Yesterday, I was told my heart was being judged as evil because I hold to fundamental core Christian beliefs. I have pretty simple beliefs:
- Being a Christian means you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
- All answers are in the Bible
- The Bible needs to be used in context with the Bible, cherry picking verses leads to false doctorine
- All life is sacred: even the unborn
- God wants us to treat all people, (especially those who disagree with our beliefs) with love and respect
- Sex is for marriage bed between a husband and wife
- Sin, Heaven and Hell are real
Apparently this makes me a bad person with a rotten heart. That’s ok because I stand firm in my God and I believe the Bible is 100% truth.
I try and approach life in the way Jesus would ask of me. I don’t expect non-Christians to believe what I believe. I will pray for them and try to be an example to them, sometimes I will fail. God gave us free will, they are free to accept or deny Christ. I understand everyone’s journey is thier own. I can’t hold non-Christians accountable for sinning- that would be like giving the final exam before teaching the class. Luke 23:34 “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” I can never judge a mans heart.
Please don’t think I think I’m better than anyone. I’ve always known Jesus, I’ve always believed with my whole heart but there is no denying that I can sin with the best of them. I’ve used the name in vain, this continues to be an issue, I wish my heart was really crying out to Him every time I exclaimed “Oh,God”. At times I’ve spent more time in front of tv than with God, talk about a graven image, . I have often replaced God with many things throughout my life- way back when like every girl in my 3rd grade class I worshipped “New Kids on the Block”, had a hat like Joey, the VHS Back Story played constantly for months, posters decked my walls and I memorized thier songs better than I did memory verses. I suck at keeping the sabbath, do you know how hard it is to stop working one day of the week? Weekend pay is higher and if not at work, there is so much to do at home! Oh, yes back to graven images- the all might dollar, wish I had enough to worship that one! Respect my parents? My parents and I barely survived my teen years. I was so envious of my younger sister I didn’t want her to join my youth group. I left my husband and was pregnant with another man’s child before the divorce was final. I wish I could say I’ve never lied, at least I can claim I’ve never been good at lying, get caught every time. I stole once or twice when I was young, trying to be cool but always terrified of getting caught. I can safely say I’ve never committed murder but I don’t think that qualifies me as a saint.
No what qualifies me as a saint is my relationship with Jesus. This isn’t the Catholic sainthood but the definition in the New Testament (Romans 1:7) to all who are beloved of God, called as saints. The thing is I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me. All I have to do is accept Him into my life and accept the gift Jesus gave when He died on the cross! Praise God!! He still loved me worts and all.
When my relationship with God is strong and I’m walking with Him, then my behavior more often reflects God. I am kinder, more loving, forgive easier, speak honestly and sin less (I’m not sinless but less often do I sin!).
When I focus on worldly things my behavior becomes more worldly. I become self involved, self-centered, self-righteous and slip into sinful habits easily. I am hot tempered and hot headed, led by emotions and not the Holy Spirit. I will often feel the turmoil of everyday life and life feels to big for me. The most awesome part, when I return to God and repent, no matter what, He forgives me with open arms. Once again God helps me with the everyday challenges of life and nothing seems to big, because I know, no matter what it is, my God is Bigger! Peace and love return to my heart and I use God’s word as my guidebook.
My point is Christianity isn’t about holding others accountable for thier sins… How could I hold someone else accountable, God didn’t hold me accountable and He won’t next time I stumble. God also doesn’t save me from the consequences of my actions, sin has natural consequences. I can point out how a sin is hurting a fellow Christian with love and remove myself from thier influence if the sin is effecting me and my faith but as soon as they repent and change thier behavior I have to accept someone and love them and I have to forgive.
I think it is possible to believe in core Christian beliefs and defend the faith with love. My knowledge of the Bible continues to grow but I whole heartedly believe it devinely inspired by God. Yes I am aware somethings get lost in translation, our culture can’t truly understand the culture of biblical times, or even the world that was then. I use a concordance to compare to original language and study many viewpoints and different versions of the Bible. The thing is I believe God is powerful enough to ensure, that despite translations and interpretation, that what He intended to be said is indeed said.
Yes, humanity is fallible but God isn’t. If you put your faith in a religion, denomination or sect of Christianity people’s rules and individual interpretation will become tradition and corrupt the message. If you put your faith in a pastor, preacher, minister it human leader eventually their flaws will show through and you will be disappointed. But if you put your faith in God and follow the Bible you know you have sure footing.
That doesn’t mean don’t listen to a message from a pastor or don’t join a church or don’t read a book on interpretation, those are great tools to help in your journey with God. I listen to as many as I can, read as many books as I can. If something strikes as wrong in one of those books or from one of the teachings, I’ll research it. Often what is said irked me because I was being convicted by the Holy Spirit and needed to change something in my life. Sometimes, I’m right the teaching doesn’t line up biblically but I only know if I research.
Yes, I am one of those religious fanatics that believe the Bible is truth cover to cover. Yes, even worse I’m a fanatic that believes you have to take the Bible as a whole and can’t cherry pick verses to have it reflect what you want to say.
I don’t believe you can justify abortion in the Bible. I can’t justify it having carried a baby to term. Every life is a gift from God. I can’t justify homosexuality anymore than I can justify premarital sex or divorce (the later two I’m guilty of but repent and try not to repeat my behavior). I also can’t justify damning a nonChristian because of their behavior. The only salvation issue is the belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. What you do after is between you and God. I can not judge your heart.
God is love, He is slow to anger and quick to forgive. In my walk with God I have desired to follow all commandments, I don’t have to but I want to, God has given me so much I want to do for him in return.
I love everyone God says love your enemies as yourself; Jesus said love others as He loved the church. So I don’t care what you think of me, God and His biblical teachings are what I believe in. I have sinned and fallen short of the glory, so I won’t judge where you might fall short.
Romans 3:1-31 NASB
 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?  Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.  What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?  May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “That YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”  But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)  May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?  But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?  And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.  What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;  as it is written, “There IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;  THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;  ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”  “Their THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “The POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;  “Whose MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;  “Their FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,  DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,  AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”  “There IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”  Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.  But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;  whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;  for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,  since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.  Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.