Christ Never Called Us Lions

Typewriter print of 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Photo by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

My goodness. 2020 was A YEAR. 2021 has shaped up to be a match, just half way in.

There's a lot to unpack in the questions I've had over the past year. The pandemic has claimed so many lives; either directly by illness, by horrid injustices especially for our BIPOC brothers and sisters, or indirectly by the people who ended their lives being cut off from loved ones and so many more that we don't even know of.

For me, I had to leave a church who I loved; I've moved back to my home town of Spokane, WA. I've begun a path of questioning and seeking truth. Now I have more questions than answers these days.

I can only hope and pray that I am being formed and shaped by God. I will seek truth, not what I want to feel. I will step out, even though I'm afraid for what others may think of me.

My relationship with God, knowing Him more and being shaped by His unfathomable hope, faith and love -- that is what I'm seeking.

Lord, Have Mercy on Us

But today, my heart is troubled. Many people may have seen something to the effect of this image floating around:

A common picture, I'm afraid

Have we gone the wrong way?

In what part of scripture or the Christian walk are God’s people called "lions"? Where is the call in the gospel to take up arms, to rail against the government, or to look down on anyone as being a "sheep"? Scripture calls us to pray for our leaders. We are not to gossip about them or condemn them. We are called to love our neighbors in humility, not to despise them in our "superior knowledge" when we almost never see nor understand the whole picture ourselves.

The tragedy of 2020 continues in the church, in us: we are a soiled Bride, more concerned with how much she thinks she knows, how much better than others she thinks she is, than with actually showing others the all-encompassing love of Christ. We are blind and lame; we are crying out in pride, arrogance and terror at a world of God-Image-Bearers we were called instead to love.

Where is our humility? Where is our seeking the Lord, accepting our ignorance, our incompleteness without our glorious Savior? Where is our love for fellow humanity? Where is our self-sacrifice? What cross do we really bear?

It is no wonder our churches are emptying. It is no wonder that people turn away from what they have been taught is Christianity. This thing that has become false teaching, that is the culmination of fear and arrogance, this rhetoric that attempts to point out flaws in fellow man while ignoring the arrogance, the fear and the greed in our own hearts that Christ Himself preached against.

We seek to be known as martyrs for the Gospel, pretending that we are persecuted. We have forgotten our true calling. We have missed the lessons of the true martyrs who made the way clear before us. We have forgotten righteous suffering; we have traded real humility, and instead we whore ourselves for attention.

We have acted religious, but we have rejected the power that would make us truly godly. And people are right to stay away, just as Paul warned. [1]

Oh Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. We have acted so arrogantly. Draw us back to you and open our eyes to the suffering around us. Open our eyes to our own desperate need for you. Renew us, wash us clean of our pride and arrogance. Free us from fear and ignorance. Let us not preach your glorious name in vain. Instead, let us preach the everlasting hope, faith and love you have shown us. This is the Gospel, that you died for us while we were still your enemy, you rose from the dead so that we can be saved. Not by our works or what we think we know, but by your grace alone.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, because I am a sinner. I see so little and have done so much harm. Redeem me and make me more like You. Let me speak the truth, life, hope, faith and love that you have taught me. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.

Sometime soon, I hope to have comments available for this site. I don't know everything. I probably know nothing. But I hope that these feeble words at very least point to Christ.

Further Reading:

[1] 2 Timothy 3:1-8 -