A Christian Nation?

America, you are not a Christian Nation.  

This has nothing to do with how many Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc. live within our borders.  (In fact, I have seen many   non-Christians" acting in Christ like ways.) It has EVERYTHING to do with WHO WE ARE.  It has EVERYTHING to do with HOW we act/behave. (And not just on the "public stage.")

I went to look up the word Christian in the dictionary.  It can be a noun:   one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ OR an adjective:  a: of or relating to Christianity (Christian scriptures), b: based on or conforming with Christianity (Christian ethics) 2a: of, relating to, or being a Christian   (Christian responsibilities) b: professing Christianity (Christian affirmation)
3 treating other people in a kind or generous way 

Based on the above definitions and what I see in national (and even global) news, we are NOT a Christian nation.  

That is not to say that there aren't plenty of people out there who can truly be called Christian.  Sadly, they seem to be few and far between and they rarely make the evening news. These are people who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and who ACT in a Christ-like way.  

What does that mean?  To me it is clearly stated in Matthew 7:12:  So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets and in Matthew 22: 37-40:  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

A clergyman (or woman) is NOT a Christian if he/she abuses his or her power/authority.  An elected official (be it national or local) is NOT a Christian if he/she does not treat his/her constituents as he/she treats him/herself.   That person in the pew next to you is NOT a Christian if he/she does not act as charitable outside of the church as he/she does inside. The words/teachings of Christ mean nothing if we do not follow them regularly/daily.  It's not something that we can just pick and choose.  We can't to treat person A with respect and not person B if we want to be considered Christian.

That doesn't mean that we all have to be perfect.  Being human, we all fail as we practice being good Christians.  We make mistakes.  We screw up.  (I know I am sooooo guilty of this.)  But if we are to be Christians, we ask God forgiveness.  We ask those who we have "sinned" against to forgive.  And we do our best to "sin no more."  (Just check out John 8: 1-11)  It is not enough to ask for forgiveness or be forgiven, we must make a commitment to be better people.  To not commit the same sin again.  To be responsible for our actions and our words.

I've thought about this a great deal lately.  I want to consider myself a Christian.  (I purposely didn't say "good"' Christian because what is a BAD Christian?  There shouldn't be such a thing.  Either your follow the ways of Christ to the best of your ability or you don't.  If you don't...well then ARE you a Christian?)  However, there have been too many times recently where I have found myself lashing out and acting in ways that I am not proud of.  My behavior may be the result of exhaustion, stress, hormones and a whole boatload of things, but what it boils down to is that I have NOT acted as a Christian in several aspects of my life.  And I am DETERMINED to change that.  It's going to take work on my part.  It's going to require a commitment.  I need to reset my heart and my mind.  It's NOT going to be easy and I WILL stumble and fall.  But I AM DETERMINED.

America may not be a Christian nation, but I AM A CHRISTIAN.  I plan on living my life following Christian teachings to the best of MY ability.  (Your mileage may vary!) I want my life to reflect my faith and not just give lip service to words on a page.  Think of the kind of world (the KIND world?) we would have if we all just tried to follow just the last part of the definition of Christian (as it comes from Merriam Webster):  treating other people in a kind or generous way?  If I might amend it a bit and say, if we treated ALL living things in a kind way, certainly this world would be a better place. 


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