Wow. We’re watching this amazing documentary through Netflix called “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers“. I’m amazed. Truthfully, when I saw the title, I was sure it would be another of those “Why Christians Suck” documentaries. But, thankfully, it’s not.
It’s made by Dan Merchant – a self-professed evangelical who totally wanted to get actual conversations with people about their feelings about God. Whether they believe or not, whether they’re Christian or atheist. Wanting to really get people’s opinions about Christians and what they’re doing wrong or right.
This is a really good description of how I feel as a Christian. So many of us out there are so busy being RIGHT that we’re completely not being GODLY. Right now, I’m watching a scene where the filmmaker set up a confession booth at this festival in Portland that’s huge in the gay community. Not for the festival attendees, but for him as the filmmaker to apologize to people for the condemnation, hate, judgment, and all the things that Christians and the church have done to alienate them. To say “I’m sorry” for the disapproval, the hatred, the discrimination that these people have endured by the hands of Christians in general and even what he, personally, has done. This is AMAZING. THIS is it. This is Jesus.
What so many of us as Christians have forgotten in the midst of all the culture/societal chaos we’re faced with is the Gospel of love. The Jesus did everything He did out of LOVE. Not out of pride or being RIGHT or showing how much holier He was than everyone around Him. Jesus wants His LOVE shown. Nobody has become closer to Christ because of someone telling them over & over how wrong they are.
The film tells stories in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and how those whose lives were decimated by this tragedy were simply floored by those people who just dropped their lives to come and help because that’s what God wanted them to do. The African-American communities who were blown away by these Caucasian people who just came and DID. Not looking for thanks or press or media. The residents were talking about the love that was shown them – love they’d never seen before even from their closest friends & neighbors. THIS is it.
This movie has really spoken to me. I think I’m done with the rhetoric, the arguments, the incessant need to be RIGHT on the hot-button issues. It’s about love. It’s about meeting people right where they are and being Jesus for them. I don’t care about anything else. I don’t care about conservative or liberal or politics. I care about people. And trying desperately to love them like Jesus would.
Wow. Here’s another segment about Night Strike – a group whose mission it is to go out to the homeless communities to give haircuts, serve food, talk with them, bring new clothes and, most emotionally for me, wash their feet. These missionaries (because that’s what they are) are down on the ground with men & women who most of us wouldn’t even look at, much less have that kind of intimate contact with, taking off their shoes and socks and washing their feet with their own hands. Being vulnerable with and for them. Being Jesus.
I cannot recommend this enough – especially for Christians. If we want to continue to be a viable, useful tool for the Kingdom, we have got to start talking WITH each other rather than AT each other. We have to be able actually care about people rather than just jumping in and jamming our “rightness” down their throats. How can we expect others to listen to us when we walk around with our fingers in our ears, refusing to hear what those others are saying. It’s no wonder so many people don’t even want to KNOW a Christian, much less talk to one. We need to be less hypocritical, less condemning, and far less hateful. And take opportunities to discredit the hateful condemnation they’re hearing from people like Pat Robertson & Westboro Church. I love the idea of apologizing, too.
I know I’m sorry for the things I’ve believed, done and said that caused pain for those in the gay community or brought judgment or condemnation on people. I need to jump up and BE more and SAY less. Be Jesus. That’s my prayer. Help me, Lord, to just shut up and be Jesus.Tweet