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Different Christians (by Jake Lee)

I’ve picked up quite a few new readers of the past several months. I love that my blog is read by both genders. That’s representative of the friendships I have. One of those friendships that started way back (as in, when I first started blogging), is with Jake Lee – my favorite cranky ho. He’s been such an encouragement to me over the past year. He’s also a person who writes honestly about his Christian walk. I think one of my favorite posts of his was when he suggested that violence was one of the love languages. If you don’t think that’s funny, well, you just have to know Jake. Trust me, it is…

Well enough of my incessant ranting. Here’s Jake:

Of the five years that I’ve been following Jesus, it took four before I really broke out of my church and the culture that developed around it. That isn’t necessarily bad, I have a very tight knit family. There were times that I thought I had, but I was faithful to only go to my church, (you don’t want to be a church ho) and the events that were put on by my church. I’m still faithful to my congregation, but I’ve certainly never had so many friends from different churches as I do now. I worked with people from several different churches at the coffee shop that employed me for a while, and I’ve just met many more in the past year, too. Many of them have their quirks; things that some Christians would say, just aren’t right.

People who I would have labeled as nominal in their Christ-walk have taught me about faith, and about living life. They drink beer. Individuals who swear more than I’ve ever heard anyone who knows Jesus, seem to love Him and people more than I do. People, who might be condemned to hell by their peers have done things that have changed the world, for the better. Several of my friends have started and either own or have sold businesses. If you’ve ever read my blog, then you know about Jerry, the crazy wine-making, beer-drinking professor who has led more students to the Lord than a lot of people I know.

I hate compromise. A year or two ago, I would have been spitting that word some of these peoples’ feet, and might have explained to them that when you love Jesus, your heart changes, that we step away from sin when we step closer to Him and clearly, they haven’t done that. I can’t say that now, and I’m experiencing some tension over it. Perhaps I’m judging them, and want to think of them as goats, rather than sheep in God’s flock. After all, we all get separated in the end, like grain from chaff, right?

Perhaps I’m going soft, simply due to friendship. People have a terrible tendency to soften their hold on standards once a relationship has been established. I don’t want to be an excessively tolerant person simply because I think I can justify these people in their actions, but based on what I’ve seen, they love Jesus. My conclusion then, is that we come from a variety of backgrounds and live in all sorts of situations. Jesus might want us all to get to the same place, but we’re traveling different distances from our own experiences and some of us take longer to get there.

To read more from Jake, check out his blog, Very Much Later