I've had a concept that has been floating in the vast abyss of my mind as of late. In fact, this post has been begun, deleted, restarted and deleted again.
Here's the thing. Jesus Christ is controversial. As a follower of Christ, I should be controversial. In fact, ALL followers of Christ should be controversial, but, for the most part, we are simply not. Sadly, those that are, are rarely controversial for any of the reasons Jesus was.
When was the last time you ate dinner with a pimp or a gang member at their house?
Have you ever befriended a drug addicted prostitute?
If given the opportunity, would you publicly decry Church leaders taking advantage of church members or elevating their position?
Do you truly love others regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or pasts? How about atheists, agnostics, universalists, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, homosexuals, transgendered individuals or what about those that simply hate you?
Let me set a scene for you.
A young girl is exiting an office building. She's looks about 20 years old with shoulder length brown hair and a pretty face. Nothing about her is striking. She takes a step onto the asphalt and she keeps her head down as she is trailed by a young man also about her age.
On the sidewalk running parallel with the edge of the parking lot, a small crowd of individuals with hand-made signs have gathered. They are not there specifically for her, but in a way, they are. One sign says, "Abortion Kills Babies." There are others, but girl about 9 years old, also pretty with shoulder length brown hair is holding a sign that says "Abortion Kills Children."
One woman in particular, in her mid-forties with cropped blond hair framing her pudgy flushed cheeks, yells out "I hope you're not one of them baby killers!! Abortion's a sin, you know!!!"
Instead of slowing her pace, the young woman, visibly uncomfortable, hastens to make it to the safety of her vehicle.
Now, I ask you, the controversial Jesus whose name we just love to bandy about, where would He be standing in this scenario? Would He be holding a sign? Or rather, would He stand in between the young woman and the protesters asking for those that had never responded in anger to anyone remain? Would He put His arm around her after the protesters had gone and told her it would be ok, but that there was a better choice? Would His eyes be filled with Love and His action be filled with hope? I think so.
Who is this Jesus we say we follow really? Are we really following Him?
Yes, Jesus is controversial. Yes, American Christianity is also controversial, but typically for polar opposite reasons.
I ask you, if you have found yourself controversial, was it as Christ was or was it simply in His name?
I could set scene after scene where "the world" clashes with "the church" and I bet MOST of the time, Jesus would not be standing with us.