The Problems With Christians

Hey there, people.

Yeah, you read the title right. The problems with Christians. That’s what I’m going to try to talk about and hopefully make some sense as I go along. If you feel offended. .well, try taking what I said to heart, maybe? Or yell at me in the comments. That works too. Anyways, let’s get started.

So how many of you have heard the song “We Are One In The Spirit?” A part of it says, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Yeah. By our love. What love? How often are we as Christian divided over petty reasons? How often are we not accepting of the other? Why must there be division, and not unity? Why must there be hate, and not love?

In 1 John 4, John writes to a house church and tells them the following: “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love…If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.”

So now you go, “Yeah, sure, I get it. I love everyone, but…” No. No buts. If we love, it’s unconditional love, like God’s love for us. We love everyone no matter what. That’s perfect love.

Now you’re probably asking, “But wait. What if I don’t agree with them? What if they’re heretics? Then what?!” First, let’s stop here for a second. Just because someone doesn’t agree with your or vice versa in no way means that you can’t get along with them. In fact, that shouldn’t be a constant point of conflict in your relationship. If someone is an existentialist, does that mean he’s a heretic and hell-bound? What if he’s Anglican? Catholic? Guess what—it’s not up to us to decide who’s going to hell or who isn’t. It’s up to God. We can go, “But what they believe is wrong and heresy, therefore they’re unsaved!” but that’s not what we’re supposed to do. In Romans 14, Paul says, “But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God….Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God. The man who does not condemn himself by what he approves is blessed.” As you can see, just because we have a conviction/opinion gives us no right to judge people because they believe something else. Honestly, life is too short for us to quibble over petty matters. Is it truly worth it?

You probably are going, “What about all those clearly bonkers? The ones that preach nothing but garbage? Aren’t we allowed to rain fire and brimstone on them?” Answer: No. You’re not. See, no matter how screwed-up someone’s theology might be, no matter how watered down a teaching is, there’s one thing we must remember: Christ is being preached. Paul talked about it in Philippians 1, when he said, “What does it matter? Just that in every way, whether out of false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed.” That is what is important.

All right, let’s change gears a little bit, shall we? I want to talk a little bit about another problem we as Christians often face. How often have we said the phrase “I’ll pray about it”? It’s something of a catch-phrase, isn’t it? When we really don’t feel like doing anything about something someone told us, it’s so easy to say that we’ll just pray about it. But how often is there more that we could do? If someone tells us that he’s having a big exam coming up, don’t just say “I’ll pray for you” when there’s more you can do—offer your assistance! Praying is just one part, doing is another. Anyone can talk, but not everyone will do.

The whole praying thing can be taken even further when it affects what we do in greater ways. Let’s take for example homeless people. How often do we see homeless people on the streets and turn the other way? How often do we try to pretend that they don’t really exist, and work overtime to snuff out our conscience? We come up with excuses: “Oh, I don’t want to give them money because they’ll use it on drugs.” “I couldn’t stop because it looked too dangerous.” But what’s to stop us from making a sandwich for a homeless widow and giving it to them along with a tract? They’re human beings, just like us. And if we don’t love them, who will? It’s not just enough to pray—we have to do. In James 1, it says that “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

There’s so much more I could say on the subject, and I probably will at some point, but for now, I just want to end with one thought: If we’re brothers and sisters in Christ, why don’t we act that way? Why don’t we live that way? We get so caught up in the talking, that we forget the *doing*. Many Christians spend their time figuring out exactly what denomination they are, then spending all their time deciding exactly what they believe and why that is the only truth possible, and assessing who are the saved and unsaved, so that they know who knows the truth; those who do not are often labeled as heretics, because they don’t believe what the others do. What if we spent less time nit-picking on the “irreconcilable differences”, and more on fulfilling the greatest commandment: loving our neighbor as ourselves? We ask why God does nothing when we hear of tragedies around the world, but we forget what He did do: He made us. And until we start doing, there won’t be a difference. It’s up to us. That’s right. Us.

Less than three,
Josh

 

Chronicles of Imaginus: Book 2

What would you know? I’m already on the fourth blog post. Awesome. Anywho, this post is a continuation of the previous post, so if you haven’t read it, you might want to go back a post. Or not. It really doesn’t matter, you know.

Okay. Imaginus. Book 2. Let’s talk about that. Picture a scene with me, all right? It’s June of last year. I’m sitting in a van. It’s a long car trip. I’ve listened to music, read a book, messed around with some apps on my iPod, and am now bored. I pull out my Kindle and open up a notes app, and type in the following:

Time: After the school year during vacation. Chad and Kristy will go to their asenior year in the fall. Chad is still 17 as his birthday is in January. Dayne will be 17 in October.
Prologue: Geolark leader, dabbler in witchcraft, black magic, etc. Working to create a spell or device or whatnot to use on Chad, the Chosen of the One. He has seen their arrival and knows they are coming.
That was the beginning of the second book in the Chronicles of Imaginus series. I had absolutely no idea where this was going to go, but I ended up writing a one sentence summary on what I planned on doing in the book, which was the following: Evil guy uses a signal to draw Chad to his lair and then uses some. .device (work on idea) to control Chad, sort of like Yeerks in order to bring Dayne and Kristy over to his lair to use them to rule Imaginus.

What evil person? What device? I had no clue. But I told myself that November was still far off, so I didn’t have to worry. For the next couple of months, I worked on and off on my rough outline of sorts, adding some stuff, and trying to figure out how on earth it was going to work. One of my good and epic friends, Mercy, read through my outline (which was full of typos thanks to my having written it on a Kindle) and told me what she absolutely loved (read: that her character would be back), and what she absolutely hated (read: there was nothing. Okay, maybe I’m lying.) Between the two of us, I was able to come up with a decent idea for what my antagonist was going to use. I searched around on the Internet until I was able to find a good evil name for my bad guy (Aza’zel), and once that was done, I laid my ideas aside.

Until the last week of October. I started working frantically on obvious plot holes and generally panicked as I waited for November to finally start. And once it did, I started writing quickly, averaging nearly 2,000 words a day (it would’ve been more, but I worked on other stories.) Halfway through the month, I realized some bad news: my novel was not going to reach 50,000 words.

I fell apart. Big time. How was I going to come up with MORE so that I could reach my target? And even if I reached my target, that wouldn’t be enough. My previous book was nearly 65,000 words. This one had to be longer! Frantically, I began reading all the pep talks ever posted on NaNo, and then turned to my rescuer: Mercy. I was literally in tears, and she saved the day as she told me what my problem was. I was rushing through the story (because I wanted to get to the really epic parts) and I wasn’t taking time to develop some of the side characters. But that wasn’t all she did. Mercy gave me several extremely helpful ideas that added nearly approximately 15,000 words (if not more) to my novel, along with so much more helpful criticism and praise. Without her, goodness knows where I would have been by now.

That said, I reached 50,000 words on the 26th—one day faster than the previous year! I still wasn’t done, but I was so sick of writing I set the novel aside and rested for several weeks, hardly touching it. Finally, I spent several days finishing it up, and ended up with over 60,000 words—much more than I had thought I’d have!

Of course, there was editing afterwards. It’s always harder to edit your own work, since you’ve read it so many times already. Still, I was able to find some errors and fixed them. And later RhynalliYah edited Book 2, and I fixed all the errors she found. As of now, she’s going through it a second time, so we’ll see how awful it is after surviving Round 1. I’m also busy in the process of once more self-publishing it as to get my free copies, and hopefully in the near future, start distributing it. Only time will tell.

For the select few who have read Book 2, or for anyone who’s read the first one. .you might want to know what’ll happen in the next book, and if it’ll be the last one. As of now, I do not plan to end it yet. If all goes as planned, there will be four books in the series. Aza’zel (the villain of Book 2) will NOT be returning in Book 3. At least not directly. So far. It will take place about one year after Book 2’s events, so Chad’ll be a freshman in college. I have a basic idea on who I want to be the villain, but other than that, there’s not much that I’m willing to say. You can just wait and see. Unless, of course, your name is Mercy. And your last name starts with a B. And ends in an L. Other than that, no luck.

As always, thanks for sticking around and dropping by. Likes, follows, and comments are appreciated. Have a good one, peoples.

Less than three,

Josh

 If I can stop one heart from breaking/I shall not live in vain/If I can ease one life the aching/Or cool one pain/ Or help one fainting robin/Unto his nest again/I shall not live in vain. –Emily Dickinson