Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

Tourist Trap Christians

by pastortimfowler

So, we were in the Bahamas for a port of call during our recent cruise and decided to play tourist. We left the ship to go shopping in the town and see if we could buy a few souvenirs and gifts for the kids back home. We went into what was called the Straw Village which was lined with row after row of locals selling trinkets and t-shirts and hats. After the third row of probably 20 rows, I began to notice that nothing was much different from the row before. The same hats, the same jewelery, the same shirts, just a different display and a different person sitting there trying to get us to buy their stuff. There was no gap in between tables and only about five feet in between vendors. As we continued to make our way around to the next row and then the next, I began to see something that made me think about Christians.
Let me preface what I am about to say with the note that I never like to lump any group of people together with a blanket statement, even though there are many broad statements that could be said about many groups, including Christians. I am not accusing all Christians of being like what I am about to say, but there are enough that it could apply to a large portion of them.
Each vendor in this place knew that there were cruise ships in port that day. This was a regular stop and a popular place for tourists to shop. Most of the first time tourists like me, were expecting this enthusiastic greeting from all of the locals who they were trying to earn our business. Sadly, it wasn’t so. Instead of a warm welcome, we were greeted with a barrage of the same old lines repeated by each vendor there. “Slow down, look and touch. Great deal today.” This was said over and over by each vendor and was said with no enthusiasm and no meaningful voice inflections. And, because they were seated so close to each other, there was no recognizable difference in one vendor to the next. They were so used to tourists being there that it was not special to them, even though it was our money buying their goods that put food on their plates. They repeated the same lines so many times that it had no impact on them nor us, the tourists.
Christians have become a lot like this. We are free in America to speak the Gospel anytime, anywhere, to anyone. But we have heard it and spoke it so much that there is no meaning to our words anymore to the ones who hear it from us. Those who hear it from us have heard the same old lines repeated time and time again by a less than enthused Christian that it does not convict them to act, but rather compels them to hurry through the market of churches selling Christianity.
Every now and then we came across an individual in the market that had a smile and a belief that what they were selling was really worth you buying and they were willing to put the effort into making the most of their one opportunity to sell you what they had. And strangely, at these rare vendors tables, tourists were flocking and buying and walking away thinking that they had received something special from their visit to the Bahamas.
I know that my salvation, given to me from God through Jesus Christ is special. You can only get it from God and He has authorized me to be a vendor for it. He has put me in a market place that has groves of people walking through, looking for something and someone to convince them to buy it. I can either repeat the same old boring line that you have heard a million times before or I can sell it to you in a way that makes you know that what I have is special. The burden is not on the tourist walking by my table in life, but on me, the vendor, who has been given the wonderful opportunity to sell you something that will make you glad that you came by my table.
Most tourists only get to visit a place like this once or twice in a lifetime. Some will buy a trinket that will end up in the bottom of a suitcase and make a less than dazzling impression on others and may never get a second look after that. Some will remember the person who sold the trinket and tell the story of how wonderful the person who sold it to them was and convince others to try what they just experienced. But never forget that the vendors are the ones who truly make the difference to someone buying from them. They are the ones who make someone walk by in hopes of escaping, or, stop and buy what they are selling.
Christians are not selling to tourists the trinkets of a vacation, but a life changing, eternal hope of having favor with God and being able to show the benefits of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. Churches are not the place that just happens to put food on the table, but rather are giving food for the soul. Jesus is far better than trinkets and t-shirts and certainly is better than a 5 day vacation in a tropical paradise. It is the hope of an eternal home in the paradise of Heaven with a God who loves us enough to pay our sin debt and allow us to share this awesome hope with others.

January 30, 2012

I’m Back

by pastortimfowler

I’m back! What a blast it was to spend 4 nights on a cruise with my beautiful wife. What made it even better is that our ship did not run aground or sink. The weather was great, the food was abundant and the relaxation was well needed and accepted. For 5 days and 4 nights I had no computer and no cell phone. That meant no texts, calls, Facebook or Twitter, and no internet. Yes, you can do without them and not suffer withdrawals.
I came back to a Sunday that I did not have to preach, so it was almost like extending my vacation another day. One of my good friends preached this Sunday. It was amazing to sit back and have someone speak to me and to see my whole church receive our guest speaker with such enthusiasm. Adding to the excitement was the fact that we were literally at standing room only in our worship center. I heard that the Sunday before while my associate pastor was speaking that there was a capacity crowd too. I am thinking seriously about taking on the job of just booking speakers for our church and taking an agents fee. My fragile ego may get shattered next Sunday if we are not full when I get back to my normal duties.
I have a few great blog ideas that I will be sharing with you over the next couple days. While in the Bahamas and on the cruise ship I was amazed at what I saw and some of the things that I heard about. Every time I travel outside the USA I am reminded of what great country we have. Sure, we have our faults, but there is no greater country on the planet.
So this is going to be short and sweet. I am back and well rested. I am ready to get back to my routine life and ready to fill the screen of my laptop with words and stuff that you did not realize you wanted to read about, but are glad you did once you read it, or, you thought you wanted to read but afterwards realized that you just wasted several minutes of your life that you will never get back.

January 20, 2012

20 January, 2012 20:20

by pastortimfowler

This will be my last blog for a week. Do not panic. Do not run off and find another blog to follow. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. My wife and I are taking our first cruise ever and I have been told to forget about cell phones and internet. I am a good husband so I will.
Last night I sat in on one of our Bible studies at our church. There had been some questions about whether or nor God predestines someone to heaven or hell. I was asked to come in and talk about my point of view on this subject, so I did.
I can already tell that most of you are leaning closer to your computer to hear what I have to say. Please sit back; this is not audio.
Let me start off by saying that there are a lot of people who are smarter than me that struggle with this subject. But because I never claim to be the smartest light bulb to ever be hatched, I have little to fear by tackling this tough and controversial subject. I have a few verses of scripture that I like to refer to and then a few lines of my opinion, and then I will wait with baited breath for your responses.
The root of the confusion is based on the characteristic of God known as omniscience, or all knowing. If God knows everything, then He must know who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. But there are those who claim that free will supersedes that and others just take it as a mysterious fact that some will never make it to heaven because God knows that they will never be saved. My opinion is, that if God knows that you are going to hell, then He is a cruel God and His claims to want to save us are false. Everything that I know about God says that He is loving and desires to save us from our sin.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. This clearly says that God does not predetermine that someone goes to hell. It is not His will that ANY should perish. It is His desire, not predetermined will, that ALL come to repentance, which is an act of our will.
God did not create us as robots, but as His most precious of all creation and made us with an ability to chose. You can not force someone to love you. Love is reciprocated and learned and is a choice. 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. We can chose to reject that love or choose to reciprocate it. But first we must understand our standing as sinners. In the following verses we are told that righteousness is by faith in Jesus to ALL. ALL have sinned, thus are subject to judgement and condemnation, but can be redeemed through faith in Jesus, because God is patient and gives every possible opportunity to call to Him for salvation. This salvation is to whosoever will call on Him.
Romans 3:22-25
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Knowing everything does not mean controlling everything. God gave us freedom to chose to accept His love and somehow that requires Him to not predestine and know who will be saved and who will not. The Holy Spirit is who convicts us and draws us to salvation. We can reject that calling and face the destiny of our choosing and God will honor that choice. But, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. He does not decide ahead of time who goes to hell and who goes to heaven.
Now, it is time to pack because I chose to go to the Bahamas!

January 18, 2012

It Is Forgiven

by pastortimfowler

I am winding down the work week with anticipation of my wife and I leaving this Saturday for our first ever cruise. It couldn’t come at a better time. Last week I told you that I wrecked my truck, well last night, my wife had a deer run into the side of her van. Add that to the cruise ship running aground in Italy and we are excited and ready to go. The way we look at it, the odds are in our favor that things will mellow out just in time for our vacation.
With two claims in one week, I was sure that my insurance premiums would be ready to go through the roof. So I went in to talk to my agent and she told me the deer thing was under comprehension, which is not charged against you and my wipe out in the truck was not going to cost me either because I had accident forgiveness on my policy. Finally a bit of good news in a week that has been very stressful.
God has been very kind to me through all of this. On top of protecting me from injury, my truck is still 100% drivable. Although the wife’s van has quite the dent in the doors and fender, , she and my grandson were not hurt and the van is also 100% drivable. Because both vehicles are paid for, I was able to save a little money for the repair of my truck to take on our upcoming cruise, of which I will treat my beautiful wife to a day at the spa and some unexpected shopping. Yep, I give God credit for that too, because He wants me to love my wife and treat her special. Let’s face it ladies, nothing says special like a spa day and shopping.
God also allowed us to not have our budget wrecked from all of this. He is in control of everything, including our finances. We try hard to save and to give and to live within the means of the income He has allowed us to have. That is why we have a written budget that we manage our money by. It allows us to see where our money goes and to use it within the guidelines of scripture. A bump in our insurance premiums would throw that our of whack, and although we could adjust and survive, this accident forgiveness really helps keep things from getting complicated.
I want to confess something that may seem awkward, but I hope that you get the point from what I am about to say. When I wrecked my truck, it caused me some stress and I began to get irritable and even lost my cool with my wife. Not godly. Then when she got hit by the deer, I began to doubt God’s protection of us. Not godly. My wife is a saint. She does not deserve me getting ill with her because I am stressed and she always understands and forgives. God is awesome to me. I have my wife, kids, grandkids, and an incredible church, not to mention my health, her health, their health and the Gamecocks beating Clemson. Despite all of that, I still screw up, and when I do, just like my accident forgiveness that doesn’t cost me, God forgives me and my sins, when I confess them, and they no longer cost me. Jesus paid that debt in full, and every time I forget and mess things up, I get that relief when I talk to my Agent, Jesus, to let him know about another accident, and He says, not a problem. You’re covered. It is forgiven.

January 17, 2012

Junk Mail

by pastortimfowler

As much as I hate to admit it, I love going to the mailbox to see what has been delivered for the day. Snail mail, as it is called, always has this hope of finally receiving the check…you know, the one that’s “in the mail”. When I was a kid, my grandma use to send me the occasional letter addressed to Master Tim Fowler. Few today would ever know that Master was the prefix for a young man, much like Miss for a young woman. Today many who know me will get confused over that because my wife now calls me Master. But that is a different story. I love getting the mail.
But…Now-a-days there is so much junk mail that it can get quite ridiculous. There are times when the lid on the box won’t even shut because of all the junk mail. Stores don’t send out annual catalogs anymore, they send out weekly sales papers to let you know that everything is on sale, again. Grocery store, department store, drug store, furniture store and the all important, tire store sales papers flood the mailbox.
Then there are the free trips to anywhere that you find out aren’t free. The pre approved credit cards that aren’t pre approved. The mortgage refinance offers that promise you twice as much as your house is worth and half the interest rate that you can get anywhere else. None of these ever pan out to be what they claim on the envelope. Today I received at least three different political advertisements telling me how the next savior of the planet should get my vote because the other guy who claims to be a savior is nothing more than a dirt bag who lies.
On my computer I have what they call email. It is an electronic sort of communication that allows you to send notes and letters to someone via the computer. I am such a techy that I thought some of you might not know this. Anyway, it too has junk mail. Theses get really weird. If you did not know me and you saw some of the things that get into my junk mail box you would think that I was a pervert with male performance problems who is addicted to pain medicines that I can receive without a prescription from a “reputable” overseas pharmacist. Occasionally I can get free hotel rooms in Vegas when I book my flight now and for a small upgrade fee, they will throw in a car too.
Not exactly junk mail but just as entertaining is the commercials for things that can only be bought from the TV. My dogs will never bark, poop, or shed again if I just order now and if I order in the next 20 seconds I can get the second one absolutely free, just pay additional shipping and handling. Now there is a way to make money. Just be the company that charges that much to deliver worthless crap to people who think they are getting the other one for free.
The reason for this blog today is that yesterday was a federal holiday and I checked my mailbox three times at home and twice at church before I realized there would be no mail delivered. Therefore I am expecting a full load from the mail carrier today. Got to go!….I think I heard the mailman!

January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr

by pastortimfowler

Today is a national holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I have to admit that I have never studied this man in-depth and what I know of him is limited to a few brief bio’s that I have skimmed over and what I have heard from the media, which scares me to think that I would even trust those. I do know that his desires for racial unity were good and honorable and to that I applaud him. He was a Minister of the Gospel and his compassion for the human race was rooted there.
I think that in the media’s reporting of his life there has been a severe lacking of linking Dr. King with Christianity. Again, I am not an expert on him, but just casually trying to recall all that I have heard reported about him and his life, I rarely hear that He was a minister. If I am wrong, I apologize, but to me he is made to sound more like a community activist than a man who was taking the love of Christ to the streets with a belief that it would change the world. Personally, I believe that is exactly what he was doing.
Jesus taught that those who call themselves Christians should love not only each other, be even our enemies. He taught that our neighbor should be loved like we love ourselves and that our neighbor was our fellow-man. Jesus did not segregate. He did observe the laws and customs of the day, which compared to modern American laws and customs could seem bigoted, but Jesus had compassion on all of humanity.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that he became all things to all men in hopes that he might win some of them to Jesus. This was not a statement of someone who was trying to please everyone all the time, but rather of a man who loved people enough to meet them where ever they were in life, rich or poor, Jew of gentile, Christian or not. He taught that in God’s eyes that all were sinners and that Christ died for all; red yellow black or white, it did not matter.
The Apostle James warned the church about being the type of Christians that only hear what God says but do nothing to show our faith. He warning about judging someone based on their financial status and what they wore. He challenged Christians to pray for those who were less fortunate and then to put feet on our prayers.
So Dr. King was echoing the Bible and the heart of God when he proclaimed his dream that one day little black children and little white children would live together in a world with equal rights and equal opportunity. He was echoing the Gospel as he proclaimed that we all have a responsibility to teach our children to love each other and to not look at the outside to judge one’s worthiness. Dr. King did not walk the streets shouting angrily at the injustice of the white man or the government, but rather he walked in faith knowing the truth of the Gospel was more powerful than the lies of hypocrisy and racism. He knew that the church, which is the body of Christ, was the answer and the key to all men not only being created equal, but being able to live that way in America.
Today I have the honor of working with some bold and brave black pastors who have decided to carry on the call of Dr. King look beyond race and look to Jesus to solve the issues that face of today. They have taught me more about the true person of Dr. King, the minister on the Gospel, then any book and media report I could ever hear or see. They have embraced the call for reconciliation and recognize that only Christ can truly change the heart of a man, but without the examples of men who know this truth, all is in vain. I thank them for showing me an example of the greatness of a man who loved God and loved his neighbor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

January 12, 2012

The Weeping Prophet

by pastortimfowler

I am finishing reading the Old Testament book of Jeremiah and it has to be one of the toughest reads I have had in a while. Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet because his message was constantly rejected by his people. He was abused and imprisoned and called a liar to his face over and over for speaking the word of God. To try to imagine his pain and frustration is impossible and at times for me, a pastor, disturbing.
I have been in the ministry long enough to have been in churches where people would not listen to the truth. Even if you opened the Bible in front of them and read with them the truth of the word, they refused to see it. During those times it was painful and sorrowful but mostly if was angering. I can remember times when I even raised my voice in frustration, right in front of the one I was talking too. But to say that I can empathize with Jeremiah would be a stretch.
I am not saying that I didn’t learn from this or that I wouldn’t read it again, but I had to dig deep to see the positive in it all. So what did I get from it?
Well to start with, God is a very patient God. The people of Israel were in a very rebellious time in their history and had turned to idolatry. The message that God was sending them via Jeremiah was consistent with what they had always heard, so there was no reason for them to doubt that God was speaking truth through Jeremiah. But over and over when they heard from the prophet they rejected the warnings. God remained patient and offered chance after chance to change.
I also learned, well it was reinforced, that God means what He says and does what He says. When God says to turn from a sinful act, he is serious. God hates sin because it separates us from Him and He loves us. He would much rather bless us than to chastise us, but as the Bible says, whom the Lord loves, He chastises. The goal of chastisement is always to correct a behavior. If the behavior is not corrected there are always consequences. When God says that there are consequences, you can count on it. It is not His fault that humans are hard-headed, or should I say, hard-hearted.
Lastly, what I saw was the fact that He will always leave a remnant to rebuild with. The Old Testament can be difficult to reconcile for the casual observer. God was dealing with an earthly people who were promised eternity on earth and is not the church, who is promised eternity in Heaven. Jesus had not yet been sacrificed for our sin and therefore the physical punishments were often drastic and seemed harsh. But remember this, there was not a lack of hearing from God. There was not a lack of knowledge of the consequences that people would face for their disobedience.
The Jewish people were required to memorize the law before age 13 and in order to become an adult, they had to show that they had done so. This includes the part of the law that says “if you do this, this is the punishment”. And, they had seen God carry out these judgments for centuries. Think of it like this. We all have rules to follow in our homes. My parent told me that if I lied to them, I would get a whipping. So, when I lied, I got what they told me I would get. I did not, or should I say, I do not think that they were cruel, but I know that it was them being truthful and loving in their attempt to correct my inappropriate behavior.
God loves us more than we can imagine. We don’t fully understand Him and often believe that we know more than God, so we are quick to look at God as harsh or even unloving. But that is not true. When we respond with repentance, God blesses with restored fellowship and rewards. That is always His goal with us.
His love is so great that He allows His Son, Jesus, to be our sacrifice for our sins. From the beginning, God has told us that our sin will be rewarded with death. But with our asking for forgiveness, He waves the death penalty, (the eternal one) and gives us eternal life with Him in heaven. He is willing to do this for us and our only part is to have faith to believe Him. This means believe it all, not just the parts we like. Sometimes God sends us a message that we don’t like or don’t want to hear. We must trust Him as much then as we do with the promise of the blessings that we like.
So, Jeremiah relayed the message of repent or face judgement. The people chose to rebel and received the judgement that was promised. But, there was a group who decided to trust God, and as we all know, Israel is still here, just like God promised. They will never perish from the earth. As Christians, we are promised to never perish from God’s heavenly and spiritual world. Our obedience is still required and His blessings are as awesome as ever.
I am blessed to know that there are some who still believe and obey God and I am fortunate to not be a weeping prophet of modern times.

January 11, 2012


by pastortimfowler

Today I got to experience something that I have never done before. I spun out my truck on the interstate doing 65 mph. I am fine. My truck is beat up, but drivable, and I have insurance to cover any damages. I did take out about 100 yards of fence and a small tree, they did not survive. This was the result of a sudden lane change by a truck and wet roads that cause me to start spinning when I stomped on my brakes. I do not recommend this to anyone, even though is was quite the adrenalin rush.
What was the most shocking of all is the fact that no one stopped to see if I was okay. I am, and I did not even need help getting back on the road, but there were at least a few other cars in the general area that this happened including the truck who ran me off the road. It was just weird that no one even pulled over to yell out the window at me. I expected someone to maybe stop and yell out a score for the spin moves that I did quite effortlessly. But no, not even a score for style points or difficulty factor.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with the insurance adjuster to access the damage. Although my truck is drivable, there is damage on every side. The passenger side door is warped and the side-view mirror on that side is busted. The rear quarter-panel is dented and scratched as well as the roof, from barbed wire that flew around from the fence I took out. The rear bumper is bent and the back up sensor is damaged. That bothers me because I like hearing the beeping as I get close to something. Both of my tail lights are out, one worse than other. The driver’s side has scratches and the front bumper is dented. So, like I said, it is damaged on every side.
Through all of this, I can’t forget the fact that no one was injured. There were vehicles all around me as I started spinning. I had just crossed under a bridge that could have caused some real damage to me and the truck if I had spun into it. A few miles back I crossed over a river, and that would have been cold, not to mention that I did not have a fishing rod with me. I can only thank God that He was looking out for me and although I am ready to die, I was not expecting it yet. I do have a vacation planned in a couple of weeks.
On another note, if I had gone off the road and been stuck for days before being found, I do have everything that I need to survive. I have an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, emergency blanket, and first aid kit. I have a couple of knives, a lighter and one of those magnesium and flint combos so I can start a fire and purify water or cook a meal. I even had my laptop that, by the way, did not even fall off the seat during the crash. That way I could have at least continued to blog. No, I couldn’t post right a way, but at least I could post them after I was rescued or found my way back to civilization. And if anyone doubts my survival skills, I am an avid watcher of most of the survival shows on the National Geographic Channel.
Now that I have checked this experience off my bucket list, I would really like to work on the next item, taking a cruise with my wife.

January 10, 2012

Beautiful Women

by pastortimfowler

Every year, several magazines name the world’s top ten most beautiful women and they always get it wrong because my wife is not on the list. Because of this, I refuse to take anything they say seriously when it comes to beauty. It is obvious that they have no clue of what true beauty is, nor do they really care. Their idea of beauty is what they can manufacture through the sales of the products advertised in their publications. Besides the make-up and surgical enhancements, a computer makes the women of these lists look like they do and it is something that God has never created and intended a woman to look like.
Now let me admit that I love it when the most beautiful woman in the world gets all dressed up and puts on some make-up and fixes her hair and then we go out in public and people stare at me wondering how did I get so lucky. But I love it just as much when I wake up next to this same woman and she has no make-up on and her hair is a bit wild-looking. She is just as beautiful then.
Our church is full of beautiful women too. It is difficult to be a pastor and admit that in a blog that many of our church members say that they read, including the most beautiful woman in the world. But the truth is what it is. I guess it sure beats looking out at a bunch of ugly women every Sunday. But what I was getting at is that these women are beautiful just as they are.
Several of them are on this health kick and have started a Zumba class. I am not sure what that is. All I know is that when they start, they shut and lock the doors and threaten people who dare to come in while the class in going on. From that, I assume it is an anger management class. Nothing like a bunch of beautiful, angry women, locking themselves behind a closed-door, huh?
They also have been gambling. That’s right, in the church. They collect money in a pot to see who will lose the most weight. Silly women, who said that you needed to lose weight anyway? I bet the husbands would rather take you out on a hot date for ice cream with that money than have you come home sweaty, tired, and mad that you didn’t win.
I guess as long as they are doing these things for health reasons and not beauty reasons I am okay with it. I do know that exercise, if it doesn’t cause injury or heart attacks, could be good for you. But, I was watching the football game last night and saw these amazing athletes involved in a game that required them to exercise regularly and several of them got hurt. Meanwhile there was about 90,000 people sitting in seats watching and half of them were fat and out of shape and yet none of them got injured. So perhaps this exercise thing is not what it’s cracked up to be.
Let me stop with the amazingly witty and ingenious humor and get serious for a minute. God made you to be beautiful in His eyes. If you don’t feel that you are beautiful, it is not His fault, it could be that you have been fooled by some people who don’t love you. God loves you. God made the first woman, Eve, before there were even any stores that sold make-up and before there was even a door to hide behind to do Zumba. When He created her, Adam looked at her and said, WO! MAN!, Thus she was called woman, because she was beautiful, without make-up, surgery, or a magazine to tell her or her husband what she should look like. Sure, if you have read the Bible, you know that Adam got to see her naked first, and I am sure that helped with his perception of beauty, but still, she didn’t have to work at it, God made her that way.
So to the beautiful women of my church, who appropriately call themselves “The Body Babes”, zoom on in your Zumba class. Eat as little as you think will help to drop a pound or two. Get healthy and feel good. But at the end of it all, as I sit back and eat my chocolate chip ice cream and cheese curls and I watch the game and those commercials come on trying to convince me that you are not perfectly beautiful, I will turn away from the TV, dip my cheese curl in my ice cream, raise it in a toast, and look at the most beautiful woman in the world.

January 9, 2012


by pastortimfowler

Lately there has been a lot a media attention about the Denver Bronco’s quarterback, Tim Tebow and his Christianity. It is funny that there has been so much criticism for him making a public display by kneeling in prayer so often. But I don’t think that Tebow should feel special, after all he did not get this thing started, and our modern media was not the first to criticize.
Jesus came on the scene as a guy that few recognized for who he was and what an impact on the world He would have. Even though there were thousands of years of prophesy pointing to His coming, those who knew the prophesies best, did not recognize Him when He made the scene. It was a very religious crowd of people who got the ball rolling toward criticizing Christianity, or in this case Christ. From there it overflowed into society and there has been a steady flow ever since.
I guess some ask, why the criticism? After all, Jesus was not a man who did a lot of intimidation to those He met. He was humble, kind, and compassionate. He was the perfect Christian, duh, and yet He got slammed by those who did not understand Him or like Him. I hear many Christians today saying that the church does not resemble Jesus very much and that is why we are criticized. I will be the first to agree that the church has gotten off track in being what Christ wanted us to be. But, there aren’t any perfect people, even Christians, so that should not be a surprise. But what about someone like Tim Tebow. What has he done that is so un-Christ like? Kneel and give God glory in public? Help little children who are needy? And yet he still gets blasted at every turn.
There is nothing Christians can do to stop this. If we are not Christ-like then we are hypocrites, if we are Christ-like then we are “holier than thou”. So what should we do? How can we stop this injustice and get everyone on our side. After all, Christians have feelings too. (Pardon me as I wipe the tears away and blow my nose.) Hopefully those who know me and read my blog regularly know that there was sarcasm in that and something else is coming. So here it is.
Stop your whining and grow up, Christians. Jesus was not a whiner. He even told us that we would be criticized. He said people would hate us. He said that should not stop us from loving people. He said to love those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you. He never told us that everybody would love us if we just acted a certain way. Christians spend far to much time holding their feelings out for the world to see and hoping to get some sympathy instead of looking for those who need sympathy and running to encourage them. We were not put here to receive praise from humanity, but rather to glorify God in heaven.
Christians are not the only people who get criticized by others. So do any other religions outside the Christian faith, and we are the ones who criticize. If we don’t like criticism, perhaps we should not criticize. I am not saying that we can’t point out differences and truths, but stop the badmouthing for the sake of nothing better to do.
But, there are others who receive criticism regularly too. Politicians, coaches, referees, teachers, lawyers, drivers, children, parents, and people who let their dogs bark all night, to name a few. In other words, Christians are not special because we get criticized by others. So get over it, please. Tim Tebow is a big boy and if he weren’t a Christian he would be criticized for his lack of passing ability, his pour throwing mechanics, and his bad decision making in games. But all that amounts to nothing when you win the game.
Christ has given us the victory! Let that overshadow the criticism.