I don’t watch Duck Dynasty. I don’t know much about it other than they wear a lot of camo, seem to have made their fortune by selling duck calls (is that even right?), and they are Christians.
At a recent “prayer breakfast” in Florida, Phil Robertson spoke about a hypothetical scenario in which gruesome and horrific things happen to a family of atheists.
Throughout the day yesterday my facebook news feed was full of friends sharing these articles and having online discussions about Phil Robertson, Christianity, “the church”, atheists, and other related topics.
I have not commented publicly on any of these facebook posts but have chosen instead to share my thoughts here.
I do not at all agree with anything Phil Robertson said. I do not condone or support his comments in any way but, at the same time, I do not write this to judge or condemn Phil Robertson.
Only God knows what is in his heart.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my heart instead.
I am disturbed and greatly saddened by Robertson’s comments and the discussions those comments have provoked because, to many, Phil Robertson is one of the more prominent faces of Christianity in our country. Many of my facebook friends, people I dearly love, and people who openly are not Christians see this man as a public representation of “Christianity” and they are understandably turned away by it. I have read a lot of Christianity and church “bashing” within the past day and I understand where it comes from.
Phil Robertson’s comments and the following conversations have raised many questions in my own heart.
As Christians, how do we share our hearts and the love of Jesus with others without being judgmental, “holier than thou”?
How do we profess and share our faith while still having open, accepting, and loving hearts?
I am not afraid to speak out about what I believe.
I am not afraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and I am not afraid of offending people.
But I do want to be sure that, as I share my faith, I am always “walking in the way of love.” (Ephesians 5:2)
As a Christian, if I really believe the words of Jesus in John 14:6 where He says:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
If I really believe in the eternal life available through Jesus and I know that He is the only way to everlasting life …
If I really believe that we will all face judgment and spend eternity in either heaven or hell …
How do I not share what I believe, what I KNOW to be true with the people I love the most?
I cannot be afraid. I believe I have been given the opportunity and the responsibility to share God with the people I love. As a Christian who KNOWS the good God has done, is doing, and will do in my life I don’t have the right to be silent.
I KNOW these things to be true because Jesus said them. I KNOW that Jesus is the Son of God and I know that He came to save us all.
I also know that not all of my friends share these same beliefs but, with all due respect, whether or not we believe in a thing is not what determines it’s truth.
Jesus Christ is true whether we choose to believe in Him or not.
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
1 John 5:20
I want to be a person who is open and accepting of other’s faith and belief systems but if I really care about you shouldn’t I share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you?
Is it loving you too much if I share the life that I have found through Christ?
Would I be a caring friend if I knew “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and I chose not to share it because I was afraid I would offend, or hurt feelings, or look stupid or awkward?
I grew up in church but only since coming to Christ as an adult have I realized that everlasting life is not just something we receive after our death here on earth.
We are given everlasting life in the here and now the moment we accept Christ into our hearts. It is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t received Christ – I know because, although I am not new to Christianity, I am new in Christ. I remember not “getting it.” I can still remember the “old” me
I thought I was “good” before but I had no idea what “good” meant – none of us do really. I was just like so many of my friends – kind, caring, loving, generous, smart, intelligent – a “good person”, but we don’t decide “good” -ness. We aren’t qualified; only God is qualified to make those determinations.
And I know that becoming a Christian has not made me a judgmental, hypocritical, hateful person. In actuality the opposite has been true for me. Becoming a Christian and receiving Christ into my heart has made me less of those things, not more.
For me, Christianity has been a realization and an admission that I don’t have all the answers.
I don’t know all the ”rights” and “wrongs” and I never will.
But that’s okay – because only God knows:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
I don’t need to understand it all because I can trust that my Heavenly Father will work all things together for my good. (Romans 8:28)
Christianity has also meant that I have so much more power available to me – so much more to rely on than just myself – and that has been so freeing and so liberating and so encouraging. God has come through for me time and time again.
So to my friends who don’t believe as I do …. If you know me you know my heart and I hope that you KNOW I have only love for you. Please help me as I am learning and growing in my faith. Please help me to share my heart, the heart that has been given to me by Christ with you in a loving, nonjudgmental way. I would love to know more about what you think and what you believe not in an attempt to “convert” you 😉 but I would love to have those discussions, especially with those of you I love. So to everyone who read this, especially if you don’t believe as I do, thank you for listening, thank you for reading, thank you for allowing me to share yet another story of my heart.