One of the hardest things to do as Christians is to finally see “non-Christians” as equal human beings especially if, like me, you grew up in the egotistical spirituality that I did. It was our job as Christians to help, save and direct those that weren’t Christians. It was our job to be the moral police and salvation picketers of our culture. To make sure everyone knew that they were sinners, and that we knew the answer to their problem because we already had it. Non-Christians had very little to offer the world in terms of truth, love, common sense or intelligence. It’s not that we were smarter, we just we’re more informed had were graced enough with the right answers.
I was talking to a friend the other day who is the father of two who has gone through some rough times losing his job. He was a little bewildered by the lack of support and encouragement that came from his Christian community. What was even odder for him was the strong support he got from his friends that weren’t Christians. It wasn’t weird that his friends were supporting him, it was weird that they were and his Christians community wasn’t. How do you reconcile stuff like that?
Being downtown Sarnia, I am faced with the reality every day that I’m not doing anything ‘more right,’ I’m not holier and I’m not better off than anyone else on my street. Some people that I run into everyday in Sarnia care far more about God’s creation than I do, and they work all day long to help take care of it and treat it properly. The amount of servanthood that goes on downtown way surpasses anything I am doing. Yet these are the things that are supposed to define my life, and I see them defining ‘non-Christians’ lives so much more than most Christians I know.
I realize more and more every day that separations like Christians and non-Christians, whose going to heaven when they die or not; are not relevant or accurate categories to place people in. The best category always is to check if they have a breath and are human, if they do, then pop them into the category of humans that God loves and is relentlessly pursuing them to help them be better at who they were created to be whether they are aware or not.
The separating line I see now is becoming more about intentionality and less about action. Christians are no more than those that ‘intentionally’ try to follow Christ and ‘intentionally’ try to live out his commands. I can’t justify much more than that. A line based on intentions I think has a lot less meaning than one based on actions. Maybe that’s the point, maybe there isn’t supposed to be a visible line between us. You can’t see people’s intentions, and maybe that’s only what God cares about. Then again, maybe it isn’t.
What I do know is that Christians don’t have much to brag about. For every Christian that is doing amazing things, I could find you two non-Christians to balance it. I realize now that those that I run into everyday that wouldn’t consider themselves Christians in any sort of way aren’t much different than myself. The only thing that really makes me different is intention, and even sometimes that is weak. So I guess I’m left wondering where the problem lies. Is it that Christians aren’t being who we are supposed to be and ‘separating’ ourselves, or is it that maybe there is a lot more ‘God’ in people than we think? I’m sort of leaning to the latter.