In 2006 famous musician, Elton John was quoted saying,
“From my point of view I would ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it. I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book. But the reality is that organised religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.”
– Elton John, The Observer, November 12, 2006
Elton John points out what a lot of people are thinking. A lot of people think Christians are these hypocrites, who are anti everything and hate all people with different beliefs. And too often we as Christians prove them right.
But is this what Jesus came to say? In a previous post I talked about how the church has been misrepresenting Jesus. Well maybe it’s because even those in the church have misunderstood the message of Jesus. The Bible isn’t simply full of these “cute” stories with good morals, the Bible contains life changing truth. The truth that before the universe ever existed God choose us. God’s love is so great that he wanted humans to experience it, knowing he could not force us to choose his love he created us with a free will. He knew the risk of doing this would mean that some would choose to walk away from his love. Yet he invites us into this relationship, and this adventurous life with him. The best part is that this isn’t limited to the VIP access cards, but this is an open invitation for all people.
These “stories” in the the Bible need to go beyond stories that we hear and become life changing truths to us. When that happens Christian will catch what Jesus and God is all about; which is love. The two greatest commandments are Love God, and Love people.
In order to change the way the world views Christians we need to start living the way Jesus taught us to live, with compassion and love.