Christian Stereotypes I Hate

There are people who have done these very things to me. I am not better than anyone else. I am a sinner but also a child of God. I have accepted Christ as Savior and follow His way but that does not mean I am like other people who just profess to “be christian”. I am a disciple of Jesus. That means something different. I would like to talk with anyone about it and get to know YOUR thoughts. Contact me. Let’s talk.

I hate when people assume certain things about me without getting to know who I am. You probably hate that too! Whenever people figure out I am a pastor at a Christian church, they tend to always assume the following:
 1. Cussing around me is a no-no. Really? I’m honored that you feel the need to change your attitude/language around me, but you don’t need to try and be on “good behavior” when we are together. Typically, I’m not offended by your language and its not like I have never heard it before. I would rather you just be yourself than trying to be someone else for me.
2. I don’t like the gays. I understand why you may have gotten this impression considering some of the ridiculous Christians out there. But, I love them. To be honest, I don’t know why so many of my Christian brothers and sisters elevate this specifically over everything else. When it comes down to it, I love homosexuals just as much as I love you. I wish Christians would fight as passionately against poverty and sex trafficking as they do homosexuality.
3. I don’t drink alcohol. Now you won’t catch me passed out on the floor drunk, but to assume that I don’t drink at all because of my faith is a bit of an overstatement. After all, the first miracle Jesus did was turn water into wine, He knows how to keep the party going.
4. I don’t like to have fun. This probably has a lot to do with rule #3. Because “I don’t drink” then it can be assumed that I don’t like to have fun. Quite the contrary, it just means I have learned to have fun without the need of over intoxicating myself.
5. I’m judging you because you act differently than me. If I have come to realize one thing it is that nobody is perfect. Don’t worry about trying to hide your flaws or your differences because I’m not judging you anyways. Those who judge will be judged and I don’t want any part of that.
6. I am ignorant or uneducated about beliefs other than my own. Actually, it is not “my way or the highway.” Obviously, I, like the rest of Christians, spend most of my time trying to understand my own faith, but to say that I have shut my eyes to everything else in the world is absurd. Don’t assume I have no clue of what exists outside of Christianity.
7. I think I’m better than you. Somehow, because I am Christian, you assume I believe I am better than you. I understand you might get this impression from some of those who wear the Christian name tag, but humility is one of Christianity’s greatest attributes. I don’t think I am better than you regardless of who you are or what you’ve done. We are all on our own journey and everyone’s look a little bit different.
8. I’m Republican. Laugh. Out. Loud. No comment.
9. I ignore science. You might be under the assumption that things like the “Big Bang” and natural selection kill my theory for religion, so I just ignore them altogether. The truth is, I love science and it doesn’t crumble my faith at all. I am just as interested as you are to see how God did it and have yet to come across something that totally shakes my faith to the core on whether or not there was a creator.
10. I’m a hypocrite. Unfortunately, you probably assume this for righteous reasons because you have seen it a lot. But, I want to break the stereotype and say what I mean and do what I say. Of course I fall short just like everyone else, but I am never preaching something that I’m not willing to do in my own life.
Granted, there are probably a lot of Christians out there who meet every single one of these, but don’t assume we are all the same!

Originally posted on www.brettshoemaker.me

After the laughter is gone, taking a stand against suicide!

2012-02-12 23.22.40Today we lost a great Actor-comedian, Robin Williams died this morning at 63. While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that his death was a suicide, a rep did issue this statement. “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss”.  Suicide touches all of us in some ways, maybe it’s well known Actor like Robin, or maybe a friends we know lost someone close to them.  It might be even closer than that, it might have touched someone in your family, a brother, sister, ant or uncle or other loved one.  I know because it’s touched my life, hearing from my step-brother about his brother taking his own life. Then I meet my girlfriend Angela and learned about how she lost her brother.

Suicide has touched my life too as I have lived with it most of my life.  YES, I have wanted to take my own life more than just once.  We have to talk about suicide and not pretend it will go away if we just look the other way.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report over 36,000 suicides annually. This translates to roughly four suicides per hour in this country, greater than the number of homicide or motor vehicle related fatalities. Suicide occurs in all parts of our society and in all regions, affecting people of all ages. No group is immune but there are some groups at greater risk. For instance, men are four times more likely than women to die of suicide and older men have been an often overlooked group with a particularly high suicide rate.

We need to talk about the warning signs and how suicide has touched our lives. We have to let our loved ones know it’s OK to openly talk about wanted to harm them and there is hope.  They don’t have to go this alone, all it takes is someone taking the time to listen to them.  That’s what I want when I get so depressed that I don’t see any hope.  Just a hand to help us past a moment in time when all we think all is lost.  Someone has to talk a stand and start showing people that feel depressed they are loved no matter what.

March 2011 a young lady take her own life by jumping off a bridge in Iowa City onto Interstate 80 early one morning, where she was hit by a semitrailer and killed. I know what it’s like to feel so overwhelmed that you just can’t see any hope for living. Yes, I have been to that point in my life where I wanted to end it all. I felt so alone, no hope for tomorrow but that was before I found the love of Jesus Christ and my local church. I didn’t know this young beautiful lady at all but her death touched me in a way that I can’t express! That night, I just keep saying, “she didn’t have to do this” and how sad I was for her family, friends, the driver of the semi and the first responder and Law enforcement officers.

As I was on my way to church the next Sunday morning, I felt God calling me to step up and talk to our congregation about what I was feeling. When we are feeling depressed, sad or what ever, we can’t go it alone and covering it up doesn’t help. I you think the person you care for knows how much you care for them, don’t just think they know! Tell them, show them everyday how much you love them no matter how bad they feel. If you’re dealing with depression and can talk about it, DO IT! Let’s not hide it any more, show others who are facing the same thing that they too are not alone and can come to you if they want too. Life is so wonderful, and Jesus died on the cross to give us new life and no matter what you have done or what your going through, his family of believers love you and you can trust them.  You’re not alone and if you think that ending your life is all you have left, please don’t! Let me know, I will do everything I can for you. You are loved more than you know and better days are ahead.

I know this is my calling to help others dealing with depression and showing them the love that Jesus Christ offers us. I am so thankful that the good Lord gave me new life and new hope so I can try to touch lives that are hurting. It’s OK to let people see who we really are, and we must talk about depression and suicide in our churches, youth groups, small groups, etc every chance we get.  I will takes a stand and talk to any group about my struggles with depression, greed and how it slowly started to control my life.  I am here today because Jesus saved my life, He came into my heart and changed who I was and while my life hasn’t been the easiest living now as a new Christian.  I know He loves me and when I feel like ending it all, I know it’s just a feeling that will pass and I can openly share my feelings because I’m not alone any more.

Blessing and love,

Kent.