"Thank You That I'm Not Like Other People"

There's a growing number of people who bully Christians. God describes these people in Luke 18.


A woman left a comment on one of my devotions saying she believed in Christ but she'd never become a Christian. She claimed that as a deeply spiritual person she could see that all Christians are judgmental and unworthy of her.(1)

Confident of her own righteousness, she judgmentally judged all Christians as judgmental (Matthew 7:1-5; Matthew 23:12). People who stereotype Christians rarely see their own hypocrisy.

I immediately thought of the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 standing in the temple saying, "God, I thank you that I am not like other people."(2)

In contrast to the Pharisee, the tax collector in Luke 18 admitted he was a sinner, acknowledging his need for forgiveness. 

Yes, we Christians blow it sometimes. But Christianity isn't a club we join based on whether we think its members are worthy of us. Christianity is a personal faith in Jesus, a faith that brings us into the family of God, a family that isn't perfect but is far better than the rest of the world who "are under the control of the evil one" (1 John 5:19; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:15).

If you've been reading my devotions, you know that I'm all about admitting our faults and yielding our hearts and minds to the Lord. I don't sugar-coat our need to repent and mature.

But I'm tired of Pharisees bullying my brothers and sisters in Christ, stereotyping all of us by the worst examples, and overlooking all of the good we do. That's the same thing racial bigots do.

No one rejects Christ because of bad Christian examples. They reject Christ because they think they're too good to need a Savior, too good to join a family of imperfect but repentant "tax-collectors" (Romans 1:18-21).(3)

💙Beyond 1-minute for those who want more:

There's a growing number of people who bully, stereotype, and unfairly judge Christians. God describes these people in Luke 18.

(1) It's very popular for people to claim that they like or believe in Jesus but don't like Christians.

These people prove that they don't know or believe in the real Jesus because He would rebuke them for their bigotry and self-righteous pride. They wouldn't find Him so "comfortable" if they knew Him.

See Was Jesus Likable?

There are times when Christians deserve criticism, but people who negatively stereotype all Christians are simply showing that they belong to the world:

John 15:19: "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." 

2 Corinthians 2:15-16: "For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?"

(2) The Pharisee and the tax collector:

Luke 18:9-14: "To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: "God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get." But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.'"  

(3) Those who reject Christianity:

Romans 1:18-21: "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." 

Bible Love Notes

Important Message:

Update: I am no longer blocked, but this is a hint of what Christians are facing as we continue to share God's truths.

Dear Readers, A couple of days ago I posted in the Bible Love Notes Discussion Group explaining that it would be wise to sign up for a subscription to Bible Love Notes because Christian bloggers were expecting to eventually be censored from social media. As of this morning, I have been removed from my discussion group. I cannot join or participate. 

Thus far my access to my other pages and groups has not been changed, and I have requested to be restored to the group. 

Sometimes Facebook has little “burps” in their functioning, and I am usually the last one to assume it’s intentional, but this change was so specific that I think it’s very likely that Facebook has censored me for claiming that social media might censor Christian content in the future. I am praying they will restore my access, but Michael my husband will be the administrator until they do. 

Please pray, dear group members. I genuinely believe we are headed for increased censorship in our world, and social media is the least of our worries. 

Some Christians are leaving Facebook, and I don’t question their decision, but we feel Bible Love Notes is supposed to maintain a presence as long as we are allowed. We will not change our content to suit the censorship, but we are praying to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

10 comments:

  1. Blessings for the New Day!
    Reading this I see how I too have a critical spirit when it comes to ‘some’ not all people who profess to be Christian. We all are a work in progress but I sometimes wonder why as a body those who haven’t been growing as much and are seen as the example of what a “Christian “ is aren’t being encouraged to progress or at least have certain expectations and not justify the behaviors for fear of offending them/us. Speaking truth in love should be the norm. We get what we expect and we should expect change for the better and not years later you’re still practically the same old person.
    Personally, I’ve have to constantly adjust and readjust my mindset because I would find myself being resentful towards church folk because of the blatant insincerity they exhibited. How can a person see you week after week in church and then act like they’ve never seen you when in public? Anyway, I know I can only work on me and pray that others will do the same. I also pray that the church on a whole will focus more on helping people overcome the paradigms preventing them from growing into better people.
    Thanks, and I appreciate your honest biblical insights.

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  2. I've seen an increase in persecution of the Body of Christ, increasing exponentially, this past decade. Americans certainly have not had the degree of persecution that can be found in other places in the world up to this point, but that may be changing. The persecution we undergo is often much more subtle. Romans 1:28-32 gives us insight into the character of a reprobate mind. It shows us the 'fruit of the tree'.

    The division between the 'sheep and the goats', the 'wheat and the tares' perhaps is inevitable, as well as, necessary and part of God's design. 'Whisperers (gossipers), Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters' are becoming much more blatant as their consciences become 'seared as with a hot iron' (1Tim. 4:12). Jesus told us that 'the love of many shall wax cold' (Mt. 24:12). False accusations abound: “For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit” (Psalm 35:20).

    I find that 'kindness' is becoming a rare treasure in these times.

    Mt. 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

    44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    When I am 'attacked' in some fashion (gossip, false accusations, judged, etc.) I'm beginning to understand that it really is a spiritual matter. 'God-haters', who have a spirit of 'anti-Christ' within them will attack Christians because we have the spirit of Christ within us. I tend to think that they really don't know what they are doing (though the truly wicked ones do).

    Sadly, I believe we shall see much more of this.

    Mt. 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings ***for My sake***, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

    21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all ***for My name’s sake***. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

    There seems to be a direct correlation between how we are treated and how 'persecutors' treat Jesus...and...between how they spiritually treat Jesus and treat us. Though persecution, whatever form it takes, is not pleasant at the time it is occurring, Jesus calls us 'Blessed'. Mt. 5:11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Also see: 1 Pet. 4:13; Rom. 8:18)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Jude, I agree that persecution is growing. Thank you for your insights.

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  3. Thank you for sharing the gospel as long as possible.

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  4. Thank you Gail for always sharing God's truth! Thank you CaribRose and Jude for your insights.

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  5. I am realizing more and more that bottom line it still is God who holds ALL the power! As Jesus told Pilate (John 19:11), Pilate would have no authority over Him if it weren't granted to him from above. As we in Ontario are still in lockdown and limited to 10 in church that truth has been enormous comfort to me!

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  6. You are not alone Gail in being a victim of Facebook censorship. Bill Muehlenberg, a sincere Christian who has an excellent website called CultureWatch has also been banned from Facebook recently. He has commented for many years on the major cultural, social and political issues of our day. He speaks the truth and is a devoted follower of Christ which sadly, some people seem to hate him for. These are very difficult times and I have felt disillusioned myself about some things that are going on even in the church, but I'm determined to hang on, trust God and persevere because I know that Satan, our enemy would like nothing more than for us to just give up! Keep going Gail and God bless, love Christine.

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