Saturday, August 9, 2008

'Them' and 'Us'

I was asked who 'them' and 'us' are in my butterfly blog. I hadn't thought too much about how my blog could be taken by non-Christians. What are the differences between a 'Christian' and a 'non-Christian'?

Butterfly Release at Easter at First Christian Church of Starke with the cross of flowers in the background

'Them' and 'us' can be somewhat compared to 'butterfly people' and 'non-butterfly people'. Some live thier lives based upon butterflies while others never have a thought about butterflies!

The answer is simple but first let me share a little bit in explanation.

1. Both Christians and non-Christians 'sin' or break the law of love and obedience that God set from the beginning of man.
2. Both Christians and non-Christians offend others.
3. Both Christians and non-Christians can be kind, wonderful, helpful, and sweet.
4. Both Christians and non-Christians can be offensive and someone no one wants to be around. (Read the post about maturing.)
5. Both Christians and non-Christians are in church.
6. Both Christians and non-Christians are not in church.
7. Just because someone says he/she is a Christian doesn't mean that he/she is a Christian.

The difference is that Christians recognize that they have disobeyed God and have asked for forgiveness and help to become what God wants them to be! Christians are forgiven, not because they are 'good' but because they accepted a gift that cannot be 'earned'. Goodness will never take anyone to heaven, the home of Christians.

I know many non-Christians who are wonderful people. They always have a smile, always help others, are upbeat, and a pleasure to be around.

People often say that churches are full of hypocrites. Well, yes, churches are! But not everyone in a church is a hypocrite. Churches do contain both hypocrite non-Christians AND hypocrite Christians. They also contain non-hypocrite Christians.

Christians are NOT perfect. God isn't finished with them. He's taking them and working to help them grow into what they SHOULD be. Against God's wishes, they offend others, do, and say many things that are not attractive (to say the least). But they should be trying to grow into mature Christians. (Please read the following post about maturity.)

My personal belief and faith is that the Bible is true. According to the Bible, I needed to obtain forgiveness for my disobedience of God (sin) through accepting the gift that Jesus gave me; he took the punishment for my disobedience. I simply had to accept that gift.

Accepting that gift makes me a Christian. Christian means different things to different people. To me the word 'Christian' means that I am 'of Christ'. This does not mean that I am perfect, that I am mature, and that I don't make terrible mistakes! It means that I am a child of God, forgiven of my sins (hey, you have to sin to be forgiven of them), and I try to live in a way that would bring a smile to God's face.

Butterflies help me grow as a Christian. They have so many lessons for me.

I did want to take this opportunity to answer the question I was asked in the blog. Just in case someone else wonders what I mean by 'them' and 'us' or 'Christian' and 'non-Christian', I wanted to answer the question in the blog.

Romans 3;23-26
" 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus."

Acts 4:12 "There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved."

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