This one is for Christians! Something has been gnawing at me for some time now. When TD Jakes trended regarding his association with P Diddy, the gnawing heightened. The reaction from this saga led to me penning this...
People go up in arms when a Christian brother or sister’s sins come to the fore (NB: I'm not saying TD Jakes' association with Diddy is sin).
I believe people struggle to understand or accept that all who are in Christ are flawed even though GOD still chooses them to do work for the kingdom. It’s like, "how can God use such a person?" "Or I knew something was off with this one." Honestly, I get where the backlash, arguments and the confusion may be coming from.
The thing is Christians have also positioned the walk of being in Christ only for the moral, perfect, non-wrong doers, etc. The doctrines they live by have made being in Christ seem inaccessible because people ask themselves, “if I’m such a sinner, flawed and imperfect, will Christ accept me?” Christianity has been presented as a “only for the holier than thou” religion. Anything else is unacceptable, looked down upon and unwelcome. This is why when mistakes come to the fore, it is difficult for others to understand, be compassionate and forgiving. For Christians alike, it is difficult to acknowledge our mistakes for fear of being judged.
The judgements, verbal and nonverbal, which we hurl at others makes Christianity cringy and cold. There's a lot of othering that happens and as a result, people struggle with belonging and acceptance within the Christian community.
However, when you page through the Bible and look at all those who were in ministry for Christ, most of them were flawed in many ways - ways that are familiar to us but we relate to with so much shame.
For example, Jacob was insecure; Joseph was abused; Gideon was poor; Samson was co-dependent; Rahab was immoral; David was a murderer and adulterous. Elijah was suicidal; Jeremiah was depressed; Jonah was reluctant; Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered. The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages. Paul was a blasphemer and persecutor of Christians. BUT GOD never magnified their shortcomings because He knew what He had called them to become.
Christ is for the lost, the downtrodden, the poor, the weak, the needy, the flawed, the insecure, the imperfect, the ones not feeling like they are enough, the sinners. If one feels they don’t fall into any of these categories, then what lacks is wisdom because they are more lost that they know. Christ is for everyone.
Christ is for YOU irrespective of your background and experiences.
When we come to Christ with humility and a heart of repentance, seeking forgiveness, He provides just that because He knows that the only way for us to accomplish the works that He's called us to do is when we are back home, in the fold, under His leadership.
My fellow Christians, we need to stop putting a façade of perfection and be real. How can we go out and make disciples of nations if we are stepping out clothed in pretenses?
It's time to stop putting up a show and wearing ill-fitting masks - this is hard and heavy work. After all, God calls each one of us to come as we are (scripture reference: Matthew 11:27-30).
What are your thoughts on this one? What has your experience been? Keen to hear and learn from you.