As many of you know I don’t really understand what the word ‘Christian’ means these days but I want to correct something…I actually do know what the word Christian means, what I don’t understand is how people interpret it in so many different, and in my opinion, often inaccurate ways.
Let’s set the record straight. To be a Christian means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To emulate him and become what some call little Christs here today. To be Christian means to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and to try to demonstrate the virtues that Christ demonstrated while here 2000 years ago.
So that means to act in a way that is contrary to those teachings, example and virtues would be ‘un-Christlike’ and in turn ‘un-Christian’.
I was in Auckland City today when I saw the latest billboard at St Matthew in the City…and how it has been defaced.
In case the above image is not clear to you, it’s an interpretation of Noah’s Ark, where the caption is ‘Welcoming two of every kind’, the twist is that all the animals are the same sex, two male lions, two female cows etc…and it’s advertising St Matthew’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender services on a Sunday evening. A fairly clever spin on the old bible story aimed at the community they want to attract.
What is written in orange spray paint over the from of the billboard, to the best of my deciphering is…Harvest Time Great Division! Followed by several scriptures. 1 Peter 4:17, 1 John 2, Ezekiel 33, Matthew 13: 25-42 and 2 Timothy 3: 2-5. Now I have linked the verses above but this post isn’t about one person’s interpretation of scripture. I think we can safely assume by the look of the verses quoted that it’s someone pointing the finger at St Matthews and telling them to sort out their ‘sin’ and claiming they have the right to because of how they interpret the bible.
I come back to the idea of what it means to be a ‘Christian’. To me what is demonstrated by the person, or people, illegally defacing St Matthew’s property is ‘un-Christlike’ and therefore ‘un-Christian.’ Whoever is responsible for that is not following the teachings, example or virtues of Christ who told us to ‘love one another as I have loved you‘. Jesus Christ was a man who served ‘sinners’, who often chose to put himself below people even though he had every right to be treated like royalty of the day.
I challenge the person or people who wrote those unloving, judgemental words to attend one of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender services at St Matthews. I’m going to, what are you afraid of…that you might enjoy it? That those whom you pour scorn on don’t retaliate with some ‘righteous burning coals’…but with love? Are you worried that they may be more ‘Christian’ than you? That they may demonstrate more of the love, the teachings, the virtue and the example of the Christ than you? Maybe so.
I’ll see you at St Matthews tonight.