I found this graphic on an Internet community for atheists and wow, did it ever get my brain in gear. I could see how people would spend a few seconds looking at it, nod their heads in agreement and go on with their lives.
For the most part, I also nod my head in agreement because, sadly, “religion” often has little to do with ethics (and that’s why I’m not into “religion”). But think about this: maniacal Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was a Christian? Really??
This continuing myth comes from two things:
1. Hitler’s parents were Roman Catholics and raised him in that Christian denomination.
2. Hitler’s 1926 autobiography, Mein Kampf. There are more than two dozen references to God in that twisted, difficult-to-read book – just use Google to find them, if you’re interested.
If you look up all those excerpts, you’ll notice only two mention Jesus Christ, whom serious Christians – and many others – believe is the son of God.
But whether He was mentioned twice or 200 times, the fact is this: you don’t become a Christian simply by writing about Jesus. Indeed, a Muslim recently published an entire book about Jesus. That hardly makes him a Christ follower.
Serious Christians like me know that once they become followers of Jesus, they welcome Him into their lives to change them – always for the better (you can read just one example here: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-5g).
Does following Jesus mean we become perfect people? Well, you know the answer to that. But if I’m committed to following Jesus with all my heart and soul and spirit, then I will come closer to being like Him.
And in the meantime, by accepting the gift of Jesus, serious Christians know that the bad things they’ve done and the good things they’ve failed to do are wiped out by Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection.
Now consider this: in 1936, Hitler – by then Germany’s supreme leader and preparing his country to launch a horrific war – told his parliament “I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”
Statements like this have nothing to do with the Bible, which Christians like me believe is our guidebook to life. Hitler apparently ignored the fact that Jesus was born a Jew, lived his life as a Jew, died as a Jew and came back to life as a Jew. There’s no avoiding it, unless you’re a deluded hate-monger like Hitler.
Indeed, it’s the contrast between Jesus and Hitler that should make it glowingly clear what it means to be a Christian. So if you’ve ever heard someone declare that Christianity is bad because of lunatics like Hitler, please don’t let it keep you from doing the most important thing you could ever undertake: investigating for yourself what it means to be a Jesus follower.
Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.