Halloween, Kanye & Stumbling Christians…
Not really sure what any of those have to do with the other but those are the things that were on my mind this week.
Today is Halloween and that always sparks emotions. I reposted an old blog yesterday about taking ourselves too seriously and think that rings true not only at Halloween but all year long. We somehow think the way we do worship is better than the church down the street, we think it is okay for Christ to grow in us but not in Kanye and we let the fact that other Christians stumble affect our own faith.
“If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect Church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”Charles Spurgeon
That Spurgeon guy seems pretty smart. I love this quote as it hits on so many levels. For me, this is a reminder that I am not perfect and that my faith should not be based on mankind. We are destined to fail. No matter who you are or what you do, you will sin and fall short. As Christians, we must realize that our faith is sustained through Christ, not man. When we realize this, it makes it okay for other Christians to stumble or even disassociate themselves with faith. Spurgeon himself could come back from the dead and denounce his faith and although I am sure some would follow him, I would stay strong. Not because I am smarter than Charles Spurgeon but because my faith is not in Spurgeon. My faith is in Jesus Christ and that is not affected by the faith of any other person. My faith is personal; it is between me and Christ. I love that I get to share it with others, but it is not dependent on them.
All The Wrong Reasons
When I was around 15 or 16 years old I started smoking. I thought it made me cool. Well, it didn’t. Looking back, I don’t think any of my friends would have liked me any less if I did not smoke but I am sure there are those who would have liked me more if I didn’t. At 28 I finally decided to quit. I had tried to quit many times, but it never took. I always went back to it. What changed and made it work this time was that I finally quit for me. I stopped trying to do it for everyone else. I realized that when you do something for someone else you are not putting your whole heart into it and as soon as their influence is gone you go right back to your old ways.
The Right Reason
Faith is a lot like this. If you believe in God because someone else wants you to then you will most likely stop believing when they are gone. Your faith has to be personal. It has to be a connection between you and God. It has to be your heart connected to Christ. Anything else, just won’t cut it. It will not last if you do not want it. When your faith is dependent on the needs and wants of another person then it does not have a firm foundation.
When I see or hear of a Christian who has stumbled or given up, my immediate reaction is to pray for them because I cannot imagine what they are going through. So many Christians are so quick to judge others and lift themselves up. When Lauren Daigle went on the Ellen show, Christians tore her down and accused her of being too worldly. This past week Kanye West released a gospel album and Christians mocked him accused him of not being a “real” Christian. I even saw Christians anticipating Kanye failing and stumbling. Seriously, Christians sitting and waiting for another Christian to stumble and fall. That is hypocrisy at its finest. I have always said be careful the traps you set for others because you may just end up trapping yourself. I don’t know Kanye and I don’t have to. If he professes Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, then I consider it a blessing to be a co-heir to the Kingdom with him. It is not my place to judge his walk or to say that he is somehow not really saved because of who he used to be. J
As Christians, we can either accept that God can save ANYONE, or we change our name to Jonah and run the other way.
If Kanye does stumble, that’s okay too. I will keep praying for him. I think Kanye professing Jesus Christ is amazing, but I caution those who are following him. Do not say you are a Christian because Kanye did. Do not follow Jesus because Kanye did. Seek Jesus and if Kanye is an outlet that God uses to draw you closer to Himself then that is awesome too. Seek Jesus, fall in love with Jesus, follow Jesus. Put your faith in Jesus. If you can do that then it does not matter if Kanye stumbles or not; your faith will remain.