In the two years since I began writing this blog, I have heard some amazing debates and arguements. I have heard from multiple denominations and backgrounds. I have listened to their opinions, even when those opinions were nothing more than arrogance and dead religion. They don’t appreciate the fact that I don’t need to argue. There’s no point. I know who they are and where they are coming from.
I know my audience. This site gets three primary types of visitors.
Women, searching for hope and answers. Men, searching for ways to save their families and marriages. And… Christian men who would gladly argue with a fence post. Men who are looking to pick a fight. The last group tends to be the most vocal. They like to argue and debate. Sometimes they use colorful language to properly insult me.
They feel morally obligated to correct and challenge anyone who doesn’t believe exactly the same as them. They gain knowledge for the sake of taking on fresh ammunition. I see very little joy in their lives. I see less love.
They really seem to enjoy the fact that I don’t normally publish their comments and attacks. Sorry guys. I wasted enough of my life being angry and arguing with everyone. If you happen to be one of those guys, let me offer some simple advice. Let me take a little of that burden off your back.
Do you want to truly impact the world for Christ? Do you want to take a stand and prove your commitment? To defend the things you believe? To stand toe to toe with anyone and deliver an argument that will truly defy anything thrown at you? Well. I have a solution.
Here’s the simplest way to defeat any challenge to your faith. It works with atheists, agnostics, baptists, catholics, squirrels, groundhogs, rabbits and virtually anyone else who might think that your version of Christianity is a joke. It is equally effective on other Christians who might be deceived and questioning your faith. It works in complete defiance of attitude, opinion or hostility. No argument can stand against this simple technique. Ready?
To be honest, most atheists don’t really give a crap what we believe. They are pretty content to enjoy life and make the most of everyday. They don’t burn their lives, hoping for something better after they are dead. They generally learn to enjoy life today. They see our religion as mostly foolishness. They don’t buy into useless traditions and hypocrisy. To be completely honest, after twenty five years in church, I see why.
Our lives rarely match up with the things we claim to believe. We talk and argue about faith and hope and love, but do we display it? Is our Christianity showing up in our daily life? Are we content to just talk about it without actually living it? Are we so busy condemning people for their decisions that we don’t even consider ours? Are we hypocrites? Are we just morality cops?
Christ said that they would know us by our love. Not by our ability to argue or debate. Not by our ties or haircuts. Not even by the amount of scriptures we memorize. He said that our faith becomes legitimate when we love each other.
Stop being so proud and arrogant, that you feel obligated to show off how smart you think you are. Don’t take every opportunity to pick a fight with someone who doesn’t believe the same way that you do. Don’t forget that there was a time when you weren’t a Christian. Someone made Christ real to you and then it happened. I am pretty sure that you didn’t become a Christian because some loud mouth, know-it-all argued it into your head.
Two of my best friends are atheists. They aren’t interested in Christianity. That does not change the fact that I love those guys and consider them my brothers. They don’t bash me. We don’t have any issues between us. It’s just not real to them. They don’t believe the same way I do. They are good men. They are guys I believe in and trust. Their views on Christianity have been shaped by the hypocrisy and foolishness from Christians and other religions.
We have failed them. Nothing about us has impressed them enough to want what we have.
Most of my closest friends are deeply devoted Christians. Those guys tend be as human as anyone else. They make mistakes and fail like the rest of us. The big difference shows up when they see a need. They would bend over backwards to help someone who needs them. Those guys make Christianity real where the rubber meets the road.
Living under Old Testament law doesn’t do it. Working to look like a stereotypical Christian doesn’t do it. Talking like you are perfect and acting pretentious doesn’t do it. Doing it does it. Loving like Christ and living in defiance of your circumstances, having faith and hope regardless of what is going on; that makes it real. Actually loving people makes it real.
A man that is preaches a good game, but doesn’t love has missed it. First Corinthians chapter thirteen tells us that we are wasting our life without love. Being a hero to everyone else, at the expense of our own families is the pinnacle of that foolishness. Don’t bother preaching your theology at me, while your wife and kids despise you.
Christ sacrificed everything for His bride. His life, His potential, His opportunities. Everything. Nothing interfered with His mission. He loved us in defiance of how we treated Him. He showed us how it’s done. He is our example. Preaching one thing, while living another, was what got Him upset. Putting religion over relationships created the Pharisees. Their attitudes and actions caused Christ to grab a whip. Not the personal failures of everyone else. Not sins. Not mistakes. He only condemned the hyper religious people who interfered with humanity’s connection to a loving father. Those guys received the wrath. Nobody else drove our loving Christ to pick up a whip.
Anytime religion is placed higher than relationship, there’s a problem. Anytime your religion inspires you to hate someone, it’s wrong. Anytime your religion turns you into a self righteous, arrogant bully… Well. You get the idea.
God is love, right? We exist because of His desire for relationship. Humanity continues to increase in population because of relationships. Societies thrive when we understand relationship. Children and families do better when daddy understands relationship. Marriages get stronger and wives heal from their past when the husband understands relationship.
That’s worth more than religion. That’s what matters.
Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Love God, love others. Focus on relationship instead of religion. Put your relationship with your own wife and kids above your desire to look like a Christian. Just be one by loving like Christ did. When you are loved most by the ones closest to you, that cancels any arguments against you. Those are the opinions that matter. Worry about impressing them. Love your family. Love God, love each other.
That will eventually silence your critics.
If you need more stuff to help you work this out, here’s some links.
The “Becoming a Better Man” book. 400 pages of life lessons.
My 21 day challenge to become the husband your wife needs.
The website for my counselors. Bestmarriage.com