who is jesus what is our relationship to the other people in the world? How are we supposed to behave? Who should we and our children be around? As individual Christians, we have very clear Biblical instructions and examples for who we should seek out and who we should avoid. Based on their behavior, the Biblical instructions in this article may come as a big surprise to a majority of Christians, today.
How Christians Treat Others: Ever heard someone say we Christians should be separate from those outside of Christ? Many teach that Christians should avoid the World and anyone who does not profess Christianity. There is no question a lot in the Bible tells us not to be part of the worldly way of living. But, does that translate into separating ourselves as much as possible from the other people in the world? Based on the behavior of most Christians, today, you’d have to say, “Yes!” I remember leading an evangelistic ministry in my first post. My success met with the disdain and outright opposition of the church members in this “evangelical” church. They didn’t want those “sinners” around their children. I saw one church member actually tell a visitor to move…that he was sitting in her seat. It’s clear that many in the Church don’t want anyone in until they’ve already accepted Christ and eradicated sin from their lives…it wouldn’t hurt if they dressed up, too.
We go so far as to set up “Christian” stores, businesses and activities so we don’t have to come in contact with “sinners” any more than necessary. Many churches and individual Christians purposely contract with “Christian” lending institutions, construction companies, insurance companies and other businesses, even at a higher cost. We go to Christian gyms, apparently because we don’t want any sinner’s sweat to get on us. There’s Christian radio, TV, schools, theme parks, clubs, dating services, banks, parenting programs, aerobics, diets…the list goes on and on. There’s even a Christian 12-step. I guess Christian addicts are a cut above all the rest. When we find it difficult to have something just for Christians, we go to court or sponsor a new law to try and force everyone else to act like us. Just serving God, you say? The Bible would differ with you on how Christians are supposed to behave toward the other people of the world.
How We Should Treat Others: Jesus said for us to be a light to the world, that our good works would cause all people to see God and praise Him. He said we are to love our neighbors…even our enemies…that our love would be a testimony of His love and show us to be His people. His final instructions to us…mission statement, if you will…was for us to go into the whole world and be witnesses of Him. John emphasized this even more by saying in this world we are like Him…that our love is proof we are Christians. We are called Christians, by the way, because it means “little Christs.” Jesus set the example by spending His time reaching out with love to the sinners…not the saved. Paul wrote that our ministry as Christians is to be ambassadors to the world, to reconcile the world to God. The Bible never says for us to avoid non-Christians. If that’s a surprise, wait until you see what it says about Christians.