An Open Letter to Christians

'My Friend' by Helen Thomas Robson (fineartamerica.com)Painting: ‘My Friend‘ by Helen Thomas Robson (fineartamerica.com)

“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you: Do not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer them the other one. If someone wants to sue you to take your tunic, let them have your cloak as well. And if someone forces you to go a mile with them, go with them two. Give to the one who asks, and do not turn away from the person who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. And then you will be the true children of your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:38-45

Dear Fellow Christians,

The life of Jesus, and the life he commands us to emulate, is one of unconditional love (agapaó) toward others. It’s the same unearned love that saved us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8). In its operative form it’s called grace, undeserved favor toward those who have no right to such a claim. In other words, it’s loving the way Jesus loved. We, the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), his followers, are called to be his active, physical presence in the world.

And yet the message the world seems be hearing from most who call themselves Christians is not “We love you unconditionally” but “Here’s a list of our demands!” No wonder they’ve turned away from Jesus. When did the Body of Christ become just another special interest group demanding its rights?

“But,” many cry, “our country has abandoned its biblical values. It’s turned pagan, evil—and it’s up to us to save it!”

No, it’s not.

Jesus didn’t call his followers to save the Roman Empire—a world of pagan beliefs and abominable practices (widespread slavery, child abuse, torture and murder as public entertainment) ruled over by a dictator considered a living god. Instead, Jesus called his followers to save people, individuals. But how, if not by saving their nation?

By showing them the love Jesus spoke of and embodied, by being his living presence in the world today.

Brothers and sisters, “Christendom,” the era of powerful nations loosely guided by Christian principles, has ended. We are rapidly returning to the kind of pagan society Jesus encountered 2,000 years ago, a society that doesn’t even pretend to be Christlike–because it doesn’t know who Christ is.

No wonder our culture is turning away from Jesus. They’ve never encountered him. And until we show them the real Jesus…

We’ve shown them no Jesus at all.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to An Open Letter to Christians

  1. Thanks for sharing, Mitch and Helen! Such a great encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said. Knowing and showing the real Jesus is the key.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Politics aside, this is a great reminder that we can’t save the world. But we can live our best to be an example of Jesus in this crazy world. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen! I couldn’t have put it more succinctly! I so agree with her!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmmmm,Lord help me to be Christlike and to reveal Jesus to everyone around me. Lord when people see me, let them see Jesus through my life. Lord break my heart and rearrange it to be like yours. Help me to love others like you love them Lord.
    Make me like you Jesus.
    I want to give you many thousands, millions and billions of souls Lord Jesus.
    Write a story of love with my heart Lord that many generations to come will read it and believe in you Lord.
    If you don’t work on my heart, I cannot Love anyone Lord. My heart Lord, work on my heart Jesus.
    This is the cry of my heart always. Thank you sir for this great post reminding me of why I am called a “christian”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Imelda says:

    Painful as it is, it does look like the Christian era has ended. But, we are still here to keep the faith. Hope is not lost.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. numrhood says:

    you left off matthew 5:36

    Like

  8. Thank you, Mitch, for writing and sharing such a powerful letter. May it move us (those who call ourselves Christians) to more than clicking a like button. May we be moved to daily engage in life and live like Jesus–our Maker, Redeemer, and so much more. A great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. joyroses13 says:

    So very true!!Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ljochim says:

    Hi Mitch, New follower here. Loving your page. Thank you. My friend Karla from Flannel with Faith suggested I come take a peek. I’m glad I did. Looking forward to going back and reading your stories. Lisa

    Liked by 2 people

  11. jwfisch says:

    Mitch,

    You nailed it with this one. Thanks for speaking the prophetic truth. I swear we should get together sometime. I think we’re on the same page.

    John Fischer Grace Turned Outward

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really resonate with everything you have shared in this post. “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love” … Right?!? I’m thankful that this is true, and can be seen in the lives of many individual Christian but perhaps not so much in the church in general.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. anne leueen says:

    Such a good post. Love and forgiveness. That is what appeals to me about Christianity. Those are the cornerstones of Christianity.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. gracespeaker says:

    These thoughts have been close to my heart over the past months. Am I following Christ or trying to preserve the American Dream? I don’t believe the two are the same.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Much needed wisdom here, Mitch. Makes me think of the place somewhere in the NT where Jesus withdrew from people when He realized they intended to make him king by force. Thankfully, He had better things to do than kick the Romans butts out of Palestine.
    The kingdom of God is not of this world!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There’s nothing different about people who hate their enemies, argue over who’s right, and make demands. Boycotts, protests, nasty posts on social media – nope, not different. But when we start loving our enemies … !

    Liked by 5 people

  17. “And until we show them the real Jesus… We’ve shown them no Jesus at all.” So true. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Great statement. What’s even worse is that many Christians talk as if God works through a political party and not through His Church.
    Maybe the world will change when the people of God get back to doing the things God commanded us to do.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Jane Tawel says:

    Amen, amen, amen. Straight up and powerful. Thank you for a very succinct historical grounding and a reminder of what it means to “follow” and “be” Jesus in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Andy D. says:

    It’s hard to think of what to say except, Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Carla says:

    Amen, powerful and true words, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Andy D. says:

    Actually, I’d love it if I could have permission to reference this for a piece on my site. It is so stirring in the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Harry Whitt says:

    Wonderful Christian perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. kathy says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Mitch! thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ann Coleman says:

    That’s an excellent point. I think it’s easy to be threatened when we feel that the country, and much of the world, is turning away from religion, but honestly, our country was founded on religious freedom, not Christianity. If we want others to know what it means to be a Christian, we have to do our best to show them. And if we do that, we’ll all be just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Pingback: An Open Letter to Christians – Daily News Made Simple

  27. saveduchenna says:

    Since I declared myself a born again christian my friends now despise me but that doesn’t bother me because He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. Jesus christ is coming soon brethren lets spread the Gospel, may God give you the strength to do His work Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Jim says:

    Great post. I’ve been thinking a lot about this same thing lately. Will the church listen? I don’t think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Dad4Gracie says:

    This sentence hit me with a huge does of reality…”Jesus didn’t call his followers to save the Roman Empire.” Wow! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. zkstone says:

    Great thought. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Pingback: A Generation Of Spiritual Strangers – Daddys Moment

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