Low Sodium Christianity (Part 1) – How Do We Season Our World? by Tonja Condray Klein – Revised and posted on 11/06/16
I’ve been a Christian since I was eight years old. I’m now forty-four. Over close to four decades I’ve seen a lot of changes in the various denominations I’ve visited, ranging from more eclectic-styled music (which I LOVE as much as I do standard) and Communion more often (which could promote individual spiritual growth in ways as long as it’s done for the right reasons ). The most recent corporate-minded focus on members (which has gotten out of control, in my opinion) has become a problem with instilling proper leadership by creating a stale and stagnant atmosphere instead . Although my personal faith in Jesus Christ has not wavered, my own respect for many in the current Christian community has, especially because of the way they treat fellow-believers in Christ that may be a little bit different from them in what they wear or have to offer to a “church”. Unfortunately, they also seem to treat non-believers even worse. Now, I’m not talking about the ones who struggle from day to day and try to serve Jesus the best way they can while going through many circumstances most of us can’t relate to. I’m not talking about those who fall into temptation to find themselves in a situation they don’t know how to get out of. I’m also not talking about the majority of regular Christians I’ve met over the years either.
I’m talking about those who act like they’re the only ones who are ‘living right’ while trying to “help” those in the first two categories with what actual amounts to “insincere friendship” that turns into judgmental condemnation behind someone’s back. We need to have loving reason instead. Jesus asks that for each and EVERY person. Those who relegate compassion to just “allowing sin” seem like the same kind of “legalistic elitists” that Jesus faced while He ministered to hurting masses. They were called Pharisees then. That designation has changed over the centuries, but their mandate remains the same and is hurtful to anyone put in the cross-hairs of “pew controllers”. Though I believe Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to avoid Hell and get to Heaven, I don’t ever want to hurt people emotionally or physically. I can agree to disagree with someone who believes something else. I’m NOT accepting their viewpoint. I just try to have a common respect for others that I expect in return. I also refuse to be critical or physically aggressive to “force them to believe” like some who claim to be one of the same group while others claim their true faith has been hi-jacked. Since Christianity has also had that happen in its past, I refuse to gainsay the possibility of it happening to a different belief. I remain Christian by soul-stirring choice every single day.
I want to make something VERY clear before I go any further – I sin everyday. I don’t sin because I think it’s okay. I don’t sin because I can get forgiveness for it later. I sin because although my soul has been saved and my spirit has been quickened through my Faith in eternal Salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the Cross, I still live in this annoying human body that has not been redeemed yet. My spirit longs to walk in all ways pleasing to God, but my flesh still manages to override my spiritual yearnings, striving to fulfill all selfish desires. Sometimes my desires aren’t “wrong” or all that “selfish” usually, just part of the God-given aspects of my unique personality that can be spiritually cultivated to become something good through my relationship with Jesus. Still, I sin, coming short of perfection, and there is no excuse for it even if it always can be forgiven. The thing is, EVERYONE else sins too. This series is not supposed to be something written by someone who ‘has it all together’ to reprimand those who don’t. This is simply meant to reach out to those who are hurt or even confused by why a loving God would ever have followers that seem to hate so easily. This also is to challenge other Christians to take a good look at their own lives to see if they are actually serving Jesus and following His message of Salvation OR just church doctrines that try to make people be just like “them”.
To anyone reading this who has been hurt by a Christian, or church as a whole, I’m sorry for your pain. I’m sorry that we are people first and Christians second. I’m sorry that we can be pious and pompous as long as what you’re doing isn’t something that we’re personally guilty of. I’m sorry that we preach love and acceptance, yet seem to practice dissension and condemnation. This is NOT the way God wants it to be, but since we all have free will, He will not go against that… not even for our own good. Jesus wants people to help each other, reach out to those who are lost, and serve Him with ALL their hearts – not by following a set of rules, but by wanting to show how much they love Jesus by loving others as selflessly as He did and still does. Unfortunately, there are so many people who think that being a Christian means becoming a robot that will pray so many hours a day, read scripture passages all week, and go to church every time the doors open. That’s NOT it at all. It’s not about what you do; it’s about what Jesus already did for you and the intent of your heart as you do what you can for Him in return! God wants people to serve Him because they want to, not because they’re shamed into it by the self-righteous hypocrites who wouldn’t know an act of kindness if it hopped up and bit them right through their padded church pew seats.
Do you know what Christians should be doing to show our hearts truly belong to Jesus? We should be delivering food to the sick and the elderly in our communities instead of building new fellowship halls and campuses. We should be offering child care for the single working parents and poor families, not spending thousands on the playgrounds only used for a Children’s Church to get more tithing parents. We should be helping pregnant women now considering abortion that seem to have no other options by instead supporting the clinics that are Pro-Life that educate them with why the babies growing inside them are living souls, not just unfeeling cells to be discarded, and give them adoption alternatives with support to find solutions to whatever problems they face in carrying their children. We should volunteer time with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those who might not have one any other way. We should be “salt of the Earth” but have lost our savor, the ability to change the world around us through God’s unfailing Love. Many are too busy fighting among ourselves and worrying about the increasing size of church tithe every Sunday for more “Comforts” while this world suffers from this serious spiritual blandness problem that ignores THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THEIR WAY TO ETERNAL HELL WITHOUT CHRIST!
It’s time we got salt-infused again and began seasoning those around us with the flavor of God’s joy and forgiveness. It’s time we all be the hands of Jesus in reality and stop being so heavenly-minded until we’re no earthly good. Judgment is supposed to begin in the House of God… NOT at the world of souls we’re supposed to love in spite of sin that Jesus can take care of on His own if we just show Him through us. John said that Jesus was “not sent into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” EVERY CHRISTIAN NEEDS TO LIVE BY THAT ONE CALLING. ~TCK~
*** All Pictures and Text except for Bible references are owned by Tonja Condray Klein and used for this info website in 2010–16 ***