at dishonoring God? Isn't that the lesson of the temple, wrath against calling yourself holy but blatantly defaming God?

Stan said...

Well, I was just joking around, but, no indeed, I don't. Christ was defending His Father's house. You and I would not be defending the Father's house. Jesus took it to the offending people. We would be simply removing an offending sticker. I don't see them the same. Now, I did just read the other day, "If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness." (Gal 6:1) Correct and restore are necessary. "Tear off the stinkin' bumper sticker" probably isn't.

Craig said...

I've got a slightly different take. My youngest attends a local University which is well known for for being a Christian school. In fact Christianity is a vital part of their identity. Being the proud dad that I am I have the obligatory window cling in my back window. What I find is that I actually am more aware of my demeanor and behavior when I drive because I don;t want to reflect badly on either the school or Christians in general.

Which probably doesn't say much good about my occasional high frustration level when I drive.

Stan said...

Well, I'm not at all sure that's a different take. I think that's exactly the take ... except with a "bumper sticker" on each of us that says, "I belong to Christ" that makes us acutely aware of the name we bear when people are looking.

Craig said...

Once again, your probably right.

Stan said...

Well, of course I'm right when I'm agreeing with you. :)