By Jacob Jennings
There are two key points I want to make clear: to be uncommon amongst the uncommon, and how America has changed the perspective and truth of Christianity. To put it simply, America has twisted the word of God to fit the American thought process.
We know throughout history people have had misconceptions about Christianity. Such misconceptions in history are the naming of the forbidden fruit; the Bible never names the fruit. Jesus Christ was a white man. Our normal image of Jesus Christ is a white bearded man, kind of like a 70s hippie; this was not how Jesus looked. Jesus Christ was a man from the Middle East. The paintings we see that are known as him are really based on Cesare Borgia, second son of Pope Alexander the sixth of Rome. The three “wise men” or “kings” were not kings but magi of the Jewish sect of Kabbalah, sent by Herod and transformed by the miracle of God.
So, why does this matter? These are just some instances of misconceptions about what history really entailed. Humans have always been bad at keeping little details correct. The further you go back in history the harder it is to be correct; we’ve begun to value assumptions over fact. This changing of scripture to fit our morals is something I have noticed not only in other people, but in my own life as well.
Acts 20:30 says, “Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them.” America has entered the age of social media, tech and shortcuts. We have grown an insatiable appetite for instant results, but that is not the truth of Christianity.
Christianity is a rollercoaster: some days you feel great, and others you do not. In this religion, you will fail over and over and over again before succeeding. This identity of doing whatever you want because American society tells you it is OK is wrong.
James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” All sin is equal. Man has transgressed this and says certain sins are worse than others. That is a false teaching. Lying, in God’s eyes, is exactly the same as murder. So therefore, everyone is a sinner, correct?
No matter how small or unimportant, sin is sin. American culture has changed this, placing certain sins above others because of human morality. We know human hearts are evil; Scripture says so. How are we to trust something that deceives us? I do not mean to be demoralizing or a beat anyone down, but to be eye-opening.
In all honesty, I am a very poor Christian. I struggle every day with cussing and do not deserve to be forgiven. Some days it is pretty bad and other days I feel accomplished for going more than 24 hours without having the words come from my mouth. We all fail. That being said, what the Bible says is what the Bible says, it is the whole and undeniable truth. To question it, to pervert it to fit our struggle or to say it is outdated in American society, is perfidious.
That is a little bleak, is it not? Ephesians 2: 8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” God has saved us with grace, regardless of all our wrongdoings, and the grace of God is something which will always override our sins. This does not mean go out and sin willy-nilly. The Bible still commands us to follow it to the best of your ability, but it does say our God is a loving and forgiving God.
Be uncommon amongst uncommon people. The Christian community is a small one, one that many people are afraid to join because of judgement. But what is it to us? To be uncommon you first have to examine yourself and the things you hate to look in the mirror and see. Accept your own sins.
Many people cannot do this. We run and hide from our flaws, push judgement of ourselves onto others. When I say be kind to everyone, I do not mean be kind to people who are like you, like Pharisees. I mean be kind to everyone regardless, like Jesus. However, do not forget how Jesus rebuked outright sin and evil. He loved the sinners with a good heart, but when we sin, knowing our evil intent, it is outright defiance of God’s command.
Look at yourself, examine yourself and go to the dark parts of your mind, the things about yourself that scare you. Then you have a starting point. The more often you put it off, the further back you move the starting point. You have to be truly honest with yourself, and the truth can be ugly. Do not triple down on your strengths. God has blessed us with our gifts. Triple down on your weaknesses as a Christian. At the end of this article, I have one question: who are you?