It is no secret that much of the world dislikes (at least) Christians. Many Christians, on the other hand seem to take this as some sort of affirmation since they are “hated because of Jesus.” Unfortunately, that is not the only reason.
Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I just don’t like your Christians.” I believe this is because there is an air of arrogance among Christians that is all too common. It is ironic to me that the very thing that we should be most humbled by creates this attitude of being better than others. That is, the saving grace offered to all by Jesus Christ’s supreme sacrifice. We are all “saved by grace, and that not of your own selves, lest anyone should boast.” Yet, boast we do.
Christians are often judgmental. Jesus told us that only God will judge, but His would-be followers seem to take upon themselves to be His proxy in determining who is a Christian, what defines a Christian and whether or not they are adequate at being such. Not to get political (that is not my point today), but prominent, well-respected Christian leaders, Franklin Graham and Rick Warren have each taken it upon themselves to declare that presidential candidate Mitt Romney is not a Christian.
Franklin Graham stated that Newt Gingrich is, because he claims to be such, but Romney is not, despite that Romney also claims to follow Christ. Rick Warren says that “the sticking point” is that Mormons do not believe in the Trinity as three separate beings as the “majority of Protestant religions and Catholics do.” There are two major flaws with that statement. First is that Catholics do not believe in the Trinity as three separate beings, but rather as one being who appears in three different forms. His second error is that Mormons do actually believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three separate beings and state so in their first article of faith.
As an ex-mormon, I will gladly discuss my disagreements with that belief system and reasons that I chose to leave it, but the doctrine of the Trinity is pretty sound in that respect and Rick Warren simply does not have his facts straight. My concern here, however, is with Christ followers claiming that they are in a position to judge who is or is not a Christ follower. Isn’t that for Jesus Christ to determine?
Truth be told, it hurts all of us and diminishes our integrity as representatives of Jesus to claim from God what He says is only His… Judgement is The Lord’s.