There seems to be a growing trend of people who claim to love Jesus but don’t want to call themselves Christians.

The way Christians are portrayed in the media may be part of the problem. Why do the loonies at the Westboro Baptist Church get more attention in the media than Christian organizations who go to help communities after every natural disaster? I can’t remember the mainstream media ever reporting on the good work being done by groups like Operation Blessing.

I have talked with many people who say they like the idea of Jesus but can’t stand the Church. When they tell me they can’t stand Christianity, they are usually describing a church group that bears very little resemblance to the true Church that God intended. They describe judgmental hypocrites who hate people of other faiths and are only after your money.

It’s hard to read hateful statements made in the name of my faith. And if this is what Christianity is, I don’t want to be associated with it either. But that is NOT what true Christianity is. And unless someone steps up and shows people that there is a real difference between true Christianity and the loonies, the lunatics will have the last word.

Very few people would tolerate a similar discussion about another group of people and yet they listen to such meanderings about Christianity as if they are hearing something wise. When in reality, they are hearing something that is not only foreign to true Christianity but is insulting to God.

In our modern culture of narcissism, you may think that the easiest way to follow Jesus is from a distance on a solo march to the beat of your own drum — your own personal preferences and already held beliefs. From a distance, you are safe from the assault of the Christian community. But do those around you know that you follow Jesus by what comes out of your mouth or what you post on your Face Book and Twitter page? Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

I don’t believe Christianity is the problem as much as those who claim to be followers of Jesus but refuse to live according to his teachings. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

You see in spite of all of its shortcomings, it’s the people within the Christian community who might actually be some of the best road companions there are. Because you might actually bump into humanity there. Sure, you might meet someone you disagree with. And you might have to listen to music you don’t like. You might even be asked to share your resources with someone less fortunate than you. But you might also learn truths far more important than your preconceived ideas and beliefs and realize just how small you are as you stand among others and worship something other than yourself.

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