For being a faith that rambles on about having a personal relationship with Jesus, we sure don’t care much when our personal friend is insulted, dismissed, offended or blasphemed.
Makes me wonder how personal that relationship really is?
Now, if we treat Jesus like our own personal Santa Claus, you know, where we simply ask for stuff and wait for Him to give it to us, then sure, what do we care if Jesus is offended? As long as he gives me stuff, my “personal” relationship must be cool.
But, if Jesus were truly our friend, our best friend… greater than that, our Creator and our Savior, without whom we would most surely be damned to eternal fire in Hell… well, if Jesus were THAT guy in our life, I think our reaction to His name being used in vain, of His image being used disrespectfully, of Him being used as a punch-line would offend us.
It would tick us off.
It would alert our defense mechanisms.
It would cause us to act.
What should that act be? Forgiveness, of course.
Jesus has told us to forgive our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore their attacks. Forgiveness is a RESPONSE to an attack.
Doing nothing about an attack is, well… doing NOTHING.
I do not condone, in ANY way, shape or form, the use of violence against those who persecute the faith. Jesus is right… those who live by the sword will die by the sword. However, I do admire those of other faiths that adamantly demand the respect of their holy leaders.
Our response, however, is often apathy.
I have mentioned numerous times on this blog that the greatest failing of the Christian churches in this country is allowing the faith to move from being a belief structure, with tenets and rules and consequences, to a culture, which is fluid and changes and is up for debate.
When we treat our faith as simply part of the culture, we take it for granted. We lose sight of the details. Each generation loses a little of the spark, the focus, the adherence and the passion for believing in Jesus Christ.
Instead of changing our lives to live up to Jesus’ standards, we now try to change Jesus’ teachings to fit our own standards.
Let’s stop worrying about being buddies with Jesus Christ. Let’s put aside the touchy-feely garbage that treats God like a teddy bear.
Let’s get back to the message at hand.
Jesus is the truth and the life. Jesus is the only Son of God. Jesus has set an example of how we should live our lives. Jesus has spoken specifically about what is right and wrong. Jesus has told us of the consequences of not following His narrow and difficult path.
Let’s put the “Jesus Bear” down and elevate Him to where he rightfully belongs… as a perfect being, part of the Holy Trinity and equal to God, the Creator of everything.
When Jesus is offended, hurt, attacked and dismissed, let it sting a bit.
Let it make you wonder how such a thing happened.
Let it make you wonder how things should be changed to never let it happen again.
Then express, with love and charity, why Jesus Christ deserves to be treated as the Savior of all.
Instead of worrying about being pals with the Almighty, the greatest thing we can do as Christians is to lead by example, live the faith daily and show people we are living The Way.
Then maybe, just maybe, people who don’t know Christ will be more hesitant to offend Jesus because it will offend you, their friend whose faith is the primary identifier of who they are.
When people attack Jesus it requires forgiveness. But don’t take the event lightly. It means something is seriously wrong.
Defend our Savior with love and charity. With humility and compassion.
But DEFEND Him!