I remember a time when salvation was beautiful. Something pure and desirable.
But somewhere in the course of time, that changed.
The church has tarnished the beauty of salvation and replaced it with a dirty mirror of greed, hypocrisy, lack of faith, and legalism.
It’s sad because this was not always the case.
When I became a believer, I was 15 years old and had lots of issues.
But on a Wednesday night church service that I had begrudgingly agreed to attend, an evangelist spoke about Jesus.
He spoke about Jesus’ life. He spoke about Jesus’ humiliation at our hands. He spoke about Jesus’ gruesome death and about His resurrection.
I had never heard about Jesus quite like this and on that night I found Him to be the most beautiful person I have ever heard of.
You see, Jesus went through that painful humiliation and death to save me. To pay for something I should be paying for, but couldn’t.
As I willingly started to come to church and learn about God, I met other people. People of humble faith, genuine hearts, and full of love.
These people were beautiful.
And though there were disagreement about theology, music, movies, and everything else you can think of, they were still beautiful.
In hindsight I think what made them so beautiful is that they genuinely loved. They prayed for people, visited the sick, were sacrificial in many ways, prayed for sinners (not in condemnation but in genuine pleas for their well being).
But I don’t see that anymore.
What I see is a group of people who have assumed the label of “Christian” but that are tethered to the things of this world.
They place their desires above the spirit of the Lord. They seek their own will instead of the Lord’s. They lean on their own strength instead of the Lord’s.
Instead of loving and praying for people, they lift up “the law of the land” and treat foreigners as strangers when the Lord says to treat them as your own people.
They barrage sinners with the Bible and religious quotes when the Lord says it is He who brings people to repentance.
They allow widows, children, and the fatherless to be forsaken through political greed when the Lord said to stand up for these.
They are loud and contentious about little things like Starbucks cups, wedding cakes, photography, and movies, and yet are silent at the injustice of racism, political corruption, and other forms of discrimination.
They love their rules and appearance of holiness all the while forsaking the simple call of relationship with God.
And the list could go on.
But I’m left asking “what happened”?
I loved being part of the Christian community before. It felt like home.
Now, it feels so foreign it might as well be a cult.
I miss seeing people filled with supernatural love. That was beautiful.
I miss seeing people trusting the Lord. That was beautiful.
I miss Christians standing up to injustice. That was beautiful.
I miss beautiful.