What Kind of Christian Are You?

5 Habits Christians Should Break

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Christians are known for doing some amazing acts of kindness: feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, aiding the poor, and many other acts of love.

The Holy Trinity describes the belief in Christian spirituality that the one God of the universe is comprised of three persons: the God the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. This principle is shared by most Christian denominations including Roman and Orthodox Catholics, Nazarenes, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and more.

I was born into a Catholic family, and I’m incredibly grateful for my spiritual education.  I didn’t question my religion until after my divorce. If I wanted to remarry, I’d have to apply and pay for an annulment, and I didn’t understand the logic behind it. Would that insinuate our child had been “invalid” as well?  It made no sense to me.

I felt overwhelmed with the various Christian religions, and I decided I didn’t need a title. “I’m a Christian.” But is it that simple? I’m living in a world that dangles temptation and sin in my face on a daily basis. But I’m proud to say I’ve remained on my faithbound journey,  regardless of my hardships. I’m doing the best I can, yet knowing there’s always room for self improvement.

 

The following five suggestions are ways I feel we could improve ourselves as Christians:

 

  1. Stop the “Share this Post if You Love Jesus” Garbage. 

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While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I’ve repeatedly seen trivial posts that state I should share them to show my love for Jesus. Some images have been blatant enough to say, “Don’t scroll past this without sharing!” I don’t need to pass along a frivolous post to show my love for Christ. Superficial material like this usually irritates people, Christian or not.  It could also trigger unnecessary guilt for a Christian reader who scrolls past it without sharing.

An image of a dog that was supposedly burned in a house blaze recently went viral on the Internet. The picture stated, “This poor dog was badly burned and disfigured trying to save his family from a house fire.”  It was shared over 127,000 times on Facebook.  It turned out to be a hoax that made national news. The dog merely had a piece of deli ham on its face, and he’s now a media sensation. Again, you see the “One Like = One Prayer. One Share = Ten Prayers.”

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Before sharing anything religious on my social media I usually stop and ask myself, “Is this motivating and meaningful?”

 

  1. Don’t Be A Hypocrite. 

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It’s easy to talk about our Christian endeavors, God’s love, and share our spiritual cheer on social media. Unfortunately, when it comes time for Christians to show their love for others, many of us fall short.

I’m not an athletic person, but I decided to join my previous church’s softball league for fun. I was unpleasantly surprised by the way I was treated. One of the Christian ballplayers harshly belittled me in front of our team and opponents for not catching the ball thrown my way. I felt so humiliated, and the person never apologized. None of the players consoled me, and I eventually quit the team.

Its acts like these that contradict what Christians truly stand for.  This is when potential followers lose interest, and hope, in Christianity.

It’s so important to show love and compassion to everyone. 

 

  1. Stop Trying to be the Boss of Church Money. 
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I’ve heard remarks such as, “We’ve got Americans who need our help. I don’t want my money going to foreign countries.” If that’s the case, I hope your personal goods are only purchased from American owned and operated businesses. Otherwise, you’re already financially contributing to foreign countries, but for a far less worthy cause.

While I understand the rationale in wanting to assist America first and foremost, it’s hard for me to look at pictures of starving children in foreign countries, knowing I could have helped.

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1 John 3:17 states, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

“Our church just wasted our money on an expensive surround-sound system {smerk},” is another comment I’ve overheard.  The church isn’t required to function in the stone ages of technology.  If you enjoy your preacher’s sermons, isn’t that the real reason you’re there to begin with – to receive the message?

If you don’t feel comfortable tithing, another option would be to donate regularly to a charity or worthy cause you feel passionate about.

 

  1. Let’s Quit Pretending We’re Without Sin. 
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Every Christian is a sinner, and a work-in-progress up until the day they die.

There are individuals in my church fighting depression, sobriety, chronic pain, financial struggles, health crises, and other situations.

I’ve always been a Christian at heart even when I wasn’t worshipping or a member of a church. I drifted away several times due to emotional immaturity, self-indulgence, and temptation. I still struggle with weaknesses, but who doesn’t?  I like who I am today. I don’t think it’s weird that I can go from listening to hard rock or R&B music one day, to gospel music on another.  It depends on my mood. None of this means I stopped loving God, or that I’m a hypocrite. Every Christian should experience their personal relationship with Christ at their own pace, and we all love God in unique ways.

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Alice Cooper, the rock megastar who wears scary makeup, stopped his hard-partying ways, gave up his addictions, and returned to his Christian roots in the late-1980s. Today, he’s still immensely popular and touring.  Anyone can change, but sin will always be lurking no matter how hard we try to avoid it.

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  1. Don’t be Judgmental. 
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Nothing good can come from being judgmental toward others.

Kim Davis, America’s highest-profile county clerk who denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples, brought out the unholy in many Christians. I saw Christian protesters holding neon signs that read, “GOD HATES FAGS,” and “GOD HATES PROUD SINNERS!”  The interesting part is that Davis has married four times and divorced three times, and given birth to two children out of wedlock.

Even “if” a Christian viewed same-sex couples, abortion-seeking-women, adulterers, etc., as foes, the Bible says to love your enemies. Luke 6:27-32 states, “But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you.”

I don’t want to be affiliated with Christians who make interpretations of evils and its influences, then chant outside with their posters of hatred. They’re using God’s name in an ugly manner.

Many Christians feel that suppressing judgment is a form of accepting, disregarding, and even sustaining sin. That’s not the case. Only God can judge the sins of others, and I don’t believe The Creator of the Universe needs our help in doing so.

If we are to represent God, our actions need to reflect it. Let’s show everyone that we’re kind, genuine, loving people who want to make the world a better place. ~ Amen ~

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This blog is also located on The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-curley-bogner/what-kind-of-christian-ar_b_9801374.html?utm_hp_ref=christianity

An article was written about this blog on HelloChristian.com:

http://hellochristian.com/2788-5-habits-christians-should-break

Author: melissaannsite

I'm a 40-something year old woman who has lived a life of adventure so far. I'm an ENFP Virgo with no judgment in my heart on others. Everyone is entitled to live their life as they wish, but I still enjoy the humor that life has to offer... and the memories.

11 thoughts on “What Kind of Christian Are You?”

  1. Quick question do you ever share the gospel with those living lives that the scriptures warn us about, such as “open” relationships, gay life styles, over eating etc. If not why? If so how?

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    1. I cannot speak for the blogger but MY thought is that it is not your place to evangelize scripture as you interpret it to people who are not open to it. Other than that, live and let live. If someone is happy, leave them alone unless they are hurting children or animals. Jesus would not judge.

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      1. The scripture commands us to share the Good News. Think I will follow what God says about that particular subject.

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      2. Disaster. Let me see if I have this right. You are telling Bob that he is not to use scripture as he interprets it. Is that how you interpret the commands of scripture? You also told him Jesus would not judge. A few questions on that. Did Jesus judge the religious leaders of His day when He called them a ‘brood of vipers’? That seems like a judgment statement to me. Or how about the woman caught in adultery, was Jesus judging what she did as sin when He told her, ‘Go and sin no more’?. Would Jesus see the discipline of children by their parents as ‘judging’? Would Jesus consider your judgement upon Bob, telling him that it is not his place to evangelize and judge, as judgment. Oh my, should we let all the people out of prison because they were ‘judged’? Oh, but I forgot those people who hurt children or animals can be kept behind bars, while we let out the people who rape and murder adults.

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      3. Judgy judge judge judge. How about just Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unti You and call it day?
        I don’t know why people invest so much time examining how others live their lives.
        It’s not up to you and Bob to lecture sexual lifestyles and overeating.
        And comparing that to judging a murderer or other people who are a real threat to society is preposterous.

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  2. I would simply like to point out the “if i wanted to remarry” part. You cannot “pay” and get your marriage cancelled if it was valid in the first place… If you willingly entered into marriage, it is indissoluble. The Catholic church does not cancel marriages… The “fee” is to open a case to hear and investigate if your marriage was invalid to begin with… Big difference. So if you willingly entered marriage (and have children!) and you “divorced” you are in a situation of sin.

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    1. According to the Catholic church, a marriage annulment states that the marriage was invalidly conferred. So would you say that someone in an abusive relationship who received a legal annulment from the Catholic church is living in a situation of sin? I got married in the courthouse but my ex-husband still had our marriage annulled so he could marry in the church. Pope Francis wants to reform the process anyway because the process is causing most of the population in Italy to get into common law relationships instead of marriage.
      I like that you get to decide who is living in a situation of sin. Most divorces are brought about by sin but not all divorces are sinful. If you confess the sins that you committed in causing the failure of marriage, you are forgiven. Annulment or not.

      Stop being so judgy. This is a very beautiful post and the thoughts of one human being. One Christian who is sharing her beliefs.

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      1. Hello,

        That is not what I said. If the Catholic Church gave an annulment, then all is well. However, the phrasing of the text suggests that anyone can pay to get an annulment in the Church. I wanted to point out that is totally not the case. Like I said, once you are validly married, no one, not even the Pope can annul your marriage. As for those who were validly married (which is the overwhelming number) and then got divorced and “remarried”, they are indeed living in a state that is objectively grave. That is the actual Catholic Church teaching.

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  3. 1) You are right about the social media garbage. That stuff is just empty cultural nonsense. You are correct that it is frivolous.

    2) The Bible clearly teaches that Christians are not to be hypocrites and is clear about how Christians are to treat other members of the Body of Christ.

    John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

    3) In my opinion, a congregation should have a say in how the church spends its money, but the individual Christian should not link his/her personal responsibilities with what the church does with donated money. Everyone will be judged according to their own deeds, so if you want to feed the poor, you can do so on your own. If you think your money could be used better elsewhere, don’t give it to the church. After all, if your desire is to set aside money to help others due to your faith in God, send your money to where you think it will be best utilized. God will understand what you are doing.

    4) Yes, sin is all around us, and it is based on our interaction with sin and the choices we make that we are able to grow in our discernment, wisdom, judgment, and in our understanding of God.

    John 17:15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.

    5) Should I be judgmental? Yes and No. You definitely are expected to LEARN and USE your judgment.

    1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

    However, you are not to cast your pearls before swine.

    Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

    The beauty of Christianity is that Christians are never told to force outsiders to live according to God’s standards. Christians should be concerned with judging members of the household of faith; so if you are aware of members of the Body of Christ being involved in “same-sex couples, abortion-seeking-women, adulterers, etc…”, you should confront them in sisterly love (Matthew 18:15-19) in order to assist them in their spiritual walk/growth.

    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not Judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

    If someone takes a secular job – such as issuing marriage licenses to people – they should not try to force their religious beliefs on the secular customers they were hired to serve. If they have a religious objection against doing something, they should get a different job (they don’t have to work there). You used Luke 6:27-32 in your article to describe certain secular practices, which refers to such people as “enemies.” Christians should not be unequally yoked with nonbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), and should not get a job working for people they consider to be their enemies. If they do opt to work among people who do not share their faith, they should not give what is holy to the dogs, or attempt to force the goats to behave like sheep. When the shepherd comes, he will separate the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:32). Until that time, it is pointless to try to convince a goat to pretend it is a sheep. A goat can’t be a sheep; they are completely different animals.

    As for the Westboro Baptist Church (the people who protest with signs of hate), their behavior is not scriptural (for many reasons/you will know them by their fruit), and therefore, they are not Christians. Being a Christian is not about being a member of, or being accepted by, any certain denomination; it is about keeping God’s commandments (John 14:21). If someone keeps the commandments and follows Jesus, they are Christians, if they don’t, they are not Christians regardless of what they claim.

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