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Spiritual matters

Would your faith get you convicted?

November 10, 2010 - If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

There are many recent studies that show that there is not a whole lot of difference between people who claim to follow Jesus and those who don't.

Their lifestyles, their checkbooks, their personal behavior, and their attitudes are a lot alike.

It got me thinking (that's a good thing!).

What does a real Christian look like?

Should there be some obvious differences between believers and non-believers?

As I wrestle with these questions I'm reminded of an old story.

The light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal belongings.

He said, ''I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him.

"I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally…I assumed you had stolen the car!''

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:1 "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us."

Hmm… "Live a life of love…imitate God."

Does that include how we drive? Does that include how we speak to our spouse and to our kids? Does that include our checkbook? I think it does.

If you were accused of being a Christian, is there enough evidence to convict you?

The Rev. Greg Henneman is pastor of Clarkston Community Church.

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