Today, my heart is heavy. Of course, I am mourning with the people in Haiti who have suddenly lost loved ones, and are dealing with the aftermath of the recent earthquake there. The photos and videos are heart wrenching! Yet, there is another tragedy that my heart is mourning over. I feel pity for Christians who see God as an angry and unforgiving God, who’s only nice toward them if they are “good.” These Christians have never experienced God’s unconditional love (or, if they have, they have forgotten it) and truly fear His judgment for themselves. They believe that God has a big bucket full of wrath that He’s ready to pour on them if they ever fail to “live a righteous life.” They are insecure Christians, and out of this insecurity, they have a need to judge others in order to make themselves righteous and feel better about themselves. They are the ones saying that the disaster in Haiti is a curse that God has brought upon the people of Haiti for practicing Voo-Doo, or having “made a pact with the Devil” generations ago. These Christians believe that the reason Haiti has suffered thus is because God has finally unleashed His wrath upon them.
Some are saying, but look, these Christians are also rallying help for the Haitian people, so they do have compassion for them. Let me ask you this: When you are down on your luck, through things not in your control (like unemployment, or flood, or earthquake), does it make you feel good to receive help from people who have made it clear to you that you’ve “brought this upon yourself”? Well then, how do you think the Haitians would feel receiving help from these Christians who have first condemned them?
My heart breaks for the Haitian people who heard these proclamations. These words cannot be farther from the truth! My spirit is grieving at the pain caused by these reckless words from people who claim to know God. By their words, these Christians are showing me (and the world) that they don’t know the heart of God for people at all. Instead of being the bearers of Good News, they bring condemnation.
Oh, if these Christians would just understand that through Jesus, God has already made the whole world righteous before Him, that ALL humanity has been restored to our Creator, and we (ALL humanity) can approach God as confidently as His children, and even climb onto His lap if we want to. He is always welcoming us, ALL of us, whether we believe or not, with open arms. Jesus has finished the job of making us right with God once and for all, for ALL mankind, for ALL eternity. THIS is the true Gospel that brings joy and peace! THIS is the real Good News!
If I can have the audience of these insecure Christians, I’d like to tell them:
You can be set free from this insecurity, to never have to feel the rollercoaster of feeling high or low depending on your performance again, if you’d only embrace the truth of God’s unconditional love for you, and accept all that Jesus has already done for you. Repentance is nothing more than a change of mind to accept Jesus as who He said He is (the Son of God who came to earth in the flesh), and thereby accepting this Father-child relationship with God that’s been given to you before you were even born. And all that’s required for righteous living is to acknowledge that God is real and loves you deeply, and then just relax and let Him change you through His unconditional love from the inside out. He is gentle and kind, and all the while never keeping score of your performance. The Christian To Do List that you feel you need to do in order to be “good Christians” (which changes depending on which group you’re with) is a religion that people came up with (by twisting God’s truth) to control other people.
Come to really know God for yourself, instead of through someone else. Listen to the Holy Spirit in your heart, and stop following those man-made rules of the Pharisees. Let God reveal His unconditional love to you, and stop keeping scores (of either your own or others’ performance). Rest from your own strife to be righteous, and you will have no more need to put down or condemn other people.
How do I know this? I know this because I have lived the insecure life of a Pharisee and nearly died in the process. I am thankful for my second chance at life, and am living each day in the freedom and joy of His unconditional love. God loves you very much. Don’t waste anymore time living like a Pharisee. Come and experience His love for you, then you will really have Good News to share with the world!