Representing God

When atrocities happen, conspiratorial Christians are often quick to point the finger at people groups and sins. Why don’t we ever point inward? God’s people are turned over to judgment all over the Bible for representing God poorly. It was their calling to bear God’s name and show the world with their words and actions what God is like, yet they often didn’t. This is what it means to “take God’s name in vain,” as one of the Ten Commandments says—it means God puts His name upon us to carry and then we bear it in vain.

Christians, there is a lot going on in the world today and I fear that we as a body are often exhibiting problems rather than answers. We must turn to God Himself—not the one we’ve designed or the one we prefer—but Jesus, just as He stands. Don’t glance as His words—soak in them. Take the verses you don’t like seriously. Stop explaining them away or justifying the parts of your life that don’t match what Jesus said. Stop passing along popular and accepted teaching that doesn’t match His own. Stop repeating everyday statements as though they’re Scripture. Stop letting frameworks that aren’t Jesus be the framework you view Jesus through. Stop considering current rights and laws and politicians to be Biblical rights and laws and politicians.

In this growing tension, I fear we will become an instrument of hate and violence rather than good news and love. I fear we will bear God’s name in vain. There is only one Jesus. He is already King. And by the illumination of His Holy Spirit we can see Him even now and find wisdom as to how we should live. But if we do not listen to the Spirit or read the Gospels; if we do no more than regurgitate everything we’ve been taught and accept earthly frameworks without challenge; if we live a faith that doesn’t provoke us in any way whatsoever—we will surely bear God’s name in vain.

When Jesus separates the sheep from the goats He will be more concerned with our unconditional, indiscriminate love than all of our supernatural Kingdom works. What kind of love will we have to show?

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