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Take Up Your Cross

Spirit of God

It occurred to me recently we Christians are not fully following Jesus’ instructions, which he spells out quite clearly.
 
Christians are often treated, like children, as if they should be seen and not heard; however, Jesus himself told all his disciples to be exactly the opposite. It is implied, if not voiced, Christians should practice their faith in their homes, at church or in prayer groups, in other words, behind closed doors, where no one else can see them. Public display or discussion is frowned upon, if not banned by political correctness.
 
Unfortunately, Christians are buying into the propaganda to silence themselves by censoring themselves and other Christians by stopping all outwardly Christian speech and behavior. Being told the Christian thing to do is be tolerant of others and their sins, regardless of the intolerance so blatantly displayed against them, Christians are starting to believe they have no right to speak of their faith in public because it might offend others of different or no faith. The reality has everything to do with the persecution and silencing of Christians. Non Christians have maligned the U.S. Constitution and the Words of Jesus Christ to convince Christians they are infringing on the rights of others and to be more like Jesus Christ, who in the minds of non Christians, media and certain politicians, is tolerant of all people and their sins, be it beliefs or actions.
 
This mindset…

  1. keeps Christians behind closed doors
  2. keeps Christians from preaching the Word as instructed
  3. tells Christians to be tolerant of sinful behavior
  4. makes Christians ashamed to speak of Jesus Christ, God and their faith in public
  5. revokes the rights of Christians guaranteed them by the U.S. Constitution

In John 20:19, the disciples are much like Christians today “hiding behind closed doors” when the Resurrected Jesus Christ “came and stood in their midst.” He made it quite clear to them He did not want them hiding behind closed doors, as He instructed them in John 20:21 “as the Father sent Me, I also send you.” He wanted them, and us, to get out and spread the Word as He did. Once again, in Matthew 10:7, Jesus says, “as you go, preach The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Many Christians are preached to by non-Christians "judge not lest ye be judged". However, those who like to preach "judge not lest ye be judged" do not understand the context and look for an excuse to continue & justify their sin. Non-Christians would have one believe this line means "to criticize the sin means to condemn the sinner." Nothing is farther from the truth. It also does not mean sin is acceptable or that it should be tolerated. It means you cannot condemn the sinner for the sin, as you too are a sinner. However, the Bible does tell you to preach to the sinner the "Kingdom of God is at hand" and to repent for their sins. People tend to like to throw "judge not lest ye be judged" in the face of those who hold Biblical morals because it is their only retort and most Christians do not know how to respond. Yet, it is more a catch-all to justify sinful behavior believing it eliminates them from responsibility.
 
Tolerance. The synonym for tolerance is acceptance. Therefore, when a Christian is told to be tolerant, they are being told they should be accepting. In regards to tolerance of sinful behavior and other religions, Jesus tells us not to accept sinful behavior in Matthew 10:11-15 “and whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” Jesus told people many times to end their sinful behavior. In John 5:14, Jesus, after finding the man He healed in the temple, said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” And, in John 8:11, Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” Jesus was not tolerant or accepting of the sin of this individual. He does not condemn the individual, but He bluntly tells them to go and sin no more. We, as Christians, do not condemn the sinner either, but we do expect them to go and sin no more. When confronted by those who worshipped other gods or no god at all, Jesus answered them in John 14:6 with “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” St. Paul also spoke against other beliefs, most infamously, against the worship of the Greek goddess Artemis. Once again, we, too as Christians, should not be merely accepting of other beliefs, but instead, should be preaching the Word of God. We should be enlightening people to the ways of Jesus Christ, so, they can be freed from sin and follow in the path of Jesus Christ. Jesus is merciful to the repentant sinner not tolerant of the sin or the non-repentant sinner.
 
When we Christians accept the ‘politically correct’ notion that we should not so much as mention Jesus’ name outside of our homes, churches and prayer groups, we are demonstrating our shame of our faith in Jesus. Out of fear of being ridiculed, derided, scoffed at, publicly humiliated or, worst yet, censored, we, instead, censor ourselves and our brethren. Is this what Jesus expects of us? When Jesus was charged with blasphemy, did He censor himself? Did he apologize? Did he promise never to speak or preach in public again? Even when faced with scourging, mockery and crucifixion? No! Instead, Jesus confronts His accusers. When He is questioned by the high priest in Mark 14:61-65, Jesus responded “I am [the Christ, the Son of the blessed God], and you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the power of God…” When Jesus is confronted by Pilate in John 18:33-38, Jesus answers “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Not once does He censor Himself or deny Himself or what He has declared. Yet, we, for the sake of political correctness, deny Him, just as Peter denied Him. We run to the safety of our homes, our churches, our prayer groups just as the other apostles ran to the safety of the place they hid behind closed doors when our Lord came to them after His resurrection. Was it not Jesus who, in Luke 9:26 and Mark 8:38, said “For whomever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels’?
 
Jesus said, “you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake”, Matthew 24:9. In Matthew 16:24, Matthew 10:38, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 and Luke 14:27, Jesus repeatedly said “Take up your cross daily and follow me.” The persecution of our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is our cross as Christians to bear. Our choice, as Christians, will be whether or not we will listen to the true words of Jesus Christ, follow His instructions and bear our cross or will we give in to popular demand, deception and manipulation of His words by those who wish to persecute, if not eliminate Christians and Christianity from the world.
 
Do we, as Christians, do as Jesus Christ has asked of us by going and preaching the Word of God, or do we live hiding behind closed doors, embarrassed of Him and in shame of being a Christian in public?
 
I, for one, will always speak of Jesus Christ to others whether with words or actions. Whether in the real or virtual world of the Internet, I will continue to make positive posts/comments regarding Jesus Christ and the Word of God when I want and where I want regardless of who claims I can or cannot because I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ rather than the politically correct news media, politicians and non-Christians.
 
I declare to all:
I am a Christian.
I know Jesus Christ is not only the Son of the one true Living God, but He is one with Him and the Holy Spirit.
I will not hide behind closed doors to conceal my faith.
I will “go and preach saying the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” and if I am not welcome, I will “shake [your] dust off my feet” and move on.
I will not be ashamed of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His words by not speaking of him in public for fear of offending others.
I will proudly take up my cross, my faith, in this ever increasingly faithless world, and bear it for all to see as Jesus Christ did for me so many years ago.
 
Lastly, the United States Constitution does NOT say separation of Church and state. It does say…
Amendment 1. Religious establishment prohibited. Freedom of speech, of the press, and right to petition.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
 
For those who are unaware or misguided by those who wish to persecute, the persecution of Christians is forbidden in this, the First Amendment. When people fled to this country out of religious persecution, those fleeing were Christian religions fleeing persecution by other Christian religions. Religion here does not mean Christianity. It means the United States shall not make any law stating the United States is a Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, etc., nation. Not allowing Christians to worship because they are paid by public taxes (ie: military service personnel, chaplains, etc.) denies these individuals their “free exercise thereof”. Preventing a religious leader to make a religious statement, be it a prayer or quote from the Bible abridges their “freedom of speech” as well as prohibits their “free exercise there of.” When one wants to defame the Christian faith or one of the many Christian religions, immediately, they hide behind their “freedom of speech”. You cannot have it both ways. You either allow everyone or you allow no one.
 
Many will not read this to this point. Of those of you who do, after reading this, I wonder, how many will “take up your cross” and “follow” Jesus.



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Linda Kelly Lee | September 15th 2011 at 1316111911

Nice blog and the words are ever so true. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

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