Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What do you believe?

A woman called the other day to ask about my ministry.
Note: I am a minister with a small wedding chapel.
After asking the name of my church, she asked,
“Do you believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Lord
and Savior?”
“I am sorry you asked me that,” I said. “You are checking me out.”
“Yes, I am checking you out. Why are you sorry?”
“Because what you just did does not come from Jesus.”
“What do you mean?”
“Jesus nowhere in the gospel says you should judge others by
WHAT they believe.”
“I believe he does. Faith is all important!”
“You will not find that in the gospel. May I ask YOU a question?”
“Okay,: she said, after a pause.
“Where does your faith come from?”
“Whaddya mean, where does it come from?”
“Is it something you deserve or earned?”
“Well, no.”
“Is it something you reasoned to or achieved by yourself?”
“Well, no.”
“Does it come from God?”
“Of course!”
“Is it a gift of God? Something you could not obtain on your own
“Well, yes.”
“Well, are you taking a gift of God and judging me by God’s gift, which
you could not earn or deserve?”
“So? I think I have the right to do that. We Christians have the right
and responsibility to judge others.”
“Really? Where do you find that in the Bible?”
“Lots of places. I will look it up and tell you.”
“Please do. Now if you really wanted to know whether or not I am a follower
of Jesus, there is another question you could ask.”
“What is that?” She replied, now curious.
“What have you done lately out of love of God and love of neighbor?”
(Silence. In the pause I wondered if this was the “teachable moment?” Then I thought “Risk it, only God knows.”)
I continued, “ Did Jesus say we are to be judged by HOW we behaved, how we love?
“Yes, I guess so.”
“Did he say we will be judged by how we treat the least of our brethren.”
“Who are the least of YOUR brethren?” she asked. I thought I detected a note of sarcasm.
“Well, I am sure you know the passage.”
“Well (pause) which passage?”
“Please look up the gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, verses 36 and following.”
“What is there?” She asked.
“This is where the Lord of heaven tells us how he will separate the sheep from the goats.”
“Of course I know that passage!” She added quickly. “Thank you for your LESSON!” Now there was a definite note of hostility.
“I said, “You are welcome! God bless you.”
She hung up.


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